MARKET REPORT: Australia's richest woman steps in at Sirius Minerals

One of Britain's biggest and most ambitious civil engineering projects found an unlikely saviour in the form of Australia's richest woman yesterday.
Not only is Sirius Minerals digging a mile below ground to unlock the potash bounty at the Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, North Yorkshire, it is then tunnelling 23 miles to the River Tees where it is building an export terminal for the fertiliser.
Projects of this magnitude don't come cheap. All in, the development costs are in excess of £3billion – and seemingly rising by the day.
Step forward Gina Rinehart, who is pumping in a much-needed £190million, plugging a funding gap caused by soaring overheads.
Through her Hancock Prospecting company, the Australian mining billionaire agreed to release the money as part of a deal originally struck back in 2016.
In return, Hancock will get a 5 per cent revenue cut on the first 13m tonnes of fertiliser that is shipped and sold.
The extra cash should tide Sirius over while it raises more than £2billion in debt funding which it hopes to have secured by the second quarter of next year.
The Sirius stock rose 1.7 per cent, or 0.46p, to 27.54p.

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Shire was among the top blue-chip risers after Chinese regulators became the latest to approve the drugmaker's £48billion takeover by Japanese peer Takeda. 
Having already been cleared by US and Brazilian officials, the acquisition just needs the thumbs-up from the European Union and Japan.
Takeda has faced criticism for the deal which will load it with billions of dollars' worth of debt, but it has pushed ahead regardless and expects it to complete in the first half of 2019. 
Shire shares rose 2.2 per cent, or 96.5p, to 4486.5p.

Stock Watch - Tarsus Group 
Tarsus Group saw its shares shed nearly 4 per cent yesterday.
It followed the business conferencing company's £24million fundraising as it bought the remaining 50 per cent stake in its Mexican joint venture EJK Tarsus Mexico and took a controlling interest of 75 per cent in South-East Asian exhibitions firm AMB Tarsus Exhibitions.
Tarsus is funding the combined bill via the placing of 8.9m ordinary shares at a price of 270p each. 
Shares fell 3.36 per cent, or 10p, to 288p.
That was broadly reflective of the FTSE 100, with the blue-chip index adding 0.3 per cent, or 22.47 points, to end the week at 7304.04.
Burberry shares were also in demand, up 3.4 per cent, or 70p, to 2153p, ahead of the launch of the debut collection from its chief creative officer at London Fashion Week on Monday. 
Riccardo Tisci, who designed Kim Kardashian's wedding dress, joined the British luxury fashion brand earlier this year, replacing Christopher Bailey who had held the position for 17 years.
Holding the Footsie back were two pharma giants as investors reacted to their latest news.
Astrazeneca edged up 0.3 per cent, or 15p, to sit at 5645p, after its MedImmune biotechnology arm was given the regulatory green light in the US for a treatment for hairy cell leukaemia.
Lumoxiti was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, making it the first treatment option for the disease for two decades. 
Shares in Glaxosmithkline fell by 0.8 per cent, or 11.4p, to 1484.2p as it filed paperwork asking European regulators to approve its single tablet HIV tablet for sale in the EU.
Recent studies have shown the one-tablet, two-drug course of treatment is just as effective as the standard three-drug regimen.
As for the FTSE 250, that also closed the week in the black, rising 0.7 per cent, or 132.26 points, to 20,375.87 points.
Petroleum explorer and producer Enquest was slammed as 'overly complicated' by Barclays analysts, which questioned why debt wasn't being paid down as it quickly as it should be. Shares fell 3.2 per cent, or 1.2p, to 36.75p.
By contrast, Morgan Stanley initiated its coverage of Hurricane Energy with an 'overweight' rating, claiming the explorer has the potential to reward investors with a 'very big payoff'. 
That's if the firm's starter production well at its Lancaster field near the Shetland Islands is delivered as planned when it comes on-stream in the first half of next year. The stock rose 4.5 per cent, or 2.35p, to 54.5p.
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