Benfield shares gained 12.5% this week after reports of a failed £700m takeover bid by Goldman Sachs.

Analyst Numis said that the latest failure to strike a deal made a buy-out unlikely in the near future, as the most likely candidates had been exhausted.

Aon and Marsh are also understood to have looked at the reinsurance broker in the past year, with Aon reported to have offered around 340p per share.

But American hedge fund Deccan Value Advisors increased its stake in Benfield to nearly 10% earlier this week, prompting speculation its could be making a move on the broker. Benfield shares were trading at 305p as Insurance Times went to press.

Shares in property specialist Erinaceous continued to plummet after the company posted a pre-tax loss of £3.9m in its interim results, compared to a £12m profit last year.

A boardroom restructuring saw chief executive Neil Bellis move to executive deputy chairman.

The company has nearly £170m of debt. Its shares, which were trading at 389p in January, were down 22% in the week to 43.25p.

Admiral had its target price reduced from 1225p to 1050p by Citigroup.

The bank retained its ‘buy’ recommendation, but highlighted the increased competition in the

short term to Admiral’s price comparison site,

However, in the long term, it saw as one of four sites to emerge from the current plethora of aggregators.

Other notable movers this week were Hiscox (up 15% to 286.25p) and Gable (down 6% to 11.75p).