AN EAST Lancashire finance expert has warned that the region’s publicly-listed firms could take a hit if Britain’s party leaders fail to agree a power deal soon.

The markets have so far coped well with the hung parliament and yesterday Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg were still trying to hammer out a deal to share power.

But Nick Hedley, of Blackburn-based stockbroker Hedley and Co, warned that an agreement was needed soon to calm the markets.

Among the East Lancashire-based publicly-listed firms are Darwen-based Bglobal, Blackburn bus maker Optare and brewery giant Thwaites.

Mr Hedley said: “At the moment the markets have been worrying about the Greek crisis and that seems to have been sorted out now.

“However, if Britain goes much longer without a new government, it could affect stock market-listed companies.”

Market experts worry that foreign investors will be scared off buying shares in UK firms by the uncertainty created by Thursday’s hung parliament.

The political stalemate has already taken its toll on some other major East Lancashire employers.

In the immediate aftermath of the General Election, Capita, which employs 200 in Blackburn, lost 35p from its share price.

Meanwhile, BAE Systems, which has 6,000 East Lancashire workers, and Cobham, which has a base in Haslingden Road in Blackburn, also saw its share prices slide.