Date: Monday 30 Nov 2009
London’s blue chips recovered most of their losses in late afternoon trading and looked like they could be set for a positive finish before turning down again just before the close.
Banks such as Lloyds Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered remained nervous about the debt situation in emirate, though the morning’s losses have been pared. HSBC defied the trend and was nursing a small gain.
Properties were also out of favour after HSBC said the real estate investment trust (REIT) sector is poised to suffer a ‘double-dip correction’ and that shares within the sector are ‘grossly over valued’.
SEGRO, Liberty International and British Land were among the hardest hit among the big guns of the sector.
A ray of sunshine was provided by travel operator Thomas Cook, which posted full year pre-tax profits that were ahead of expectations as increased ticket prices offset falling customer numbers. The company posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of £308.2m, down slightly from £309.3m the previous year, as revenues climbed to £9.27bn from £8.75bn. The shares have relinquished their early gains but sector peer TUI Travel, due to declare figures on Tuesday, was still in the blue.
Aberdeen Asset’s purchase of businesses from Credit Suisse gave assets under management a boost in the year to September, but the fund manager still suffered a 20% slump in profits. Underlying profit before tax fell to £85.1m from £95.1m a year ago, but dived to £10.5m from £60.5m after exceptional items, such as costs related to acquisitions, redundancy payments and other rationalisation charges.
Oil and gas firm Cairn Energy is to make oil exploration company Capricorn a wholly owned subsidiary by buying out minority shareholder Dyas’s 9.99% stake for $95m, to be satisfied through a mixture of newly issued shares and cash.
The board of pub group Mitchells and Butlers has approached the Takeover Panel to rule whether a group of shareholders has been trying to gain control of the board after they blocked three potential candidates for chairman. Reports over the weekend suggested that one of those candidates was Archie Norman, the former head of Asda and recently appointed chairman of ITV.
Irish banking group Allied Irish Banks (AIB) has confirmed its participation in the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) asset acquisition programme.
NAMA has yet to specify which of Allied Irish’s loans it intends to buy under the scheme, but expects it will be land and development loans totalling €24.2bn on a gross loan basis. Expectations are that AIB will have to take around a 30% 'haircut' on the value of its assets in return for the boost to liquidity.
Bank of Ireland also plans to join the NAMA scheme. The company said the portfolio of potential eligible bank assets to be transferred could comprise a gross book portfolio of around €16bn.
Magners maker C&C has agreed to buy the UK cider assets of Constellation Brands (CB), The Gaymer Cider Company for £45m in cash.
Falkland Islands Holdings has made a £3.1m profit after selling 3m shares in Falkland Oil and Gas. The group, which owns businesses in the South Atlantic territory, offloaded 20% of its stake in Falkland Oil, but still owns 12m shares, or 8.2% of the business.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC) 861.50p +1.89%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 3,080.00p +1.32%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,050.00p +0.96%
TUI Travel (TT.) 245.90p +0.90%
British Airways (BAY) 195.30p +0.77%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,603.00p +0.58%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 385.90p +0.57%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 55.15p -5.89%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 77.35p -4.45%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 33.18p -4.45%
SEGRO (SGRO) 325.50p -3.53%
Liberty International (LII) 465.50p -3.42%
British Land Co (BLND) 445.40p -3.13%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 752.50p -3.03%
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