London pre-open: Stocks seen flat after another record close

Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 20 Mar, 2017 07:32 - Updated: 07:32 | | |

London Stock Exchange AIM LSE shares

London stocks were set for a steady open on Monday after closing at a record high again on Friday, as investors digest developments at the G-20 meeting.

The FTSE 100 was expected to be unchanged at 7,425.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya at London Capital Group said: "The G-20 meeting revived worries about the US’s trade protectionism as finance chiefs were brought to drop a reference to fight protectionism in their joint statement. Several leaders were left frustrated with the US position regarding global trade under Trump administration, including China, Japan, Russia, Germany and France.

"As the world’s number one economy is preparing to set significant barriers, investors are increasingly worried. How will US protectionism affect the US companies’ overseas businesses and how much value would it shred from US stocks’ value, if any?"

Investors will also be mulling over the latest survey from Rightmove, which showed asking prices in England and Wales rose 1.3% on the month in March after a 2% jump in February.

On an annual basis, prices were steady, growing 2.3%.

In corporate news, Vodafone has agreed terms of a $23bn merger between its Indian business and Idea Cellular, which is part of the Aditya Birla Group.

Vodafone will own 45.1% of what will be India's largest telecoms company, which as a joint venture will reduce its net debt by approximately $8.2bn and is expected add to Vodafone's cash flow from the first full year post completion.

Facilities manager Carillion has won a £90m contract from the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation to design and build a communications centre in Cyprus.

Construction of the centre will begin in April and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2019.

LondonMetric Property said it had bought two last mile distribution warehouses in Leeds for £12m, reflecting a blended net initial yield of 6% and a reversionary yield of 6.5%.

One warehouse is let to Vision Alert Automotives on a new 15 year lease at £5.00 per square foot (PSF) with open market rent reviews. The other is let to Siemens at £5.25 PSF with three years remaining of the 10 year lease.

Hansteen has agreed to dispose of its German and Dutch portfolios for €1.28bnm to entities owned by funds advised by affiliates of The Blackstone Group and M7 Real Estate.

The group said the portfolios were being sold on a debt free basis for cash, and the value given to the German and Dutch portfolio remained subject to a net asset value adjustment post-Completion.

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