Become a Member
  • Track your favourite stocks
  • Create & monitor portfolios
  • Daily portfolio value
Sign Up
Quickpicks
Add shares to your
quickpicks to
display them here!

LONDON BRIEFING: abrdn sells HDFC stake; Lookers agrees to buyout

20th Jun 2023 07:56

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London were expected to fall further on Tuesday's open, with investors awaiting UK inflation data and a Bank of England rate announcement later this week.

"The lack of any further details on a China stimulus plan, along with additional upward pressure on interest rates over uncertainty about further rate rises, and a slowing global economy, saw European investors engage with some modest profit taking [on Monday]," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson commented.

Financial markets in New York were closed on Monday for the Juneteenth holiday.

Meanwhile, in Asia, trading was mixed, despite China's central bank cutting two benchmark interest rates as part of recent measures to boost economic growth in the country.

The one-year loan prime rate, which serves as a benchmark for corporate loans, was reduced from to 3.55% from 3.65%, the People's Bank of China said in a statement, while the five-year LPR, which is used to price mortgages, was cut from 4.20% to 4.30%.

In early UK company news, Lookers agreed to a takeover offer by a Canadian auto retail dealership operator. abrdn said its subsidiary sold off its stake in HDFC Asset Management. Embattled Revolution Beauty revealed it was in potential legal proceedings against its founder & former chief executive.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:

----------

MARKETS

----------

FTSE 100: called down 12.5 points, 0.2%, at 7,575.98

----------

Hang Seng: down 1.8% at 19,556.99

Nikkei 225: closed up 0.1% at 33,388.91

S&P/ASX 200: closed up 0.9% at 7,357.80

----------

Financial markets in New York were closed on Monday for the Juneteenth holiday.

----------

EUR: down at USD1.0922 (USD1.0928)

GBP: down at USD1.2783 (USD1.2797)

USD: up at JPY142.02 (JPY141.85)

Gold: down at USD1,949.03 per ounce (USD1,952.97)

Oil (Brent): down at USD75.90 a barrel (USD76.02)

(changes since previous London equities close)

----------

ECONOMICS

----------

Tuesday's key economic events still to come:

10:00 CEST EU balance of payments

11:00 CEST EU construction output

11:30 BST UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt takes questions from MPs

08:30 EDT US housing starts and building permits

----------

UK MPs have voted overwhelmingly to back a damning report that found Boris Johnson lied to parliament with his partygate denials, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stayed away from proceedings. Just seven MPs voted against the Privileges Committee's findings, in a humiliating defeat for the former prime minister less than a year after he left No 10. With 354 votes in favour, MPs endorsed sanctions against Johnson recommended by the committee, including banning him from having a pass to access parliament, which is usually available to former MPs. The Tory-majority panel also concluded that Johnson should have faced a 90-day suspension for misleading the House when he told the Commons that Covid rules were obeyed in No 10 despite parties taking place.

----------

German producer inflation cooled to 1.0% on an annual basis in May, compared to 4.1% in April. This was tamer than the FXStreet-cited market consensus of 1.7%. From the previous month, prices fell 1.4%, compared to the 0.3% rise in April from March. Market consensus had only expected prices to fall 0.7%.

----------

BROKER RATING CHANGES

----------

JPMorgan places Ocado on 'negative catalyst watch'

----------

Berenberg cuts Focusrite price target to 700 (1,100) pence - 'buy'

----------

COMPANIES - FTSE 100

----------

abrdn said that its wholly-owned subsidiary abrdn Investment Management sold 21.8 million shares in HDFC Asset Management on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange. The shares were sold at an average price of INR1,873.00, which will result in aIML netting about INR35.47 billion, around GBP337 million, from the sale. "As advised at the time of the company's full year results, the company is committed to returning a significant proportion of capital generated from stake sales," the investment company said. aIML now has no remaining shareholding in HDFC AMC.

----------

COMPANIES - FTSE 250

----------

SThree updated on its half-year ended May 31, with the London-based staffing company reporting a 2% fall in net fees year-on-year in a constant currency basis. This was against a strong post-Covid comparator, it noted. Contract fees rose 3%, growing to represent 81% of net fees across the group, compared to 77% a year before. Permanent net fees, however, fell 19%, reflecting market conditions and tough comparatives, SThree said. "Our long-term opportunity is unchanged, underpinned by structural megatrends...In the short term we remain responsive to the macro backdrop and how that plays out on the mix of new placements and extensions, while tightly managing costs," said Chief Executive Timo Lehne.

----------

OTHER COMPANIES

----------

Automotive retail and service group Lookers said it has agreed a takeover offer from Global Auto Holdings of 120 pence a share in cash, which values the firm at GBP465.4 million. The offer is a 35% premium to the closing price of 88.7p on Monday. Global Auto is a related party to Alpha Auto Group, a private Canada-headquarter operator and consolidator of auto retail dealerships across North America. The board of Lookers said they believe the offer represents a "compelling proposition" for the firm's shareholders, and will unanimously recommend the offer at an upcoming court meeting and general meeting.

----------

Revolution Beauty said it is in potential legal proceedings against its founder and former CEO Adam Minto. The firm sent a letter of claim to Minto last month."The claim alleges that Mr Minto breached his fiduciary, statutory, contractual and/or tortious duties to the company. Certain of the matters alleged contributed to the delay in the audit of the group's FY22 results, and to the suspension of the company's shares from trading on AIM," the firm said. To date, the company said it has not received a response to the letter, and has set a deadline of July 7. Minto had resigned with immediate effect last November, with the resignation related to an independent investigation into the 2022 financial year results. Revolution Beauty also said it plans to issue a further announcement in the "coming days" in response to investor boohoo's calls for a boardroom clear out at the firm.

----------

By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News senior markets reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

FTSE 100 Latest
Value7,706.28
Change21.79