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LONDON BRIEFING: CMC names new CFO; takeover offer for Ergomed

4th Sep 2023 07:36

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are expected to open on a positive note on Monday, amid an improvement in global risk sentiment.

It is likely to be a quieter trading day, given that US markets will be closed for the Labor Day public holiday.

"Last week ended on a positive note, and this week started with a solid risk appetite, as the US jobs data hinted at a finally loosening jobs market, while Chinese stocks rallied on further measures deployed by the Chinese government to support the country’s faltering property market," said Swissquote Bank's Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

In early UK company news, AstraZeneca received an approval for Calquence in China. John Wood Group and Harbour Energy signed a USD330 million strategic partnership in the UK North Sea. Ergomed agreed a GBP703 million takeover offer with a UK private equity firm.

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

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: called up 39.4 points, 0.5%, at 7,503.94

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Hang Seng: up 2.4% at 18,822.72

Nikkei 225: closed up 0.7% at 32,939.18

S&P/ASX 200: closed up 0.6% at 7,318.80

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DJIA: closed up 115.80 points, or 0.3%, at 34,837.71

S&P 500: closed up 0.2% at 4,515.77

Nasdaq Composite: closed little changed at 14,031.81

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EUR: down at USD1.0788 (USD1.0792)

GBP: up at USD1.2610 (USD1.2604)

USD: down at JPY146.17 (JPY146.21)

Gold: up at USD1,945.24 per ounce (USD1,938.09)

Oil (Brent): up at USD88.50 a barrel (USD88.00)

(changes since previous London equities close)

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ECONOMICS

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Monday's key economic events still to come:

Canada Labor Day: financial markets closed

United States Labor Day: financial markets closed

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to succumb to pressure from party members and overturn his de facto ban on onshore wind farms. The Telegraph reports ministers will release plans that will give councils the right to be able to build proposed wind farms if there is community support for the projects. Sunak has fought off a rebellion from within his party as ministers are said to be discussing ways to finalise the details of the amendment, particularly on how fast the government could legally scrap the ban. Plans are reportedly being written for a minister to submit a written statement to the Commons which will commit to changing the current planning rules. In October last year, Sunak pledged to keep the onshore wind farm ban in place.

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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MS cuts Land Securities to 'equal-weight' (overweight) - price target 650 (750) pence

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JPMorgan cuts British Land Co to 'neutral' (overweight) - price target 410 (505) pence

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JPMorgan resumes Schroders with 'overweight' - target 501 pence

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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AstraZeneca said that acalabrutinib, or Calquence, has received approval in China for use in certain adults with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Calquence is a next-generation, selective Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The approval is based on results from the Ascend global phase III trial and a phase I/II local trial, which showed 83% overall response rate in Chinese patients treated with Calquence, Astra said. "CLL is the most prevalent type of adult leukaemia across the globe and represents approximately 6.4% of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients in China," it explained.

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COMPANIES - FTSE 250

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John Wood Group and Harbour Energy announced they have agreed on a new strategic partnership in the UK North Sea. The two companies have signed a master services agreement and associated contracts valued at around USD330 million. Under the deal, Wood will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, and operations and maintenance services for some of Harbour's offshore assets. The partnership will initially run for a five year period, with five one-year extension options.

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CMC Markets named Albert Soleiman as its new chief financial officer, with him taking up the role last Friday. Soleiman led the launch of CMC Invest business, after rejoining the firm in 2020. He replaces Euan Marshall, who announced he would resign to become CFO at fellow FTSE 250-listing IntegraFin back in July. Marshall remains with CMC to support an orderly transition over the next few months.

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OTHER COMPANIES

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Ergomed said it has agreed a recommended cash takeover offer from a newly incorporated company controlled and indirectly owned by funds advised by UK private equity firm Permira Advisers. The offer of 1,350 pence per share is a 28% premium to Friday's closing price of 1,052p, and values the pharmaceutical services company at GBP703.1 million. Ergomed's directors deem the offer to be "fair and reasonable", having been advised by Jefferies and Numis. They unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the offer at forthcoming court and general meetings. If all conditions pass, Ergomed expects the takeover to become effective in the first quarter of 2024.

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The US's Albemarle on Sunday confirmed that Australia's Liontown Resources has agreed to a cash takeover offer worth AUD6.6 billion, about USD4.3 billion. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle produces lithium and bromine, supplying these for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health applications. Liontown is a West Perth, Western Australia producer of battery minerals. Confirming an announcement by Liontown, Abermarle said it has agreed to pay AUD3.00 per Liontown share, having a submitted a best and final non-binding proposal. Liontown said its board will unanimously recommend the takeover offer once it is made binding. Abermarle said the acquisition will increase the scale of its energy storage business and the size of its battery metal resource base.

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By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News senior markets reporter

Comments and questions to [email protected]

Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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