RBS offloads loans portfolio for a profit

Thur close: Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to dispose a portfolio of loans as part of a move to strengthen its balance sheet. The bank will receive around £400 million offloaded to an entity funded by Deutsche Bank and funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, making a profit of about £24m after costs.

The sale of the FT Group to Japan’s Nikkei injected some life into day lacking economic data or news flow.

Otherwise the markets looked ahead to towards next week’s US Fed policy meeting and whether more quantitative easing was in store from the European Central Bank.

With inflation in the Eurozone set to remain below its target for longer than expected, Barclays believes the European Central Bank may be forced to extend its programme of bond buying beyond the expected end date of September 2016.

Shares in Aberdeen Asset Management fell sharply after the company reported net outflows in the nine months to 30 June of £9.9bn, as institutional investors continue to reduce exposure to Asia and emerging markets equities. The shares closed down 7.6% at 369p.

Kingfisher, which owns home improvement retailer B&Q, delivered a solid second-quarter sales performance across all its major businesses, albeit against softer comparatives than in the first quarter. In its pre-close update for the 10 weeks to 11 July, the company posted a 4.8% rise in total sales at constant currency, or 3.5% in like-for-like terms.

Britvic announced the acquisition of Brazilian soft drinks company Empresa Brasileira de Bebidas e Alimentos (Ebba) for around £113.6m. The transaction, which will be partly funded from the proceeds of a placing of new ordinary shares, provides Britvic with immediate access to the sixth largest soft drinks market and the largest concentrates market globally.

SSE reported increased production in all of its divisions apart from coal, as the company said it expects lower profits from its energy supply business this year but higher profit from its management and generation business.

The FTSE 100 closed down 12.33 points or 0.19% at 6,655.01.

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