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Monday update

DB Live: Macfarlane, Barratt repay furlough cash

4.45pm: Market close – housebuilders rise

More than £1.7billion was added to the value of Britain’s biggest housebuilders on hopes the Chancellor will cut stamp duty. 

Barratt Developments rose 8% or 39.1p, to 529.4p, Persimmon jumped 6.2% or 139p, to 2398p and Taylor Wimpey was 5.1%, or 6.95p higher at 143.95p.  Among the mid-caps, Bellway was up 3.7%, or 92p, at 2591p. 

The housebuilder rally helped the FTSE100 start the week on the front foot, climbing 2.1%, or 128.64 points, to 6285.94.

However, fast fashion firm Boohoo lost almost a quarter of its value as it fought off allegations of modern slavery at one of its Leicester suppliers. 

The fast-fashion retailer was forced to admit it did not know the name of a supplier which was paying staff £3.50 an hour to make Nasty Gal clothing. 

Shares fell 23.4%, or 90.8p, to 296.7p, wiping over £1.1billion off the company’s market capitalisation.

8.15am: London open

Markets once again continued to shrug off coronavirus warnings and opened positively as economies began to reopen.

The FTSE 100 blue chip index jumped 2.18% or 134.42 points to trade at 6,291.72. The FTSE 250 rose 1.5%.

Chinese shares rocketed overnight as state media talked up the economy and investors reacted to positive data. The Shanghai composite index was 5.8% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 3.8% and Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.8% up.

7am: Lloyds CEO to leave, new chairman announced

Antonio Horta-Osorio Youtube

António Horta-Osório, pictured, is to step down as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group next year after delivering the three strategic plans and completing 10 years in the role.

Full story here

Change of CEO at Aviva

Aviva has appointed Amanda Blanc as chief executive with immediate effect following the sudden resignation of Maurice Tulloch for family health reasons.

Full story here

Macfarlane to repay furlough support

Macfarlane lorry

In the light of a better than expected trading performance, the Glasgow-based packaging company said it does not intend to make any further claims under the furlough jobs support scheme and in the second half of the year “will seek to repay sums already received”.

It said sales performance will be only 7% lower in the second quarter compared to predictions of between 20% and 25%. Weakness has continued in the automotive, aerospace and high street retail sectors but this has been partly offset by underlying strength in the e-commerce, medical, food and household essentials sectors.

This will result in sales for the half year, inclusive of the benefit of last year’s acquisitions, being 3% down on the first half in 2019.

Barratt Developments

Housebuilder Barratt is repaying funds received through the furlough scheme and said its current forward order book was strong with sales ahead of the same time last year.

The company said it had an order book of 14,326 homes at a value of £3.25bn at the end of June, compared with 11,419 homes a year ago worth £2.6bn.

Barratt added that cash at year end was £305m, down from £765.7m, equivalent to around 25% of the owned land bank.

Viaro buys Rockrose assets

Viaro Energy, a subsidiary of energy trading company Viaro, is acquiring North Sea oil operator RockRose in a £247.6m all cash offer.

The 1850p per share deal represents a premium of 64% to the closing price of 1130p per RockRose Share on 3 July.

RockRose’s assets in the Central North Sea consist of non-operated interests in the Nelson and Howe fields, the Blake and Ross fields, the B-Block, and operated interests in the Brae Complex.

The non-operated interests were acquired from Idemitsu in 2017, while the interests in the Brae Complex were acquired from Marathon Oil in 2019.

It has non-operated interests in several producing fields in the Southern Gas Basin of the UK North Sea. Interests in Tors, Grove, and Seven Seas were purchased from Sojitz Energy in 2017 as the company built out its portfolio of producing assets.

6am: Markets

The FTSE 100 looks set to open higher as Asian markets appeared determined to overlook the threat from the coronavirus and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil a number of job-saving initiatives.

Today’s agenda

Pub gardens are allowed to open in Scotland.

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Brits’ holiday setback as Spain in second lockdown

No quarantine checks on arrivals into Scotland

Sturgeon pressed over ‘unfinished projects’

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