Friday Update

DB Live: Quiz boost; EasyJet sale; Murray International Trust

4.45pm: Market close

Optimism around new stimulus measures that drove the market higher earlier in the week began to fade. Although the FTSE 100 ended the week 0.9% higher, traders took profits to leave it down 95.58 points (1.55%) on the day at 6,090.04.

3.15pm: M&G bid pulled

M&G Investment Management has withdrawn its proposed all-cash offer for UKML after failing to get board approval.

Full story here

10am: Mackay will not contest 2021 election

Derek Mackay

Derek Mackay, who resigned as Finance Secretary the night before he was due to deliver the Scottish Government’s Budget, will not stand for the SNP at next year’s election.

Full story here

8.30am: London open

The FTSE 100 index defied predictions for a positive start by opening in negative territory as UK share prices reflected worries over a lacklustre batch of economic data from China and the inability of America’s senior politicians to agree a renewed stimulus package

The index was 33 points lower at 6,152.18.

7am: Quiz doubles bank support


Glasgow-based fashion retailer Quiz has doubled the finance available to the group after agreeing an extension of its existing banking facilities with HSBC. 

Total bank facilities available have increased from £1.75m to £3.5m, comprising an overdraft facility of £2m and a working capital facility of £1.5m. The facilities will remain in place until the end of October. There are no financial covenants applicable.

EasyJet concludes aircraft deal

Airline EasyJet has raised £608 million after concluding the sale and leaseback of 23 aircraft. This is at the upper end of the £500-650m anticipated proceeds first highlighted in its trading update of 28 May.  

The aircraft will be leased back until each of the aircraft reaches 10 years of age.

EasyJet has now raised more than £2.4 billion since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the drawing down of a Revolving Credit Facility and the UK government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

Murray International Trust

The board this year intends to at least match the dividend payout of 53.5p per share in 2019. says chairman Kevin Carter.

Two interim dividends of 12p (2019: 12p) have been declared for the half year to 30 June 2020. The first is payable on 14 August and the second will be paid on 19 November.

The board intends to maintain a progressive dividend policy.

The net asset value total return, with net income reinvested, for the six months to 30 June 2020 fell by 10.7% compared with a fall of 4.7% for the Company’s Reference Index.

Last year was only the fifth out of 16 calendar years the £1.5 billion Trust underperformed its benchmark since Bruce Stout was appointed manager in June 2004.

Between 30 June 2004-30 June  2020 the trust has produced a share price total return of 394% versus a benchmark return of 343%. The dividend has more than tripled, from 15.8p to 53.5p.

Markets: China slips

China’s retail sales slipped in July, dashing expectations for a modest rise, as consumers in the world’s second-largest economy failed to shake off wariness about the coronavirus, while the recovery in the factory sector struggled to gain momentum.

Retail sales dropped 1.1% on year, missing predictions for a 0.1% rise and following a 1.8% fall in June.

Industrial output grew 4.8% in July from a year earlier, in line with June’s growth but less than forecasts for a 5.1% rise.

Today’s Agenda

Pubs are now legally required to take customer details

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

France and Netherlands added to quarantine list

Firms face a ‘reckoning’ as furlough nears end

Walkers reveals US tariff could have cost 250 jobs

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