Hargreaves Lansdown shares plunge| McColl’s capital plan
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5pm: SSE leads FTSE 100
Shares in Perth-based SSE rose sharply today after weekend speculation of a potential £20 billion takeover bid for the energy utility. Full story here.
The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.13% at 7,132.30 with the tug of war between Philip Morris and private equity group Carlyle over Vectura proved another highlight. It stepped up a notch when PMI put in a 165p bid for the inhaler maker.
The Takeover Panel has asked both parties to submit final bids by 5pm tomorrow, or go to an auction, which will last until 17 August.
Hargreaves Lansdown dropped 11.34% as the investment platform posted a dip in full-year pre-tax profit (see below).
The company still said net new business inflows and assets under administration rose as demand for its services – particularly online – grew.
Investors were likely focusing on the 8% decline in the total dividend and chief executive Chris Hill’s warning that trading levels were expected to moderate.
8.15am: Market opens lower
The FTSE 100 was trading slightly lower at 7,109.98, down −12.97 (0.18%).
7.45am: Hampden & Co strong first half
Private bank Hampden & Co has reported a strong first half, with year-on-year double-digit increases in income, deposits and lending. In the six months to 30 June 2021, income was up by £1.2 million or 24%.
7am: Hargreaves Lansdown hits record
Wealth manager Hargreaves Lansdown reported a record performance and new clients.
The firm signed up 233,000 net new clients and posted £8.7 billion of net new business in the year to the end of June, taking total clients to 1.645 million and assets to £135.5bn. But profit before tax slipped 3% to £366 million and the dividend was lower.
Chief executive Chris Hill said: “‘We have delivered a record performance and exceptional growth during an extraordinary and challenging year.
“The pandemic has accelerated two trends that were already evident to us: a permanent shift to digital; and a change in the demographic mix. Demand for our digital services has soared with 393 million digital visits and 98% of trades being done online.
“In FY21, 83% of our new clients were under 55, as we saw younger clients showing an interest investing and saving, prioritising financial resilience as they benefit from the transition of wealth from older generations.
“We have not furloughed our people, enacted any COVID related redundancy programmes or sought any Government assistance.”
7am: McColl’s capital raising talk
Newsagent and convenience store chain McColl’s Retail has confirmed reports that it is exploring a potential capital raise to increase the number of its Morrisons Daily store conversions, accelerate the pace of roll-out of its Morrisons Daily store conversion programme, and strengthen its balance sheet.
“No final decisions have been made on whether to proceed with a capital raise or with regards to the timing or size of any such capital raise,” it said.
“The company will make a further announcement if and when appropriate.”
Japan and Singapore markets were closed, leaving trading volumes thin across the region.
However, the Shanghai Composite in China shrugged off lacklustre Chinese trade data and gained 1.07% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.63%.
Oil: Brent Crude sank 2% on concerns that the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus would temper travel demand.
Investors are still assessing whether Friday’s strong US payrolls report would take the Federal Reserve a step nearer to winding back its stimulus.