Pru raising £2bn in Hong Kong | FTSE 100 plunges
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5pm: `Airlines prevent bigger slide in markets
The FTSE 100 index ended down 59.73 points, or 0.9%, at 6,903.91, its lowest close since July. It recovered from being 1.9% lower earlier in the session. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index shed 257.22 points, or 1.1% of its value.
Hefty gains for airline stocks prevented sharper falls. Danni Hewson AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “The UK’s travel sector has tried to do its bit today but even the anticipation that transatlantic travel might be back on the cards by November wasn’t enough to stop the rout.
“Whilst British Airways owner IAG (up 11%) stormed up the FTSE 100 risers, mining and banking shares were pulling in the other direction.”
EasyJet closed 4% higher and Wizz Air rose 1.4%.
Meanwhile, Ms Hewson fears the potential default of the Chinese property developer Evergrande could have far reaching and unexpected consequences.
12.30pm: Interpath opens Edinburgh office
Interpath Advisory, the restructuring business spun off from KPMG, has opened its first UK office in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
11.45am: British Gas to supply People’s Energy customers
Ofgem has appointed British Gas to supply the 350,000 household and 1,000 business customers of Scotland-based People’s Energy’s which collapsed last week.
10.30am: Turnover up at Eureka Solutions
Cloud-based business software firm Eureka Solutions has posted a 2% rise in annual turnover to £4.5m in the 12 months to the end of May. The East Kilbride firm also saw enquiries double and client numbers increase by 4% and it has hired 12 staff.
CEO David Lindores said: “Like every other employer, we’ve had to deal with fear and uncertainty, but we have focused on our clients, just as many of them turned to cloud-based software as a work from home solution.”
8.15am: FTSE 100 plunges
The FTSE 100 plunged at the open and was trading 70 points lower at 6,893.85.
7.40am: Pru to raise funds in Hong Kong
Prudential the UK-based insurer, has confirmed plans to raise HK$22.5bn (£2bn) through a listing of shares on the Hong Kong stock market.
The group said it would sell 130.8m new shares or about 5% of its total in issue through a combination of an institutional placing, an employee tranche and an offer of 6.5m shares to investors in Hong Kong.
Pricing will be determined on 25 September but will be a maximum price of HK$172 per share, with dealings in the shares to start in Hong Kong on 4 October.
The company last week completed the demerger of its US business Jackson Life, after pressure from activist shareholder Third Point which built up a 5% stake in the Pru last year.
7am: SSE says ‘no decision’ on break-up
Energy firm SSE said there has been “no decision” to break up the group, following a report that it would succumb to pressure from activist investor Elliot.
Traders expected a nervous opening in London after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3% amid concerns over stagflation – rising prices combined with slow economic growth.
The FTSE 100 looks unlikely to climb back above the 7,000-mark with China also taking a hard line on commodity prices and UK investors focused on the growing crisis around gas prices and food supplies.
Tokyo and Shanghai were closed for public holidays.