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Ocado raises £575m | DS Smith hikes dividend



5pm: Investors tempted back into market

The FTSE 100 closed 30.24 points higher at 7,152.05 as investors crept back into the market to pick up some recently-battered shares.

DS Smith rose 3.72% after the packaging business posted significantly improved full-year profits despite “another year of volatile trading conditions”.

Miners gained following heavy losses in the previous session, with Antofagasta up 2.98%, Rio Tinto rising 2.44% and Glencore 2.08% higher, while oil giants BP and Shell gushed up a respective 0.98% and 1.92% as oil prices rose.

Ocado Group slumped 2.51% after the online grocer and warehouse technology developer raised £575m in a share placing to fund its expansion (see below).

7am: Ocado raises £575m

Online grocer Ocado has raised £575 million through a placing of shares to develop its growth plans amid surging online demand.

It placed 72.3 million shares at 795p each, a 9.4% discount to Monday’s market close of 877.6p.

The placing was done in conjunction with an offer to retail investors involving 246,405 shares and 150,944 subscription shares taken by members of the senior management team, including CEO Tim Steiner, Ocado said.

In addition, it has agreed a £300 million new banking facility.

7am: DS Smith dividend rises

DS Smith hiked its dividend after robust annual results after the packaging company posted strong annual results.

For the financial year that ended 30 April, pretax profit increased 64% to £378 million from £231 million the year before, on revenue of £7.24 billion, up 21% from £5.98 billion.

DS Smith is proposing a total dividend of 15pence, up 24% from 12.1p paid out last year.

7am: AssetCo swoops on SVM Asset Management

Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo wealth management company, has acquired Edinburgh-based SVM Asset Management Holdings, the holding company to SVM Asset Management for £10.7 million.

SVM is an independent, FCA regulated fund management business which was founded in 1990 by Colin McLean and Margaret Lawson, whom, together with a family trust, are the significant majority owners.

Full story here

7am: SMS investments

Smart Metering Systems is investing up to £6.2m acquiring a significant stake in an electric vehicle charging business and buying a data company.

It is committing an initial £2 million to acquire a 25% shareholding in Clenergy EV, a software business focused on EV charging infrastructure.

Full story here

7am: Wood Group hires CEO

John Wood Group has appointed Ken Gilmartin as chief executive from 1 July to replace Robin Watson who is retiring from the Aberdeen-based company.

Full story here

Global markets

Asian stocks and US share futures clawed back some of last week’s losses, though concerns remain that aggressive central bank rate hikes to curtail inflation could spark a global recession.

The Nikkei was up 2.5% leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng, 1.6% higher. The Shanghai Composite was 0.18% to the good whilst the Kospi was up 1.03%..

Oil prices edged higher with traders focusing on tight supplies. US crude rose 2.12% to $111.88 per barrel and Brent was at $115.56, up 1.25% on the day.

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