Cineworld jumps on bid talk | FTSE closes on 8,000
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4.30pm: Cineworld in view
Cineworld jumped 18% after it emerged that Vue International has lined up financial backing from its new shareholders to help assemble a takeover tilt for struggling cinema chain, according to Sky News.
Vue, the biggest privately-owned cinema group in Europe, is said to have the backing of its new shareholders, Barings and Farallon Capital Management, should it decide to make a bid for Cineworld which wants bids submitted by the end of this week.
Cineworld said in January that it was looking for a buyer but warned shareholders that any transaction would “result in a very significant dilution of existing equity interests”. Essentially, existting shareholders would lose their shirts.
That failed to deter investors who pushed heavily-indebted Cineworld shares 17.6% higher to 5p, valuing it at £70 million.
The FTSE 100 shrugged off concerns over the flatlining economy and rising interest rates to edge ever closer to the 8,000 threshold. Despite falls across the housebuilding sector it ended the session 65.15 points higher at 7,947.60, within two points of its best level of 7,949.57, which was achieved last Thursday.
Firms pay rises, but hiring falls
Companies plan to cut hiring although a shortage of workers means they are willing to pay record salaries for the staff they need.
A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found the typical UK employer is planning to raise pay by 5% – the highest since records began in 2012.
More than half of firms intend to recover their costs by raising prices, which will set alarm bells ringing among those trying to control inflation.
7am: Iomart adviser
Glasgow-based cloud computing firm Iomart has appointed Investec Bank as the company’s nominated adviser and sole broker with immediate effect.
UK banking results are published this week with Barclays, NatWest and Standard Chartered issuing statements.
Economic data in the week includes keenly watched US and UK inflation figures, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Stock markets were mostly lower in Asia this morning. The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.9%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.7%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.5%.
Brent oil was trading at $85.49 a barrel early today, lower than $86.41 late Friday.