LONDON (SHARECAST) - London opened little changed, with pundits citing an absence of big economic data to set the tone.
techMARK 2,139.75 +0.14%
FTSE 100 5,845.36 +0.11%
FTSE 250 11,918.94 +0.13%
RBS aiming to restart divis ... eventually
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the publically owned bank, says it is targeting the resumption of dividend payments after 2013.
The announcement came in a speech by RBS’s Chief Executive, Stephen Hester, at Merrill Lynch’s annual London conference for bank bosses.
In a presentation that accompanied the speech, a resumption of dividend payments is cited as a “milestone” in the recovery plan, along with the sale of Direct Line.
Elsewhere in the financial sector, finance house Close Bros reported a mixed set of full year results with strong growth in its banking division while difficult trading conditions hurt securities. The group said asset management has mostly completed its restructuring and is now positioned for future profitability. Overall, it believes it is well positioned for the current financial year.
Two companies making exhibitions of themselves are Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and Euromoney.
Business publisher and exhibitions firm Euromoney Institutional Investor said trading has been in line with expectations since its last update in late July. As flagged in July, market conditions became noticeably tougher from June, particularly in Europe. As a result, revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be broadly in line with the same period last year, with growth in subscriptions offset by weakness in advertising and delegate revenues.
Meanwhile, DMGT, which owns a stake in Euromoney, confirmed full-year results will be in line with expectations. The regional newspaper business remains on a seemingly irreversible downward course but the business to business division is going gangbusters.
Mining giant Xstrata announced production had begun ahead of schedule at its Lady Loretta zinc mine in north-west Queensland, Australia. The mine was originally supposed to start production at the end of 2013, but first deliveries of zinc-lead-silver ore to the company's Mount Isa processing plant are now set to begin later this month.
FTSE 250 miner Bumi said its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had resigned from his current role as non-executive director following the launch of a probe into 'irregularities' at its Indonesian business. The firm said Ari Hudaya, who was CEO until March and is also president director of PT Bumi Resources, the focus of the investigation, had resigned from the board with immediate effect.
The "urgent" probe into PT Bumi Resources, in which the company has a 29% interest, is focusing on the firm's development funds
Down among the tiddlers, Hornby, the train set and Scalextric slot-car racing firm, has crashed after issuing a profit warning. Sales of Olympics merchandise were lower than forecast, the group revealed.
With equity markets becalmed, gilts are seeing a bit of action. The yield on the benchamrk 10-year gilt is down to 1.77% from around 1.82% overnight, as prices head higher.
On the futures market, the price of Brent crude is back on the rise. The main contract is up 75 cents at $110.56 a barrel.
The price of gold is up $6 to $1,770.60 an ounce.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,643.00p +2.18%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,774.00p +1.90%
Diageo (DGE) 1,749.50p +1.48%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 669.50p +1.44%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,316.00p +1.39%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,910.00p +1.19%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 821.50p +1.17%
Old Mutual (OML) 175.00p +1.10%
BP (BP.) 447.00p +0.90%
BG Group (BG.) 1,263.00p +0.76%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,444.00p -2.47%
Evraz (EVR) 255.80p -2.18%
GKN (GKN) 215.80p -1.42%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 156.40p -1.32%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,737.00p -0.98%
CRH (CRH) 1,220.00p -0.81%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 269.30p -0.81%
Schroders (SDR) 1,542.00p -0.71%
BAE Systems (BA.) 332.30p -0.69%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,960.00p -0.67%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Workspace Group (WKP) 268.10p +2.92%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 648.50p +2.61%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 197.90p +2.49%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 120.90p +2.46%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 596.50p +2.23%
Raven Russia Ltd (RUS) 69.00p +2.22%
Bumi (BUMI) 150.50p +1.96%
Laird (LRD) 228.90p +1.60%
PayPoint (PAY) 746.50p +1.56%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,626.00p +1.56%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 89.15p -2.89%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 37.16p -1.95%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 836.00p -1.70%
SIG (SHI) 103.00p -1.62%
Betfair Group (BET) 736.00p -1.54%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 91.00p -1.46%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 281.30p -1.30%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 115.00p -1.29%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 42.48p -1.21%
Ted Baker (TED) 900.50p -1.15%