Mon 20 May 2013 Jefferies has kept its 'hold' rating and 190p target price for transport firm FirstGroup, saying that while the full-year results on Monday were broadly in line with forecasts, the outlook statement was a little disappointing.
Mon 20 May 2013 1210: The top tier index has now retreated into the red, dragged by miners as they tracked metal prices lower. Polymetal was the worst hit after silver futures slid 3.57 per cent on electronic trading. Gold has lost 1.1 per cent, while platinum is down 1.6 per cent. Also weighing the FTSE down is FirstGroup, which has plunged 20 per cent after issuing a disappointing outlook, cancelling its dividend and announcing the departure of its Chairman. The FTSE is down eight points at 6,715.
Mon 20 May 2013 Chancellor George Osborne is expected to face opposition from Treasury civil servants over his plans to sell the government's stake in part-nationalised lender RBS to the public, reports The Times. Senior officials are said to be against the idea, saying that they are over-complex and have raised concerns about the effect on the deficit.
Sun 19 May 2013 The London Stock Exchange is considering buying a stake in Istanbul’s fast-growing stock market as part of a deal that could see Turkish trades settled in the City. Borsa Istanbul has been seeking an international partner to overhaul its technology and improve the market’s access to foreign investors for several months. The LSE’s proposal would see Borsa Istanbul start to clear its trades through LCH Clearnet, the financial plumbing system now majority-controlled by the LSE. The Turkish exchange would also use the LSE’s Millennium Exchange software, The Sunday Times reports.
Sun 19 May 2013 Thomas Cook still has a long flight ahead of it, but the new Captain at the controls seems to have stabilised the craft. In fact, things now look normal. Above all, the company needs to sharply improve the experience of its customers, quite a challenge. However, the 1.6bn pound capital restructuring announced last week means that the outfit now has a fighting chance. Then there are the upwardly revised cost-savings targets and plans to rationalise its airlines and dealings with hotels. The travel tour operator may be headed for a sunnier future, says The Sunday Times´s Matthew Goodman.
Fri 17 May 2013 Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA) has raised its rating for Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) from 'neutral' to 'buy', saying it is now its most preferred stock in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance sub-sector.
Fri 17 May 2013 1630: Today's session ended firmly higher, up 98 points on the week. RBS led the risers after UBS lifted its rating for the global banking sector from 'underweight' to 'overweight', saying that the operating environment is beginning to improve. The other major news of the day was the finalisation of the tie-up between Morrison and Ocado, which will provide its technology, logistics and distribution operations to the supermarket chain. In economic news, BoE policymaker Martin Weale has dashed hopes that incoming Governor Mark Carney will implement further monetary stimulus to lift the economy.
Fri 17 May 2013 Stock of Bovis Homes, along with its peers, saw an extraordinary surge in its share price yesterday, up 12p to 765p, almost twice where it was last June. The stock is approaching a 30% premium to their estimated net asset value; this seems to be building in an awful lot of the future growth expected by analysts. "Not a bad time to take some profits," writes The Times’s Tempus.
Fri 17 May 2013 The head of the Confederation of British Industry has warned about the risks of Britain quitting the EU, saying that the Conservative party's desire for a referendum on the issue has been a "distraction from securing growth and jobs, which have to be the UK's top priority", reports The Guardian.