Investec to scrap interim dividend, Man Group launches share buyback
The FTSE 100 is expected to open nine points lower on Friday, having closed down 0.47% at 6,049.92 on Thursday.
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Investec said it would scrap an interim dividend as it guided for a fall of up to 57% in headline earnings per share in volatile market conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The investment manager forecast headline earnings per share to be between 7.3p - 9p, 47% to 57% behind the 17.0p reported a year ago.
Man Group has announced a one-year share buyback programme of up to $100m (£77m) to reduce its share capital and pay shares to employees. The company said it would buy back about 66m shares between 18 September 2020 and 17 September 2021.
Environmental infrastructure fund JLEN announced the acquisition of Northern Hydropower Holdings (NHHL) on Friday, for a total consideration, including working capital, of £4.74m. The FTSE 250 company said NHHL owns all of the equity in Northern Hydropower, which in turn holds the rights to two operational hydro projects, including a co-located operational battery storage system at one of the sites. It said the assets are located in Yorkshire and Cornwall.
The value of the Queen’s land and property has been written down by more than £500m following a steep fall in rental receipts from shops. The Crown Estate encompasses London’s Regent Street and St James’s as well as malls and retail parks around the country, alongside the rights to seabeds around the British Isles. However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to consider the value of its holdings as retailers and office tenants struggle to make rental payments. – Guardian
Tom Watson, the former Labour MP who was one of parliament’s most virulent campaigners for gambling reform, has joined the world’s largest online betting company as an adviser. Flutter Entertainment, which owns Paddy Power, Betfair and SkyBet, said it would pay Watson a retainer, understood to be less than £100,000, to advise it on tackling problem gambling. – Guardian
Almost one in two firms are planning to cut jobs or freeze hiring in the next 12 months as a second wave of Covid-19 looms, the CBI has said. The business group’s latest annual survey of 248 employers, carried out with recruitment agency Pertemps, showed companies are also gearing up to cut hours and restructure as the economy heads into a difficult autumn. – Telegraph
The founder of Nvidia has promised to sign a “legally binding” agreement to preserve jobs and investment at Arm Holdings after he takes control of the British microchip designer. Unions and industry leaders have raised concerns that the American group could slash headcount at Arm’s Cambridge headquarters after the $40 billion takeover. Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s billionaire chief executive, told the Times that he intended to increase Arm’s research and development budget and its workforce and that he was willing to put the promise in writing. – The Times
A British minerals explorer has discovered a “globally significant” grade of lithium in Cornwall, raising hopes that the metal could be mined in the county. Preliminary sampling from hot springs at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project, near Redruth, yielded some of the world’s highest grades of lithium for such waters, Cornish Lithium said yesterday. – The Times
Wall Street stocks closed lower on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve vowed to keep interest rates at their current level until 2023, as market participants mulled over some conflicting statements around the roll-out of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.47% at 27,901.98, while the S&P 500 lost 0.84% to 3,357.01, and the Nasdaq Composite was off 1.27% at 10,910.28.
The Dow Jones closed 130.4 points lower on Thursday, reversing gains recorded in the previous session.
On Wednesday evening, the Federal Open Markets Committee said the US overnight rate could remain zero-bound for the next three years as part of an effort to prompt inflation.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said the Fed would maintain easy monetary policy until "maximum employment" can be achieved.