Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Friday 25 September 2020

25th September 2020

In the news

  • Only staff who work at least a third of their normal hours will be eligible for the updated furlough scheme
  • Blue Cross Group settles antitrust case for $2.7 billion
  • Palantir expected to be valued at nearly $22 billion in IPO
  • France dismissed the UK’s warnings about post-Brexit transport delays across the Channel as tactical posturing
  • FTSE gives China bonds green light for influential index

Politics today

  • Ministers face fresh questions today over how Chancellor Rishi Sunak will pay for his coronavirus bailout schemes, after the latest debt figures were revealed.
  • The UK is set to scrap former Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to replace access to the EU’s satellite navigation system Galileo after Brexit with a home-grown equivalent.
  • Lib Dem (virtual) conference opens at 2.15 p.m. this afternoon.

Stock market moves

  • In Europe the FTSE 100 opened up at +0.1% and the STOXX 600 opened flat.
  • Overnight, the S&P 500 edged higher Thursday, avoiding correction territory, as technology stocks recovered some of their recent losses. The S&P 500 closed up 9.67 points, or 0.3%, at 3246.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.31 points, or 0.2%, to 26815.44, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 39.28 points.
  • In Asia, China’s major indexes flitted in choppy trade on Friday, but are on track for their worst weekly decline since mid-July as the resurgence in coronavirus cases globally raised concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery.
  • Oil prices were steady on Thursday as a new wave of coronavirus cases in Europe led several countries to reimpose travel restrictions, offsetting a bullish drop in US crude and fuel inventories.


Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Shaftesbury PLC Trading Statement
  • 41% of rents due for the six months to 30 September 2020 collected, 10% are expected to be subject to deferred collection arrangements, 23% are being waived and 26% remain outstanding at 11 September 2020.
  • EPRA vacancy at 31 August 2020: 9.7% of ERV (31.3.2020: 4.8%); residential accounted for 46% of the increase, as occupiers from overseas returned to their countries of origin and demand from long-stay international business and leisure travellers halted.
  • In view of current conditions and uncertain near-term outlook, the Board has decided not to declare a final dividend in respect of the year ending 30 September 2020, but intends to resume dividend payments as soon as it considers prudent.
  • Brian Bickell, CEO, said: “Longer term, the exceptional qualities and features of London and the West End provide firm foundations for recovery as pandemic disruption recedes. Their long history of embracing change, dynamism, creativity and their enduring global appeal will be their most important strengths in a post-pandemic world of new priorities, expectations and patterns of activity. Against this backdrop, and with the benefit of our experienced, entrepreneurial and innovative management team, we remain confident in the long-term prospects for our exceptional portfolio and business.”
Pennon Group PLC Trading Statement
  • The impact of COVID-19 to date is broadly in line with Pennon’s initial assumptions for a net revenue impact in 2020/21 of £10m.
  • £4.2bn sale of Viridor completed on 8 July with net cash proceeds of £3.7bn received.
  • Outlook: The Group remains in a strong financial position with expected cash and committed facilities well in excess of £3bn at 30 September 2020. Following the completion of the sale of Viridor in July, Pennon’s debt restructuring programme is progressing well, with around two thirds repaid to date of the up to £900mn the Group announced.