Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Monday 14 September 2020
In the news
- SoftBank agrees to sell Arm Holdings to Nvidia for up to $40bn, with MPs set to impose strict conditions on the cash-and-stock takeover deal.
- ByteDance agrees prelimnary agreement with Oracle for TikTok's US operations.
- Restrictions banning social gatherings of more than six people come into effect today.
- Former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will vote against the government's attempts to override the Brexit deal as MPs continue to criticize the PM's "unconscious" damage to the UK's reputation.
- Work and Pensions ministers to answer questions in the Commons.
Stock market moves
- In Europe, the FTSE 100 and Eurostoxx 600 have both opened up.
- Shares across Asia rose this morning after news emerged that Oracle had struck a deal for the US operations of TikTok, with investors hoping this will ease tensions between Beijing and China. The Topix was up 0.8%, with the Hang Seng up 0.4%.
- US futures likewise rose early this morning following the market’s first back-to-back weekly declines in months.
- Sterling has risen to both the euro and dollar respectively.
Corporate announcements* Maitland Client
Wetherspoon (JD) PLC Update Announcement
- Wetherspoon reports that it has had approximately 32 million customer visits to its 861 open pubs in the 10 weeks since 4 July.
- There have been 66 positive tests for Covid-19 among its 41,564 employees during this time.
- Tim Martin, Chairman, said: “The situation with regard to pubs has been widely misunderstood. For example, Professor Hugh Pennington, of Aberdeen University, has said, without scientific evidence, that pubs are “dangerous places to be” (Daily Express, 14 August). This sort of negative view about pubs may have been fuelled by inaccurate press headlines. Although it is clearly possible for Covid-19 infections to take place in pubs and shops, the evidence indicates that the risk is low, provided social distancing and hygiene rules are followed, and common sense is used, in line with the views of Professor Giesecke and Councillor Ward.”
- NAV per share of 268.5p, a total return of 6.6% to 30 June 2020.
- Revenue and EBITDA growth of 23% and 27% respectively across top 20 investments.
- Share price total return of -7.3% over the period.
- Jim Strang, Chairman, said: “HGT has delivered strong performance in the first half of the financial year, despite a very challenging external environment. The nature of the businesses in which we invest and the operating model of the Manager, Hg, have served HGT well. While the COVID‑19 crisis will have a material impact on the economies where our companies trade, the longer‑term prospects for HGT remain very sound.”
- CLS announces that it has unconditionally exchanged contracts to acquire three office properties in Greater London and the South East, for £59.71m excluding costs from Aviva Investors.
- Fredrik Widlund, CEO, said: “This transaction further builds our presence in London and the South East, delivering attractive yields as well as opportunities to actively manage the buildings to create additional value. We have remained disciplined in our approach to acquisitions and the strength of these assets, combined with our long-term conviction in the UK market, makes this an exciting addition to our portfolio.”