Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Monday 17 August 2020

17th August 2020

In the news

  • In a bid to rescue the British high street, the government is seeking ways to offer state-backed loans to debt-laden companies owned by private equity groups.
  • Officials have confirmed that Public Health England will be scrapped under a merger with the NHS test and trace programme. More details will be revealed early this week.
  • Debenhams could be broken up between potential buyers as concerns grow around the future of the chain and its 14,000 employees.
  • The UK housing market had its busiest month for at least a decade in July. Agreed property sales were up by 48% yoy, reaching a record £37bn.
  • New Zealand has postponed its general elections until October because of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
  • Japan’s economy shrank 7.8% in the second quarter, its biggest drop since 1995.
  • Russia said it was prepared to provide security support to Alexander Lukashenko as hundreds of thousands demanded the Belarusian leader step down after last week’s disputed election.

Politics today

  • Parliament remains in recess.

Stock market moves

  • Despite growing tensions with the US and after new stimulus measures, China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks gained 1.4% while the Hong Kong Hang Seng added 1%.
  • According to futures as of 8:00BST, Wall Street’s S&P 500 is expected to rise 0.4% when US trading begins later today.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 and Stoxx 600 have both opened marginally up this morning.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Cranswick PLC First quarter trading statement
  • The Company’s Revenue in the 13 weeks to 27 June 2020 was 24.8 % ahead of the same period last year.
  • Excluding the contribution from acquisitions made in the prior year, revenue on a like-for-like basis was 19.2% higher.
  • Capital expenditure in the current financial year is expected to be lower than the record £101 million spent in the prior year.
  • Following the exceptional demand experienced in the first quarter, retail volumes are expected to begin to normalise through the remainder of the year as consumers gradually return to eating out of home.
  • Adam Couch, CEO, said: ” Whilst we remain cautious about the longer-term economic impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations we are well positioned to address these challenge.”
Petropavlovsk PLC Governance & Management Update
  • The Board has appointed Maksim Meshcheriakov as Interim Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.
  • Mr. Meshcheriakov is expected to be a candidate for the Chief Executive Officer role. Dr Pavel Maslovskiy has left the Company.
  • The Board is also pleased to announce that it has appointed James W. Cameron Jr., an existing Independent Non-Executive Director, as Chairman.
  • Chairman James W. Cameron Jr said: “The immediate priority of the Board is to ensure the stability of the management of the business and its assets, and we are delighted with the appointment of Mr Meshcheriakov. Our next step is to provide a robust and transparent governance structure that will command the trust and support of all stakeholders. In my new role as Chairman, I am delighted to have the opportunity to begin that process so that we can return the internal and external focus to our strong asset base and operations.”