Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Thursday 3 October 2019

3rd October 2019

What really matters... COVID-19

The FTSE, CAC and DAX are all expected to open down this morning.

In Asia, the Nikkei, Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite are all down.

Stock market moves

In other news

  • US plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on EU goods following authorisation from the World Trade Organisation
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to meet with his cabinet following scepticism from Brussels towards his most recent Brexit plan
  • H&M set to announce profits jump by a quarter off the back of strong summer sales

Politics today

  • Exiting the European Union Minister James Duddridge is expected to visit the Scottish Parliament

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Imperial Brands PLC Imperial Brands Chief Executive Officer to Step Down
  • Imperial Brands PLC today announces that Chief Executive Officer Alison Cooper and the Board have agreed that she will step down from the role of CEO and from the Board once a suitable successor is found.
  • While the search for a successor continues, Alison will focus on driving the performance of the business, including the asset divestment programme, which we expect to realise proceeds of up to £2 billion by May 2020.
  • Further announcements on the Chairman and CEO will be made when their successors are appointed.
  • Mark Williamson, Chairman, said: “Alison has worked tirelessly and with great energy and passion during her 20 years with Imperial, nine of which have been as CEO, and the Board would like to thank her for the tremendous contribution she has made.”
Assura PLC Trading Update
  • Current portfolio of 560 properties.
  • Two developments completed (Darley Dale & South Woodham Ferrers) at a cost of £8.4m and five moved to on site (Canterbury, St Leonards, Hereford, Launceston and Bournville); total of 14 developments on site at the period end with a total development cost of £69m.
  • Immediate development pipeline of £72m.
  • Immediate acquisitions pipeline of £65m, compared with £41m at March 2019.
  • As at 30 September 2019 gross debt stood at £757m with undrawn facilities of £250m.
  • Jonathan Murphy, CEO, said: “Assura has had a very active first six months of the reporting year as we continue to build on our strong progress.  The acquisition of GPI, announced in May this year, has been integrated into Assura successfully, and further strengthens our market-leading position, putting us in a better place to provide GPs with the real estate that they need to help alleviate the stresses in the NHS. We remain confident in our outlook for the year and look forward to sharing a fuller update at our interim results in November.”
Stagecoach Group PLC Trading Statement
  • We are pleased by the strong performance during the period of our UK Bus (London) Division, where favourable service performance has resulted in higher than anticipated Quality Incentive Contract income.
  • We are encouraged with our performance on current year tenders for Transport for London contracts, and believe our bidding strategy will support the long-term sustainability of the business.
  • Like-for-like revenue growth at our UK Bus (regional operations) Division was 1.0% for the twenty weeks ended 14 September 2019.
  • We continue to see regional variations in performance, with patronage trends typically strongest in urban areas and the southern half of the country.
  • We have worked collaboratively with the new operator to ensure the smooth transition of the East Midlands rail franchise.
  • On 25 April 2019, the Company announced a share buyback programme to buy back shares with an aggregate market value of no more than £60m.  Since then until the close of business on 2 October 2019, the Company bought back 21,830,035 ordinary shares at a cost of approximately £28.5m.
Centamin PLC Retirement of Chief Executive Officer
  • Centamin today announces that Andrew Pardey has informed the Board of his intention to retire as Chief Executive Officer.
  • The Nomination Committee, chaired by Edward Haslam, is initiating a search process to find a new CEO, commencing with the appointment of a global executive search firm.
  • Andrew will continue with his responsibilities – fully supported by the Executive team and the Board – while assisting the search process and facilitating an orderly handover to the appointed successor, within his 12-month notice period.
  • Andrew Pardey, CEO, said: “It has been a privilege to be involved with Centamin and grow with it, from General Manager to Chief Operating Officer and ultimately serving the last four years as Chief Executive Officer. I would like to thank the Board, all my colleagues and the shareholders for their dedication, loyalty and support transforming this business and building an exceptional mine.”


Finablr PLC Finablr and Samsung announce partnership
  • Finablr PLC and Samsung Electronics America today announce the launch of the Money Transfer feature in Samsung Pay.
  • Money Transfer in Samsung Pay is available now in the US and will be expanded to further markets in 2020.
  • Promoth Manghat, Group CEO at Finablr, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Samsung to launch the new in-app Money Transfer service. Underpinned by our integrated technology platform, this service demonstrates our ability to drive payments innovation worldwide, in line with the strategic and financial outlook provided for our B2B and Payments Technology Solutions business at the time of IPO. Combining our industry-leading network and pioneering technology with Samsung’s leadership in the mobile device market allows us to drive innovation at a scale that is unique in the US$127 trillion global cross border payments market. The launch of this product advances our mission to meet the needs of financial consumers and further strengthens our position as a partner of choice for global payments and technology companies.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev AB InBev's Asia unit raises extra $750 in greenshoe option
  • The Asia-Pacific unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev said that it had sold an additional $750m in shares after raising $5bn in its Hong Kong initial public offering.
  • In a statement to the city’s stock exchange, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC said that bankers had fully exercised a so-called over-allotment option, often referred to as a greenshoe, to sell an additional 217.8m shares, or 15 per cent of the initial float.
  • The shares were priced at HK$27 ($3.4), the same as at the IPO, and the lower end of the stock’s pricing range
CMC Markets PLC Spread betting group CMC Markets forecasts rise in annual profits
  • CMC Markets expects profits to rise this year as the company begins to stabilise after regulatory changes and quiet market conditions.
  • The group announced that it expects full year pre tax profits to rise.
  • In a trading update for the six months to the end of September, CMC said it expects full year operating income to exceed £107m (2018: £130.8m).
  • The group’s contracts for difference business is expected to see revenue rise to £85m from the £63m reported in the first half of 2019.
  • Peter Cruddas, CEO, said: “This time last year we had the uncertainty of regulatory change hanging over the sector and the uncertainty of how clients would react to the changes in minimum margin levels. A year on, we are seeing clients adapting to the new changes and still maintaining their interest in the products and the trading platform we offer.”