Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Tuesday 20 July 2021

20th July 2021

In the news

  • The UK, US and EU have accused China of carrying out a major cyber-attack earlier this year that targeted Microsoft Exchange servers.
  • David Cameron showed a "significant lack of judgement" in the way he lobbied the government on behalf of Greensill Capital, a committee of MPs has concluded.
  • Shareholders have rejected a £1.4bn takeover bid for Spire Healthcare made by rival Ramsay Health Care.
  • People attending nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England will need to be fully vaccinated from the end of September, the government says.

Politics today

  • Dominic Raab will take Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office questions in the House of Commons later this morning.

Stock market moves

  • In the US, the S&P 500 fell 1.6% and the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.9%.
  • Asian stocks fell as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 1.1% and Japan’s Topix index fell 1%.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 is up 1.07% and the STOXX 600 is up 0.93%.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

easyJet PLC Trading Update for the Quarter ended 30 June 2021
  • Fixed costs plus capex have averaged £34m per week.
  • Loss before tax of £318m.
  • easyJet’s capacity in Q4 will be up to 60% of 2019 levels, up from 17% in Q3 2021.
  •  Johan Lundgren, CEO, said: “We have used our existing strengths like our network with renewed purpose – pivoting capacity to Europe where we saw the strongest demand and the very way we have approached the challenges that we faced means we have adapted and built back stronger for the future. As a result, we will emerge from the pandemic with longer-term wins along-side baked in sustainable cost reductions, responding effectively and in ways our competitors don’t or can’t. 
Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC* Interim Report 2021 & Interim Dividend Declaration
  • Profit before tax of £3.0m (30 June 2020: £0.2m).
  • Special dividend paid in March of 21p per share and second interim dividend declared of 16p per share.
  • Customer loans of £1,726m (30 June 2020: £1,565m; 31 December 2020: £1,536m).
  • Customer deposits of £2,643m (30 June 2020: £2,207m; 31 December 2020: £2,365m).
  • Assets under management £1,223m (30 June 2020: £1,074m; 31 December 2020: £1,147m).
  • Sir Henry Angest, Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “During the first half of 2021 the Group has returned to growth across its businesses and restored profitability despite the ongoing low interest rate environment. The acquisition of Asset Alliance is a significant step in our strategy to diversify further through the development of specialist commercial finance businesses. The declaration of an interim dividend at the same level as in 2019 is an indication of our confidence for the future prospects of the Group.”
Herald Investment Trust PLC Half-year Report
  • Net assets per share grew by 14.0% during the first half of 2021.
  • Growth in total assets to £1.7bn.
  • Tom Black, Chairman, said: “While challenges in the world abound, we are fortunate to constantly have our fears diminished by seeing investee companies coping well, and generally delivering growth. We therefore remain attracted by the prospects of our core sectors and the positioning of the portfolio.”
IntegraFin Holdings PLC Q3 Funds Under Direction Update
  • FUD totalled £50,310m, representing an increase of 7.2% over the quarter.
  • Inflows were £1,994m (2020: £1,225m).
  • Alex Scott, CEO, said: Equity markets remained positive over the quarter and this also contributed to FUD passing £50 billion for the first time. We continue to invest in high levels of service to drive top-line growth and to maximise customer experience.  As previously stated, the full year numbers will include elements of non-recurring cost which we signalled at the half year.
Apollo Management IX, L.P* Statement re Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc
  • Apollo confirms that it is in the preliminary stages of discussions with Fortress regarding the recommended offer for Morrisons by Oppidum Bidco Limited (a company owned by funds managed or advised by Fortress).
  • Discussions may result in funds managed or advised by Apollo forming part of the investment group led by Fortress for the purposes of the Fortress Offer. 
  • Consequently, Apollo confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Morrisons other than as part of the Fortress Offer.
BHP Group PLC Operational Review for the Year Ended 30 June 2021
  • Petroleum production for the 2021 financial year was slightly above guidance.
  • Full year production guidance for copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal and nickel were delivered, as was revised guidance for energy coal.
  • Mike Henry, CEO, said: “BHP is in great shape. Our operations are performing well, we continue our track record of disciplined capital allocation, and our portfolio is positively leveraged to the megatrends of decarbonisation, electrification and population growth.”
Anglo American PLC Anglo American Production Report Q2 , 2021
  • Rough diamond production increased by 134%.
  • Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) production increased by 59%.
  • Iron ore production increased by 6%.
  • Mark Cutifani, CEO, said: “We have generally maintained operating levels at approximately 95% of normal capacity and, as a consequence, production increased by 20% compared to Q2 of last year, with planned higher rough diamond production at De Beers, as well as strong plant performance at our Los Bronces copper operation in Chile and higher throughput at our Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa.”