Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Wednesday 19 August 2020

19th August 2020

In the news

  • Brussels has rejected the UK's demands for wide-ranging access to the EU for truckers, with the European Commission telling EU member states that the request was too "unbalanced" and similar to pre-Brexit levels
  • Universities across the UK are demanding significant financial support as they are due to lose students as a result of the government's U-turn over A-level marks
  • Marriott International is facing a London lawsuit following a data hack of hundreds of millions of guest records back in 2018
  • The Democratic party formally nominated Joe Biden as its presidential candidate on Tuesday night
  • The ONS has published monthly CPI figures for July noting that it was 1.1% for the month (up from 0.8% in July)

Politics today

  • Parliament remains in recess.

Stock market moves

  • The S&P500 closed at a record high on Tuesday, marking the first all-time high since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US.
  • Asian markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 and STOXX 600 are trading marginally down in early hours.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Polymetal International PLC Underground EV development partnership with SMT
  • Polymetal is pleased to announce the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with SMT Scharf AG for a potential strategic cooperation in underground electric vehicles development in line with its climate strategy.
  • Initially, collaboration is to be focused on mid-ranged LHDs and trucks, with potential involvement of drill rigs and utility vehicles in the future.
  • The strategic cooperation is set to last for 10 years with an opportunity for further extension.
  • Vitaly Savchenko, COO, said: “The partnership with SMT grants us an easy access to customisable battery electric vehicles which could positively contribute to our operating costs dynamics, GHG emissions and personnel safety at underground mines”.
National Express Group PLC* Further announcement on Board changes
  • Further to the announcement on 24 June 2020 the Board of National Express Group today announces that it has agreed with Dean Finch that his last day as Group CEO will be 31 August 2020.
  • In addition to his current responsibilities as Group CFO, Chris Davies will take over as Interim Group CEO  from 1 September 2020, until a permanent appointment is made.
  • The search for a new Group Chief Executive Officer is progressing well, with both internal and external candidates under consideration.
Sabre Insurance Group PLC Directorate Change
  • Sabre Insurance Group  announces that Patrick Snowball advised the Board at the start of 2020 that he felt the time was right to start the next stage of succession planning and to seek his successor.
  • Following the completion of an extensive search process and the receipt of regulatory approval, Andy Pomfret, currently the Company’s Senior Independent Director, has been selected to succeed Patrick as Chairman.
  • This appointment takes effect from 1 September 2020, at which point Patrick will step down from the Board and as a Director of the Group.
  • Patrick Snowball said: “With Sabre now successfully established as a listed business the time is right for me to step away and I am pleased to see Andy appointed as Chairman.  He has all the skills and experience required for the role and will be a great source of support to the team”.
Hochschild Mining PLC Interim Results
  • Revenue decreased to $232.0m (2019: $354.5m).
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased to $80.6m (2019: $153.7m).
  • With Inmaculada currently still in a ramp-up phase and the Covid-19 crisis continuing to cause uncertainty in the countries where Hochschild operates, the Board has concluded that it would be inappropriate to pay a distribution to shareholders at this time.
  • Ignacio Bustamante, CEO, said: “Our Company entered the crisis with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position, providing us with resilience and the ability to implement our crisis response and protect our business.”
Softcat PLC FY 2020 Trading Update
  • The Company has continued to trade satisfactorily during the final three months of the year and has delivered operating profit for the full year slightly ahead of the Board’s expectations.
  • Cash generation also remained strong and it is now the Company’s intention to resume its normal dividend policy and timetable later this year.
  • Graeme Watt, CEO, said: “Our performance during the year is a great credit to the team at Softcat and on behalf of the Board I would like to thank them for their exceptional agility. Their commitment, alongside the breadth of our technology offering and customer base, provided a strong foundation for our performance in the second half. “