Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Wednesday 23 June 2021

23rd June 2021

In the news

  • HMRC has promised that it will not pursue businesses for unpaid taxes to avoid a wave of insolvencies this summer.
  • According to the Financial Times, every taxpayer-backed loan provided by Greensill Capital under a government scheme went to companies linked to metals magnate Sanjeev Gupta.
  • UK exporters have received the highest level of support in 30 years after being given over £12bn in state financial aid.
  • Vivendi has won shareholders’ support to hive off Universal Music Group into a separate company.
  • Morgan Stanley employees and clients who have not been vaccinated will be barred from entering the bank’s New York offices.

Politics today

  • The House of Commons sits from 11:30am with Scotland questions, followed by PMQs at noon.
  • Labour is expected to table an urgent question asking for a statement on social care reform at 12:30pm today.
  • The House of Lords sits from noon with the main business discussing Day 2 of the Environment Bill’s committee stage at 1:30 pm.

Stock market moves

  • In Asia, Japan’s Topix index shed 0.5% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3%.
  • In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% while the Nasdaq 100 futures edged up 0.3%.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 is trading up 0.4% and the STOXX 600 is trading up 0.3% in the early hours of the morning.
  • Bitcoin rebounded, rising past $30,000 after earlier briefly erasing gains for the year.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Persimmon PLC Voluntary Agreement With CMA
  • Following constructive discussions with the CMA Persimmon announces that it has agreed a number of voluntary informal undertakings relating to its historic sale of leasehold houses.
  • This agreement brings to an end Persimmon’s involvement in the on-going CMA leasehold investigation.
  • The informal voluntary undertakings agreed today largely extend existing schemes Persimmon has in place and have been made without any admission of wrongdoing or liability.
  • Dean Finch, CEO, said: “Persimmon has not historically sold leasehold houses in high volumes and introduced a Right to Buy scheme for leaseholders in 2017. However, we are committed to putting our customers first and have voluntarily agreed to extend this existing support to provide further certainty and reassurance.”
Phoenix Group Holdings PLC Strategic Investor Update and Board Change
  • The Group notes that Swiss Re has announced the successful sale of 66,199,917 shares in Phoenix, representing approximately 6.6% of Phoenix’s total issued share capital.
  • Following the settlement of the transaction, Swiss Re’s holding in Phoenix will be approximately 6.6% of Phoenix’s total issued share capital.
  • As a result of Swiss Re’s holding falling below 10% of Phoenix’s total issued share capital, the Relationship Agreement shall cease to be effective and Swiss Re shall no longer be entitled to appoint a non-executive director to the Phoenix Board.
  • As a consequence, Swiss Re has given notice that its nominated representative, Christopher Minter, will resign from the Phoenix Board.
AstraZeneca PLC Orpathys approved in China for lung cancer
  • AstraZeneca and HUTCHMED’s Orpathys has been granted conditional approval in China to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
  • This approval follows a priority review designation by the Center for Drug Evaluation of China’s National Medical Products Administration.
  • Christian Hogg, CEO, said: “This approval is a testament to the perseverance and scientific ingenuity of this long-standing alliance, and we are hopeful that this is only the beginning of the progress we can achieve for patients with MET-altered tumours.”
Anglo American PLC De Beers rough diamond sales cycle 5, 2021
  • The Group announces the value of rough diamond sales for De Beers’ fifth sales cycle of 2021, amounting to $470m.
  • De Beers Group has continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the fifth sales cycle of 2021, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration
  • As a result, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for Cycle 5 represents the expected sales value for the period 7 June to 22 June and remains subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.
  • Bruce Cleaver, CEO, said: “Overall sentiment is increasingly optimistic as we move towards the second half of the year and, while risks as a result of the global pandemic persist, we have been encouraged by the condition of the market.”
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) PLC Final Results
  • The Group reports £518.1m  in profit before tax, an increase of 2.9% (2020:£503.7m).
  • Net cash of £1.1bn cash due on forward sales of £1.7bn and the estimated future gross margin in our land holdings increased to £6.9bn, with a further £0.6bn in the near-term pipeline.
  • Commitment to £281m per annum Shareholder Returns up to 30 September 2025 re-affirmed.
  • Rob Perrins, CEO, said: “Looking to the future, we launched an ambitious new ten-year vision “Our Vision 2030: Transforming Tomorrow”. This maintains Berkeley’s leadership position in sustainability, providing a framework for the business that recognises both the complexity of what we do…”
Liontrust Asset Management PLC Final Results
  • Adjusted profit before tax of £64.3m (2020: £38.1m), an increase of 69%.
  • Revenues (Gross Profit) of £164m (2020: £107m), an increase of 54%.
  • On 31 March 2021, assets under management and advice were £30.9bn (2020: £16.1bn), an increase of 92%.
  • John Ions, CEO, said: “The importance and benefit of high-quality active fund management with strong long-term performance has been reiterated by the pandemic. Our investment teams can allocate the capital that companies and the economy need to deliver a positive outcome and engage to ensure best business practices.”
Synthomer PLC Appointment of Group Chief Executive Officer
  • The Group announces the appointment of Michael Willome as CEO.
  • Michael will succeed Calum MacLean, who announced in January 2021.
  • Michael is an established public market CEO with a track record of driving performance through both strong operational management and strategic actions, including M&A.
  • Caroline Johnstone, CEO, said:  “I am delighted to welcome Michael to the Company. He is a high calibre, proven business leader with considerable experience in the global speciality chemicals industry and a strong track record of driving growth and profitability.”