Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Wednesday 9 October 2019

9th October 2019

What really matters... COVID-19

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

In Asia, stocks have mostly slipped today after the US imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials connected to mass detention of Uighurs.

Stock market moves

In other news

  • Two members of government claim that at least 50 Conservative MPs would revolt against a general election manifesto that pursues a no-deal Brexit
  • The White House states it won't cooperate with impeachment inquiry
  • Goldman Sachs sets up emergency trading floor in WeWork's central London office

Politics today

  • Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom will co-chair the first meeting of the Business Finance Council

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Kingfisher PLC Directorate Change
  • Kingfisher today announces the appointment of Bernard Bot as Chief Financial Officer. Bernard will take up the role on 21 October 2019 and will be appointed to the Board of Directors on that date. He will also become a member of the Group Executive team.
  • The Company also announces that John Wartig, who joined Kingfisher as interim CFO on 8 April 2019, has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Transformation and Development Officer. He will remain on the Group Executive team, with direct responsibility for transformation, IT, business development and property, and will report to Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher’s CEO.
  • Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher, said: “Bernard is a highly experienced CFO whose credentials and track record are ideally suited to Kingfisher. He played a central role in the successful transformations at both TNT and Travelport, where he also gained a deep knowledge of technology and digital services, and he has a career-long understanding of logistics and supply chain optimisation. His career at international businesses has also given him strong capital markets expertise as the group CFO of companies listed in the US, UK, Ireland and the Netherlands. We look forward to him getting started later this month. I am also delighted that John will be staying at Kingfisher as our Chief Transformation and Development Officer. In the short time he has been here, he has made a notable impact both in finance and in our ongoing transformation, our IT capabilities and our property portfolio. The knowledge he has built up already, as well as his expertise in these strategically key areas, will be extremely valuable for the business going forward.”
GVC Holdings PLC Q3 Trading update
  • Full year pre-IFRS16 EBITDA guidance range upgraded to £670m – £680m (from £650m – £670m).
  • Continued strong growth in Online with NGR +12% despite the comparative period including  part of the Football World Cup. 
  • Trends in UK Retail remain ahead of initial guidance, with like-for-like NGR -18%, driven by the cut in B2 maximum stakes to £2.
  • Encouraging start in the US following the launch of the BetMGM mobile app in New Jersey. 
  • Kenneth Alexander, CEO, said: “I am delighted that the Group’s financial performance has allowed us to upgrade our full year EBITDA expectations again. Online momentum remains strong across all major territories, with NGR up 12% in the quarter despite the prior period containing part of the World Cup. This performance continues to be driven by our industry-leading technology, products, brands, marketing capability, and people. The launch in September of the BetMGM app in New Jersey, powered by the GVC technology platform, is a key milestone, and our US sports-betting joint venture with MGM Resorts remains very well-placed to capitalise on the US sports-betting opportunity. The integration of the Ladbrokes Coral businesses is progressing well with the migration of the Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala online brands due to commence in Q4 and complete by the end of H1 2020.”
Baillie Gifford Japan Trust PLC Final Results
  • Over the year to 31 August 2019, The Baillie Gifford Japan Trust PLC’s net asset value total return fell by 5.3% and the net asset value total return fell by 5.2% compared to the 0.5% fall in the benchmark TOPIX index total return.
  • In this period the Company’s share price total return fell by 7.4%.
  • A final dividend of 3.50p per ordinary share will be put to shareholders for approval at the AGM.
  • Turnover was 11.5% during the year.
  • Nick AC Bannerman, Chairman, said: “Short term reverses are part and parcel of investing and our emphasis remains on the long-term investment strategy of the Japan Trust as seen in our strong five and ten year records. The Company’s NAV has risen 123% over five years and 326% over ten years compared to the index total return of 76% over five years and 126% over ten years. The share price has risen 125% over five years and 416% over ten years. In recent years the Managers have enjoyed an extremely successful stock selection track record, bolstered by additional benefits from gearing. During the year to 31 August 2019 this has not been the case, despite little change in stock selection, and the Manager still believes there remains significant potential for gains across our portfolio. As stock markets have been uneasy, gearing has also acted as a drag on performance rather than as a positive contributor. Further performance details are to be found in the Managers’ Report.”
LXi REIT PLC* Acquisitions for a combined investment of £23M
  • The Board of Directors of LXi REIT is pleased to announce the following long-let, index-linked acquisitions, for a combined total investment of approximately £23m, reflecting a weighted average net initial acquisition yield of 5.7%, net of acquisition costs (which compares favourably to the Company’s latest portfolio valuation yield of 5.1% as at 31 March 2019).
  • These Acquisitions are being funded by the Company’s new Revolving Credit Facility, announced on 22 July 2019.
  • The Company has exchanged contracts to acquire, by way of a pre-let forward funding, a new 85-bedroom Premier Inn hotel in Romford, Greater London, a new servicing and sales centre for Mercedes commercial vans and trucks in Smethwick, Birmingham, and has exchanged contracts to acquire a recently constructed 25,000 sq ft Aldi foodstore in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.
  • John White, Partner, said: “We are pleased to be acquiring, on an off-market basis, these attractively-priced assets let on long leases to strong tenant covenants across robust sectors with high residual values, which are expected to provide our shareholders with further diversified, secure and inflation-linked income and capital growth potential.”