FTSE 100 Rises as Glencore, AstraZeneca Rally
The FTSE 100 rises 0.9% to 7602 points, led by Glencore after the miner announced record annual earnings and said it would return $4 billion to shareholders. Glencore's shares rise 3.8%. AstraZeneca gains 3.3% after the pharmaceutical major reported positive results from a trial of its prostate cancer treatment. U.K. banks also rally ahead of the start of the sector's earnings season on Thursday. "Although shares have been under strong pressure in the last couple of trading sessions, hopes are positive for signs that the banks have comfortably weathered the latest economic storm following the pandemic and are now positioned to update investors on their plans for the next leg of growth," Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter says.
Glencore to Return $4 Bln to Shareholders After Record 2021
Glencore PLC said Tuesday that it will return $4.0 billion to shareholders after reporting record 2021 earnings on the back of higher commodity prices.
Metro Bank CFO Steps Down
Metro Bank PLC said on Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer David Arden will step down with immediate effect and leave the company on April 1.
Ferrexpo Appoints Jim North as Permanent CEO
Ferrexpo PLC said Tuesday that it has appointed Jim North as permanent chief executive officer.
Babcock International to Buy Australian Joint Venture's Remaining 50%
Babcock International Group PLC said Tuesday that it will acquire the remaining 50% of an Australian naval joint venture for 60 million Australian dollars ($42.8 million).
Kerry Group to Buy Majority Stake in C-LEcta for EUR137M; Acquired Enmex in Dec for EUR62M
Kerry Group PLC said Tuesday that it has reached agreement to acquire around 92% of c-LEcta GmbH for 137 million euros ($154.9 million), and that it acquired Enmex SA de CV on Dec. 14 for EUR62 million.
Softline Holding 3Q Adjusted Ebitda Rose
Softline Holding PLC said Tuesday that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 after geographic expansion, sales channel development and product portfolio expansion.
Plus500 Says 2021 Pretax Profit Fell, to Buy Back $55 Mln in Shares
Plus500 Ltd. said Tuesday that pretax profit for 2021 fell as the group focused on changing its portfolio and geographic footprint, and declared a share buyback program.
Smartspace Software Sees Fiscal 2022 Revenue Rise, Widened Adjusted Ebitda Loss
Smartspace Software PLC said Tuesday that it expects to report slightly ahead of market expectations results for fiscal 2022, including a 15% rise in revenue and a widened adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Mysale Group 1H Revenue, Underlying Ebitda Fell
Mysale Group PLC said Tuesday that revenue and underlying Ebitda fell in the first half of fiscal 2022 as supply-chain volatility in the second quarter hurt broader profitability, and that the board was taking a cautious approach to its full-year outlook.
Honeycomb Investment to Buy Pollen Street for GBP285M
Honeycomb Investment Trust PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Pollen Street Capital Holdings Ltd. in an all-share deal that values the asset manager at 285 million pounds ($385.5 million).
Frenkel Topping Says 2021 Assets Under Management Rose; Off to Strong Start in 2022
Frenkel Topping Group PLC said Tuesday that its assets under management rose in 2021, with full-year trading in line with expectations, and that it has had a strong start to 2022, boosted by the acquisition of Cardinal Management Ltd.
PCF Group Shares to Be Suspended From April Due to Delayed 2021 Results
PCF Group PLC traded down 19% on Tuesday after it said that its shares will be suspended from April 1 due to the delayed publication of its audited 2021 results.
Burford Capital Expects to Report 2021 Net Loss on Continued Court Delays
Burford Capital Ltd. said Tuesday that it expects to report a full-year 2021 net loss on the back of continued court delays affecting progress of portfolio matters, and a net loss in the first half.
Smithson Investment Trust Names Diana Dyer Bartlett to Be Next Chairman
Smithson Investment Trust PLC said that Chairman Mark Pacitti will retire from the board on Feb. 28, and that Diana Dyer Bartlett will be the next chairman.
Gilt-Bund Spread Expected to Widen Further
0859 GMT - The gap, or spread, between 10-year U.K. benchmark government debt and its German counterpart is likely to widen further and Mizuho analysts are advising clients to position for this. "Gilt-Bund has started the week by widening as per our high conviction view," analysts at the Japanese bank say, adding that they recommend looking to add more to this position on a pullback today. While the U.K. is selling a 10-year debt today, "the more potent catalyst from sterling rates comes on Wednesday with U.K. inflation data," they say.
Glencore's Coal Exposure Will Raise Questions Despite Booming Year
0900 GMT - Last year was a booming one for Glencore, but the company's current strategy reeks of kicking the transition down the road, Freetrade says, noting that coal remains a big part of the business. While Glencore's peers are distancing themselves from coal, Glencore seems happy to hang onto it, but shareholders will likely ask what exactly is being done to address ESG standards, the investing platform says. "The best PR machine out there wouldn't be able to convince the market that the coal division is a sustainable or responsible one--what it might be is a necessary evil Glencore has to pursue while other key segments linked to electric vehicles grow," Freetrade says.
UK Household Income Squeeze Isn't Likely to Last Long
0859 GMT - The cost of living crisis in the U.K. isn't expected to last for long as a favorable labor market backdrop points to positive outlook for both nominal and real wages, Berenberg says. Toward the latter part of 2022, the bank projects solid gains in real wages as inflation moderates toward 3% and nominal wages continue to rise at rates of around 4-5% on year, with risks tilted to the upside. "In our view, inflation will not exceed nominal wage gains for long at a time when the U.K.'s labour markets are historically tight," Berenberg says. "As a result, the period of falling real wages is likely to be short," it says.
Glencore Delivers on Profits, Returns Expectations
0847 GMT - Glencore has posted a solid result for 2021, with adjusted Ebitda of $21.3 billion in line with consensus, RBC Capital Markets says. Dividends of $0.26 a share were complemented by a $550 million buyback, bringing total distributions to $0.30, ahead of the $0.25 consensus, the Canadian bank says. In addition, net debt was reduced more than expected on the back of lower capital expenditure and cash taxes, which bodes well for future consensus cash distributions, RBC says. Shares in the commodity trading and mining giant rise 3.9%. "Today's news provides potential for Glencore to start to further rerate," RBC says.
UK's Strong Labor Market Data Adds to Case for More Rate Increases
0828 GMT - The U.K.'s labor market appears to have suffered little from the Omicron wave of the coronavirus, paving the way for the Bank of England to increase rates again in March, ING says. However, it is unlikely that the country is headed for a wage-price spiral that would justify the six rate increases that markets are now expecting from the BoE this year, the Dutch bank says. "Policymakers are likely to hike more gradually than investors expect," it says.
Glencore Rises After Booking $1.5 Bln Provision for Outstanding Investigations
0821 GMT - Glencore has taken a $1.5 billion earnings provision for outstanding legal liabilities and expects to resolve all of the U.S., U.K. and Brazilian investigations in 2022, which helps clear a major ESG risk for the company, RBC Capital Markets says. The bank had estimated a $3.0 billion impact from the investigations and market expectations are wide-ranging, RBC notes. "Although the Swiss and Dutch investigations are expected to remain outstanding, we believe that with the main investigations quantified this will likely derisk the company from this 'unknown known' which has been an overhang for the company since 2018," RBC says. Shares in the Anglo-Swiss commodity major rise 4.1% after reporting 2021 earnings.
Pound Little Moved After UK Employment Data as Inflation Figures Eyed
0803 GMT - The latest U.K. employment figures support the case for the Bank of England to raise interest rates further but sterling shows little reaction as investors await inflation data on Wednesday, Silicon Valley Bank says. "Another solid employment report further justifies the BOE's projected path for raising interest rates this year, as the central bank battles with persistent inflationary pressure," Silicon analysts say in a note. "FX markets will maintain their focus on tomorrow's CPI reading before adjusting any GBP/USD positions." GBP/USD trades at 1.3531, little changed after the data. EUR/GBP is also little moved at 0.8361.
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