LSE income rises in third quarter, Glencore to offload rail haulage business
London open The FTSE 100 is expected to open four points on Thursday, after closing up 0.31% at 7,021.92 on Wednesday. Stocks to watch
London Stock Exchange posted its interim management statement for the third quarter to 30 September on Thursday, with total income from continuing operations excluding assets sold and held for sale up 19% to ?414.6m. The FTSE 100 firm said total income from continuing operations was up 14% year-to-date to ?1.2bn. Q3 revenues from continuing operations were up 15% to ?376.2m, and up 11% for 9 months year-to-date at ?1.1bn. “This is another good performance, delivering growth across our core businesses while continuing to invest in a wide range of opportunities to drive future returns,” said chief executive Xavier Rolet.
Anglo-Swiss miner Glencore is to sell its rail coal haulage business in the New South Wales Hunter Valley for £1.14bn to Genesee & Wyoming Australia. The FTSE 100 company agreed to sell Glencore Rail, the third largest coal haulage business in Australia, to GWA, subject to approval from the foreign investment review board. Rio Tinto lowered its iron ore shipment guidance slightly after it fell 5% the third quarter, reduced by port and rail maintenance.
Expectations for Pilbara iron ore shipments for the full year were revised to 325-330m tonnes from the previous 330m. Newspaper round-up Pressure is growing on the government to let companies water down their pension promises to millions of workers, as rising inflation threatens to push up the cost to employers.
A report by the trade body for 1,300 schemes — including those of Tesco, British Airways and Marks and Spencer — has said that allowing salary-linked pensions to pay less generous inflation rises could help keep them solvent. – Financial Times The European commission will redouble its crackdown on multinational tax avoidance with the relaunch of proposals to create an overarching corporation tax regime across all member states. The proposed legislation would subject companies to a single set of rules for calculating their taxable profits, according to a draft seen by the Guardian.
It would be compulsory for corporations with annual turnover of more than EUR750m (?670m) and which are tax-resident in a European country. – Guardian The Pensions Regulator is unlikely to find strong legal grounds to demand Sir Philip Green put more money into the BHS pension scheme, an industry expert has warned. “None of the documents that have been published on BHS show a smoking gun,” said John Ralfe, an independent pensions expert who acted as an adviser to MPs in their inquiry into the demise of BHS. “If the regulator decides it has a weak legal case it won’t pursue legal action.” – Guardian Top businesses have spoken out about the damage that a heavy-handed government clampdown on foreign takeovers is likely to inflict on the UK’s interests at home and overseas.
Corporate giants including Rolls-Royce and Samsung have expressed their fears that new powers to block foreign bids will be at the heart of Theresa May’s pledge to create “a proper industrial strategy to get the whole economy firing”. – Telegraph Google has signed a deal with CBS to provide channels for its planned online TV service, according to reports, and is in “advanced talks” with Disney and Fox to broadcast their shows too. The big-name deals, first reported by Dow Jones, would be a major boost to Google as it seeks to launch a service called Unplugged next year. – Telegraph
The company building Britain’s first nuclear power station for 21 years has been ordered to shut down five more reactors in France for emergency tests. The order from the French Nuclear Safety Agency is a further blow to the finances and reputation of EDF, the state-owned company behind plans to build an ?18 billion nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. – The Times The “punishingly complex” tax system is holding back private companies, according to the Institute of Directors and a group of entrepreneurs, investors and accountants.
In a letter to The Times, business leaders say that Britain’s tax system “does not sufficiently distinguish between [small and medium-sized businesses] and multinationals or recognise the impact of small businesses on job creation”. – The Times US close US stocks rose on Wednesday on the back of some encouraging earnings reports, stronger oil prices and a solid reading on the economy from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.22% higher at 18,202.62, the S&P 500 also rose 0.22% to 2,144.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was marginally above flat at 5,246.41. Financial stocks led the Dow higher, helped by better than expected earnings from Morgan Stanley, following Goldman Sachs‘ strong results on Tuesday. Revenues at the Wall Street bank climbed 15% to £8.9bn, while earnings jumped 62% to £1.5bn and earnings per share soared to 81 cents from 48 cents, ahead of the 63-cent analyst estimate.
American Express led the Dow risers ahead of results that were released after the closing bell, which didn’t disappoint, with adjusted earnings of £1.20 per share versus analysts expectations of 97 cents a share. Credit card rival Visa was up too, rebounding after the resignation of its CEO. Oilfield company Halliburton climbed as it posted a surprise quarterly profit.
Fallers were led by Intel, which tanked after it reported better third quarter profits but provided forecasts that were rather disappointing.
The Fed released its latest Beige Book, which summarises conditions around the regions, said the US economy grew at a modest to moderate rate in all but one of region.
“Wage growth held fairly steady at modest levels, although some districts reported rising pressure for certain sectors,” the Fed said.