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FTSE 100 Live: Blue chips higher; NatWest shares deal; Flutter leaves London

Published 31/05/2024, 13:18
© Reuters.  FTSE 100 Live: Blue chips higher; NatWest shares deal; Flutter leaves London

Proactive Investors -

  • FTSE 100 37 points higher at 8,267
  • Royal Mail (LON:IDSI) postboxes and jobs at risk
  • NatWest (LON:NWG) sees government stake cut

Nasdaq, S&P to open lower, Trump conviction to command national discourse

Losses are expected to continue on the US stock market this Friday after the three main indexes closed lower on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is tipped to open a touch lower at 38,082, while the Nasdaq 100 tech index is expected to open 0.3% lower at 18,481.

Meanwhile futures contracts for the broader S&P 500 index have it opening 0.15% lower at 5,226.

Undoubtedly, markets will take a backseat in the news cycle in favour of presidential nominee Donal Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business record.

Trump unsurprisingly called the trial “rigged” and a “disgrace”, while Trump’s lawyers confirmed they will appeal “as soon as we can”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov chirped up following the guilty verdict, stating: “The fact that a de-facto elimination of political rivals by all possible legal and illegal means is going on there is obvious.”

Rolls-Royce turbines to power Japanese warships

Another quick update on Thursday’s late headlines- Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) announced that its MT30 marine gas turbine has been selected to power Japan's new destroyer-class warships.

The MT30 is known for its high power density.

Rolls-Royce senior vice president for defence Sam Cameron said: "The unique power density of the MT30 GT will ensure ship performance is not compromised and will meet the top ship speed requirements associated with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyers."

"Rolls-Royce continues to be at the forefront of naval propulsion technology and we’re proud to be providing the world’s first twin-MT30 hybrid arrangement to power Japan’s destroyer programme," Cameron added.

FTSE 100-listed Rolls-Royce shares were up 0.3% in Friday’s early-afternoon trades.

No bonuses for Burberry boss

Burberry chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd received zero annual bonuses last year due to a poor performance at the British luxury clothing brand.

An annual remuneration report published late on Thursday stated: “The Committee judged that progress was made on refining our brand image, evolving our product and strengthening distribution, resulting in some of the strategic objectives being partially met.

“However, in light of the business performance and broader shareholder experience, the Committee and Jonathan Akeroyd agreed that it would not be appropriate for him to receive an annual bonus for FY 2023/24.”

Chief finance officer Kate Berry received a £121,500 bonus, representing 9% of her maximum potential reward.

Burberry’s profits dove 34% in the year to 31 March amid a backdrop of plummeting luxury demand.

Despite announcing cost-saving measures, analysts remain lukewarm on Burberry’s prospects in the current financial year.

Akeroyd’s total earnings for the year, excluding potential share plan incentives, came to £1.19 million.

Burberry shares have been slashed in half over the past 12 months and dipped a further 1.4% this Friday.

The FTSE 100 is currently 33 points higher at 8,264.

Vodafone completes Spanish asset sale to Zegona

Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) has officially completed the sale of Vodafone Spain to Zegona Communications (LSE:ZEG) plc for €4.10 billion in cash and €0.90 billion in redeemable preference shares.

The total enterprise value of €5 billion (£4.26 billion) represents a multiple of 5.6 times Adjusted EBITDAaL and 13 times operating free cash flow for the twelve months ending 30 September 2023.

As part of the transaction, Vodafone will continue to provide certain services to Vodafone Spain.

The disposal was first announced last October. It forms part of Vodafone boss Margherita Della Valle’s strategy of streamlining Vodafone’s global operations in the face of a burdensome debt pile.

Zegona, which was incorporated in 2015 by former Virgin Media executives Eamonn O’Hare and Robert Samuelson, previously said it hopes to “improve efficiency by reducing complexity and driving productivity”.

Back in 2021, Zegona returned over £300 million to shareholders after exiting its investment in Basque Country telecoms group Euskaltel to Masmovil, which bought at a €3.5 billion valuation.

Vodafone shares were flat at 74.75p in Friday morning trades.

Flutter officially shifts listing to US

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment PLC (LON:FLTRF) has officially switched its primary listing from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange, effective today.

It marks an “important milestone in the evolution of Flutter”, said chief executive Peter Jackson.

“This closely follows the recent move of our operational headquarters to New York, with both reflecting the increasing importance of the US sports betting and iGaming market to our business.”

Flutter owns and operates FanDuel, which is among the largest sportsbooks in the US. FanDuel’s success was a primary motivator for Flutter’s stateside shift, given its increasingly integral role in Flutter’s revenue growth.

“We have a fantastic position in the US, with FanDuel the clear number one operator, and we look forward to this next step on our journey," said Jackson.

New CFO steps up

In conjunction with today’s relisting, Flutter announced that group chief finance officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson will leave the Group in place of Rob Coldrake “with immediate effect”.

Coldrake has been acting as Flutter International’s CFO for four years.

Following Flutter’s transatlantic relocations, there is a “consequent need for extensive executive management time to be spent in the United States”, said Flutter.

“The board has recently engaged in a discussion with Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson concerning his ability to meet that requirement in light of his family commitments in the UK.

“Following this discussion, the board has concluded that it is in the Company's best interests for Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson to step down from his role as Group CFO and Executive Director.”

Flutter retains a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange.

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