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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (August 20, 2014)

August 20, 2014, Wednesday, 11:00 GMT | 07:00 EST | 15:30 IST | 17:00 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning after the gains in the previous sessions as investors look ahead to the release of meeting minutes from both the Bank of England MPC and FOMC, the latter at 7.00pm UK time. The economic diary today also sees the publication of the CBI industrial trends survey data. Commodity prices are flat to firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these central bank announcements.

Company Announcements

Balfour Beatty

It has announced that having considered the revised merger proposal from Carillion yesterday and consulted with its major shareholders, it has again concluded that it is not in the best interests of shareholders and rejected the proposal. This is because of its concerns associated with the risks of the proposed business plan and the ongoing intent to terminate the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff. It will not therefore be seeking an extension from the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers to the deadline of 5.00pm on 21 August 2014. It added that it will continue to focus on delivering its standalone strategy, whilst also remaining open to strategic value opportunities across the company.    


Half Year Results see adjusted EBITDA up 8% to USD6.46bn with adjusted EBIT ahead 14% at USD3.62bn driven by marketing growth, overall production expansion and synergies from the acquisitions of Xstrata and Viterra. Funds from operations rose 15% to USD4.9bn with adjusted net debt 9% lower at nearly USD32.6bn. It has over USD9bn of committed available liquidity and has raised its interim distribution by 11% to 6 cents a share. It is to return up to a further USD1bn of capital to shareholders over the next 6 months via a share buy-back programme. It added that its goal remains to grow its free cashflow and with it the base dividend whilst retaining an efficient Balance Sheet and looked to the future with optimism.