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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (February 21, 2014)

February 21, 2014, Friday, 09:02 GMT | 04:02 EST | 13:32 IST | 16:02 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the gains overnight on Wall Street and in Asia. Today's economic diary sees the release of domestic retail sales data followed this afternoon in the US with existing home sales figures. Commodity prices are generally lower and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against all the major currencies although trading continues to be range bound.

Company Announcements

Millennium & Copthorne Final Results sees record profits and group revenue up 53.9% and 35% to GBP263.6m and GBP1.03bn respectively driven by the Glyndebourne development in Singapore. However, hotel revenue fell 1.5% to GBP738m reflecting challenging market conditions in Asia and the impact of its refurbishment programme. RevPAR rose 3.4% to GBP69.58 and there is a final dividend of 11.51p and special dividend of 9.15p taking the total for the year to 22.74p, a rise of over 67%. It added that it remains cautiously optimistic about its full year 2014 performance despite uncertainty in some regions and poor weather in the US and UK in Q1, noting that it will be further impacted by its refurbishment programme.   

Xeros Intention to Float on AIM. It has confirmed its intention to raise funds and apply for the admission of its shares to trading on AIM which is expected to take place next month. The company has developed a patented polymer bead cleaning system reducing water, energy and chemical consumption. The IPO is expected to enable the company to accelerate its roll-out in commercial laundry and fund the R&D process through to commercialisation in other identified applications, not least in domestic laundry.

Shell Australian Downstream Businesses Disposal. It has confirmed it has reached agreement for the sale of its Australian downstream businesses (excluding Aviation) to Vitol for a total transaction value of USD2.6bn. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in 2014.