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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (March 17, 2014)

March 17, 2014, Monday, 11:39 GMT | 07:39 EST | 16:09 IST | 18:39 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning with investors likely to adopt a cautious stance following the Crimea vote over the weekend to join Russia and how this will play out between the latter and the West. Overnight we had domestic economic news from Rightmove reporting that UK house prices saw a new record high in March of GBP255,962, up 6.8% on the corresponding period a year ago. Today's economic diary is now focused on the US with the release of the Empire State Manufacturing Index and industrial production data. Commodity prices are flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are range bound as the markets await further developments in the Ukraine and Russia. We start the week on a quieter note for major corporate news.


Company Announcements

Vodafone

Acquisition. It has confirmed press reports that it has agreed to acquire Ono which has the largest next-generation network in Spain for EUR7.2bn. Vodafone expects to achieve cost and capex synergies and accelerate the growth opportunity in unified communications products and services by leveraging its distribution and marketing capabilities and via cross-selling. The transaction values Ono on a multiple of 7.5x 2013 EBITDA with the deal expected to complete in Q3 2014.

Smiths News

Change of Name. The company is to be renamed Connect Group in line with its strategy to become a more broadly diversified specialist distribution business. The name change will take effect from 22 April 2014.