Monday, 10 November 2014

Market Report: Marks & Spencer hits six-month high

The High Street stalwart has been a whipping boy for analysts over the last few years, as the City watched the retailer rapidly fall from its peak, reached under Sir Stewart Rose, who left in 2009.

But after better-than-expected figures from M&S, banks were lining up to give the retailer the thumbs up. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and UBS all upgraded the company to a Buy, and Citi raised its price target.

Deutsche said it believes the retailer’s interim numbers herald the start of “a multi-year margin journey”, whereas UBS went as far as to dub the company “the next Next”. The endorsements helped Marks & Spencer enjoy its second day of strong gains and climb to a six-month high, up 21.7p at 465.8p.

Full article: London Evening Standard

Canary Wharf bid from Qatar fails over £3bn price tag

The City put a £3 billion price tag on Canary Wharf today after a low-ball Qatari bid to wrest control of the Docklands estate was “unanimously” rejected.

The Qatar Investment Authority — which already owns Harrods and Chelsea Barracks — is bidding in tandem with Canadian developer Brookfield to win full control of Songbird Estates, itself a 69% shareholder in Docklands landlord and developer Canary Wharf Group.

Qatar already owns a 28.6% stake in Songbird but the joint venture’s opening 295p a share pitch was immediately dismissed by the Songbird board and the City.

Full article: London Evening Standard

City banks embark on digital hiring spree

 Banks looking to beef up their digital operations have created a boom in City hiring, new figures reveal today.

Some 3,400 jobs were filled or created in London’s financial district in October, according to recruiter Astbury Marsden, a 46% increase on the same month last year.

The recruiter put the rise down to investment in digitising business to help cut down costs, improve performance and meet regulatory requirements.

Source: London Evening Standard            

Banks close in on £1.5 billion forex settlement

The Financial Conduct Authority is closing in on a deal that will see six banks paying around £1.5bn in fines over the role played by some of their traders in trying to fix London’s £3trn-a-day foreign exchange market.

City sources say the six remain locked in talks with the City watchdog over a deal that could settle the UK end of what has become a multinational investigation. However  an agreement could be reached this week, although next week is more likely.

By settling at this stage banks will qualify for a 30% discount on fines handed to firms that settle disciplinary cases early.

Source: London Evening Standard

Apple claims 70 percent of enterprise smartphone market

Apple claimed almost 70 percent of the enterprise smartphone market in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to the release of the iPhone 6.

That's according to Good Technology's latest Mobility Index Report, which reveals that the iPhone accounted for 69 percent of global enterprise smartphone activations in the third quarter, up from 67 percent in Q2.

This is largely thanks to the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets, which seem to have made a large dent in the business smartphone landscape since they were released in September.

Source: The Inquirer

Gatwick's October traffic boosted by long-haul passenger rise

Growth in long-haul passenger numbers helped boost October traffic at Gatwick with numbers up by 7.8% to more than 3.3 million.

The increase of 241,000 passengers resulted in the airport’s busiest October and its 20th successive month of growth.

Gatwick used the figures to underline its case for a second runway as the Airports Commission over rival Heathrow.

Source: Travel Weekly

Hong Kong and China shares up on market link

Shares in Hong Kong and China rallied on Monday on news of the approval of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, which will connect the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 0.83%, or 194.46 points, at 23,744.70.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite index finished 2.3% higher at 2,473.67.

Source: BBC News