The first criminal trial to result from the investigation into the LIBOR fixing scandal has begun today, with former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes accused of 8 counts of conspiracy between 2006-2010. Prosecutor Mukul Chawla described Mr Hayes as “the ringmaster at the very centre, telling others around him what to do and in a number of cases rewarding them for their dishonest assistance”.
David Cameron told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that Britain needs an new deal on Europe at a dinner last night. Mr Cameron said that at a minimum there would need to be new rules on welfare benefit payments and he has now commenced on a tour to meet a number of European countries.
The FTSE 100 sank 82.73 points to 6,948.99 points; the FTSE 250 fell by 93.88 points to 18,098.81; the FTSE All Share tumbled 39.54 points to 3,779.30 points; and the FTSE AIM All Share finished the day down by 1.85 points at 764.86 points.
A strong slate of film releases during the 19 weeks to 14th May, including Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fifty Shades of Grey, whipped audiences into a frenzy and helped leisure chain Cineworld (CINE) secure a 10.7% increase in revenues relative to the same period of the prior year. Expansion also played a role with new screens opening in the UK, Israel and Eastern Europe. Investec reissued a “buy” rating with an enhanced target price of 560p and N+1 Singer said that the results were robust. Management commented that coming releases in the second half of 2015 such as Star Wars should help results higher. The shares climbed by 3p to 504p.
William Sinclair Holdings (SNCL) shares tumbled 3p to 21.5p after it declared it will face a funding shortfall this summer and management are looking at options including asset sales and fresh capital to tide it over while the horticulture firm’s growth plan takes root. The company has struggled to ramp up its output in recent times and remains saddled with a number of unprofitable customer contracts. The company also announced the appointment of Stuart Burgin to its board as Interim CEO.
Boiler builder Flow Group (FLOW) more than doubled its revenues to £33.4 million for the year ended 31st December as it upped the number of units supplied under its main agreement with US outfit Jabil. Operating losses rose to £9.9 million as the company worked to bring its products fully to market and cash reserves dropped to £8.4 million. Additional capital raising of £21.3 million was approved by shareholders last Monday. Flow Group closed at 26.38p, a fall of 1.75p over the course of the day.
Content management software specialist Publishing Technology (PTO) lost 6.8% of its value today as shares fell to 137.5p after it swung to a £4 million loss before taxation for 2014, from a £0.7 million profit in the prior year. The heavy loss was in large part related to restructuring and deferred revenues as well as additional costs on a £1 million contract. The company also announced a new placing of 7.5 million shares aimed at raising a fresh £9 million of capital.
Wednesday’s news today
On Wednesday we are expecting full-year results from Telford Homes (TEF) and Scapa Group (SCPA) as well as interims from Brewin Dolphin (BRW).
On the economic front, there will be fresh data on the US mortgage market and German consumer confidence readings will be posted.
Quote of the day
“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”
― Paul Samuelson
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