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PARISH COUNSEL PALACE CHIEF EXPLAINS WHY HE’S AGAINST VAR SPORT P24 THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

QUANTITATIVE FREEZING LONDON MAKES THE MOST OF THE SNOW P14-15

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15,000 jobs hit by 2018 retail crunch HELEN CAHILL

MAY UNDER FIRE FROM FORMER PM AND A BELLIGERENT BARNIER CATHERINE NEILAN AND CAITLÍN MORRISON @CatNeilan @citycait FORMER Prime Minister Sir John Major yesterday launched a stinging attack on the government’s Brexit strategy and demanded that MPs be given a free vote on the final deal – including the option of a second referendum. The former Tory PM said that Theresa May’s ambition to secure a comprehensive trade deal with the EU was unrealistic and that the UK could end up crashing out of the bloc. In a speech that infuriated Brexitbacking MPs, Major urged the PM to take the “brave and bold decision” of allowing parliament to reject a future

deal and vote for a second referendum. Major’s controversial intervention came as Theresa May moved to dismiss a bombshell EU proposal that would keep Northern Ireland inside the customs union. The EU yesterday published its legal interpretation of a withdrawal agreement that includes the highly contentious possibility of keeping Northern Ireland inside “common Union legal and policy frameworks”. The proposal is outlined in the EU’s 120-page document and is cited as a fallback option in the event that no solution to the Irish border can be agreed. However, May dismissed the idea as a threat to the “constitutional integrity” of the UK and said “no UK Prime Minister could ever agree” to it.

Nigel Dodds, the Westminster leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, said he was “amazed” that the EU thought “it could possibly fly with either us or the British government.” The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the proposal is not designed to “provoke” and that the UK must come up with alternatives. Tory MEP Syed Kamall, leader of the Conservative and Reformists group in the European Parliament told City A.M.: “I realise that this is an opening gambit and that there is always a bit of posturing in negotiations, but if Michel Barnier is genuine in seeking a mutuallyagreed solution to the Irish border question, this is strange way of going about it.”

Kamall’s colleague in the European Parliament, Ashley Fox, added: “What has been suggested would be unacceptable. Northern Ireland will not remain part of the customs union while Great Britain doesn’t. It’s just nonsense, and rather provocative nonsense.” Last night Brexit secretary David Davis wrote to Tory MPs, assuring them that the EU’s text is merely “its negotiating position on the Withdrawal Agreement” and that “over the coming weeks and months the UK and EU will continue to push ahead with negotiations...with the aim of reaching a complete Withdrawal Agreement in October.” May will make a major speech on Brexit tomorrow, setting out the position agreed at last week’s Chequers summit.

@HelCahill AT LEAST 15,000 retail sector jobs have either been slashed this year or are now at risk as household names sink into administration, according to calculations by City A.M. Toys R Us and Maplin went into administration yesterday, putting more than 5,500 jobs in doubt. The doublewhammy for the industry comes after fashion chain East and furniture retailer Warren Evans also fell into administration. Jobs have been slashed at major supermarkets, with thousands of roles lost at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. Debenhams and Marks and Spencer have cut hundreds of jobs. Several retailers have been showing clear signs of financial distress following the Christmas sales period as the industry battles against a blizzard of rising costs and a squeeze on consumer spending. Retail analyst Richard Hyman said yesterday’s administrations were “just the beginning”. Card Factory, Moss Bros, Laura Ashley, Carpetright and Mothercare have all issued profit warnings this year, and credit insurers have reduced or cut their cover on stock sold to New Look and House of Fraser. £ RETAIL’S CRISIS: P3

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CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

NOT SO BLUE A 1937 Picasso portrait brought a smile to the faces of auctioneers as it raised £49.8m in a sale at Sotheby’s yesterday

THE CITY VIEW

Retailers face a cold wind as reality bites

T

HE RETAIL industry’s woes came to the fore yesterday as two household names tumbled into administration. Nerds everywhere now fear losing Maplin, the high street’s best source of obscure cables. Meanwhile, Toys R Us finally gave in, and nostalgic millennials mourned the decline of a shop they probably haven’t visited in over a decade. The first quarter of the year is always the hardest for consumerfocused firms because customers are cautious with their cash, but this year is different. A string of profit warnings in January signalled retailers were already struggling over Christmas, the most lucrative time of the year. Businesses that failed to fill up on the Christmas feast will now strain to pay their rent bills, which are due at the end of March. It will be tempting for boardroom bosses to blame external factors for their problems; they cannot force consumers to spend more. And their cost base is spiralling. Rents, wages and business rates are all rising, and the fall in the value of the pound hasn’t helped with their import costs. Maplin’s chief executive cited many of these factors as the reason for the retailer’s demise. He said these were the “principal challenge”. In the case of Toys R Us, many have argued the unstoppable rise of Amazon has flattened toy retailing in the UK. These arguments are not without merit, but ignore the importance of decisions made by company bosses. Overall retail trends are, of course, shaped by macroeconomic factors; but if a company fails, it will always be partly due to the decisions made by the individuals leading that company. After all, Amazon hasn’t crushed all toy retailers. In fact, Smyths Toys, an Irish multinational owned by the Smyth family, now has the same share of the UK toy market as Amazon, and has been growing at a similar rate. Patrick O’Brien, research director at GlobalData, says Toys R Us failed to build an online presence and couldn’t convince shoppers that visiting stores can be a fun, and rewarding experience. Retailers are right to be wary of rising costs, but even under difficult circumstances, there will be winners and losers – and industry leaders must pick winning strategies if they’re to survive the headwinds.

It will be tempting for boardroom bosses to blame external factors

Follow us on Twitter @cityam FINANCIAL TIMES

L BRANDS SHARES FALL ON DISAPPOINTING OUTLOOK

L Brands shares tumbled after-hours yesterday after the company behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works issued a disappointing outlook for the current quarter. The Ohio-based retailer’s shares fell more than 10 per cent after it said it now expects to earn between 15 to 20 cents a share in the fiscal first quarter that is currently under way. That missed analysts’ estimates for 31 cents a share.

MONSTER BEVERAGE BITTEN BY WEAK EARNINGS

Monster Beverage shares stumbled in after-hours trading last night after the energy drink maker’s quarterly sales fell

WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

PABLO Picasso’s “Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee”, a portrait of his once-mistress Marie-Therese Walter, garnered the second-highest auction price for any work of art ever sold in Europe as it was scooped up at Sotheby’s yesterday for £49.8m. The painting came from a “distinguished private collection” and had never been seen on the market previously.

Morgan Stanley fired after Carillion refused advice OLIVER GILL

@ojngill CARILLION’S top execs sacked Morgan Stanley last summer after refusing to believe advice that a rights issue would fail. Internal company papers, released today by a parliamentary inquiry into Carillion’s failure, reveal the guidance delivered by investment bankers to the company’s board last July. Carillion, which was the government’s largest strategic supplier, was preparing to shock shareholders with £845m of contract writedowns. Their severity meant markets would not support a cash call, Morgan Stanley and co-adviser Stifel advised. HSBC was brought in days after the 10 July announcement, with Carillion board minutes indicating plans to reignite a rights issue. Carillion’s July announcement set

THE TIMES

MILITARY CHIEF WARNS ON ARMED FORCES SPENDING

Britain must spend more on the armed forces or risk defeat in a future confrontation, a serving military chief has warned in a rare intervention. General Sir Gordon Messenger said the country must be prepared for a “deterioration in the international arena” within 10 to 15 years.

NSA CHIEF: TRUMP KEPT QUIET ON RUSSIA MEDDLING

short of Wall Street estimates, which it blamed on reduced inventories by some international distributors. It reported $810.4m (£589m) in net sales, short of the $843m expected.

America remains vulnerable to Russian efforts to influence its elections but President Trump has not ordered any new measures to counter the threat, according to the head of the National Security Agency.

what was Britain’s second-biggest contractor on a downward spiral to failure in mid-January. Writedowns ultimately topped more than £1bn. Representations to MPs from Morgan Stanley – which billed Carillion more than £4m since 2006 – stressed a cash call was a “key component of the debt reduction plan” amid the July announcement. Carillion’s mammoth debt pile has been cited as one of the main reasons for its collapse. “[The rights issue] required existing shareholders and new investors to invest a substantial amount of new money into the company,” Morgan Stanley investment banking head Simon Smith wrote. “By early July 2017, the firm was increasingly of the view that Carillion’s senior management could neither produce nor deliver an investment proposition that would

convince shareholders and new investors to support the potential rights issue. “[After 10 July], the monthly meetings that had previously taken place between the bank [Morgan Stanley] and Carillion did not continue. HSBC was appointed as joint corporate broker shortly thereafter.” MPs hit out at chair Philip Green, who in board minutes called for the firm to work towards “a positive and upbeat announcement” on 10 July. “Carillion’s chair appeared to lack even a tenuous grasp on the reality of the company’s situation, said Carillion inquiry joint chair Frank Field. “Five days before the profit warning that heralded the firm’s public spiral into insolvency, Philip Green stands like the mayor of Pompeii – smoke billowing from the volcano behind him – trumpeting the forthcoming revelries of the village fete.”

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

TRAVIS PERKINS CUTS INVESTMENT

TRUMP’S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TO RESIGN

Travis Perkins is to slow investment in areas of the business it does not deem a priority as it predicted that recent challenging trading will continue into this year. The company , which is the UK’s largest supplier of building materials to the housebuilding and construction sector and owns Wickes and Toolstation, has suffered amid weaker consumer confidence.

M&S ABANDONS UNDERWEAR REDESIGN

M&S has backtracked on a redesign of its five pack of ladies cotton briefs after sparking outcry and will restore its original beloved briefs.

Hope Hicks, White House communications director, said yesterday she is resigning, marking the departure of a presidential confidante and longtime lieutenant from the West Wing. Hicks has been one of President Donald Trump’s longest-serving aides.

SEC LAUNCHES CRYPTOCURRENCY PROBE

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued scores of subpoenas and information requests to technology companies and advisers involved in the red-hot market for digital tokens, according to people familiar with the matter.


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

Toys R Us and Maplin collapse rattles the City

HELEN CAHILL

@HelCahill TOYS R Us and Maplin fell into administration yesterday, putting more than 5,000 jobs at risk. Toys R Us called in Moorfields to handle its collapse after it was unable to pay a £15m VAT bill, and Maplin was forced into administration after sale talks collapse. Maplin, which has over 200 stores, was in talks with Edinburgh Woollen Mill over a sale, but failed to secure an agreement and called in PwC to manage the administrative process. Both businesses will continue trading as administrators sell off stock and seek to find suitors for parts of the business. City investors were spooked by the news, sending shares in several nonfood retailers tumbling. By the market close, shares in Mothercare, Laura Ashley, and N Brown were down by as much as nine per cent, 11 per cent, and six per cent respectively. Graham Harris, Maplin’s chief executive, said: “The business has worked

hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance. “This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise. These macro factors have been the principal challenge not the Maplin brand or its market differentiation. “We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere.” The pensions lifeboat will now be responsible for Toys R Us’ pension scheme, which has a shortfall of £38m. Shop staff who have already retired will receive 100 per cent of their pension payments, but those still working face a 10 per cent haircut. Andy McKinnon, acting chief executive at the Pension Protection Fund, said members were protected. “We will now be working to maximise the recovery to the scheme from the administration,” he said.

Prezzo was founded by the Kaye family in 2000

Prezzo set to put 100 restaurants on the chopping board this week

ALYS KEY @alys_key PREZZO has become the latest restaurant chain to fall victim to the casual dining crunch, as it prepares to close 100 sites. The company is understood to have enacted the closure plan as it prepares for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Some 100 restaurants will be shuttered, including the entirety of the group’s Mexican brand Chimichanga, while rent reductions will be tabled as part

of the CVA. Sky News yesterday reported that the chain will enter the CVA within the next few days. The number of jobs being cut is thought to be in the hundreds. The chain was founded by the Kaye family in 2000 before being sold on to current owner TPG Capital in 2015. It has been sending out warning signals since last year, when it was slated for a possible sale process. However it now follows the likes of Jamie’s Italian and Byron Hamburger in turning to a CVA, though Prezzo is much larger than both these brands.

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Shareholders give the green light to Tesco’s £3.7bn Booker takeover HELEN CAHILL @HelCahill BOOKER Group’s shareholders yesterday backed Tesco’s £3.7bn bid for the wholesaler, giving Tesco boss Dave Lewis the green light to create the UK’s largest food group. Eighty-three per cent of Booker investors approved the deal; Booker needed the backing of 75 per cent of votes for the merger to go ahead.

Tesco’s shareholders overwhelmingly supported the deal in a separate vote, sending shares in both Booker and Tesco upwards. Tesco’s share price rose 1.8 per cent to 210.8p, while Booker’s share price was up 1.6 per cent to 227.1p. Tesco is hoping that its acquisition of Booker, a wholesaler that also operates a string of convenience chains, will grow its sales in the onthe-go food market. In the merged

company, Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, will become Tesco UK’s chief executive. There were concerns that shareholders might not approve the deal last week, with some major advisory firms saying Booker’s investors should not accept the deal. Lewis said: “This merger is about growth, bringing together our complementary retail and wholesale skills to create the UK’s leading food business.”


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THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

Foxtons: Sales in London near ‘historic lows’

EMMA HASLETT

@emmahaslett PRE-TAX profits at London-focused estate agent Foxtons dropped more than 65 per cent last year, it said yesterday, as sales in the capital fell to “near historic lows”. Profits fell to £6.5m in 2017, from £18.8m in the previous year, on revenues of £117.6m, down 11.4 per cent from the £132.7m it made in 2016. Sales revenue was the big disappointment: it fell 23 per cent to £42.6m – although its lettings business also fell three per cent to £66.3m, a performance Foxtons described as “resilient”. Revenues at its Alexander Hall mortgage arm fell one per cent to £8.7m. The company nevertheless unveiled a full year dividend of 0.7p,

down from 2p this time last year. Last month, Hometrack officially declared London a buyer’s market, while the Centre for Economics and Business Research has suggested consumer confidence in the housing market has fallen to its lowest level since the Brexit referendum. But Foxton’s focus on the capital mean it is more susceptible to a slowdown than its rivals. “We expect trading conditions to remain challenging during 2018, and our current sales pipeline is below where it was this time last year,” said chief executive Nic Budden. “The cost actions we have taken and our net cash position mean we are well placed to withstand these conditions and make the investment we have identified.” The Foxtonsbranded 2010 X-Ray Mini

Whatsapp yet to resolve data sharing issue PADRAIC HALPIN

Spotify’s 71m premium subscribers can listen to hit singers such as Rihanna

Music streaming service Spotify has filed for $1bn New York float LUCY WHITE @LucyGJWhite SPOTIFY, one of the most well-known music streaming services, finally filed for its initial public offering (IPO) last night. The Sweden-based company is aiming to raise up to $1bn (£726m) through its much-anticipated float on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Spotify, its shares have been trading at up to $132.50 apiece on private markets recently. This would currently value it at more than $23bn. It has chosen to pursue an unconventional direct listing, meaning no bank or broker will underwrite the offer. The opening share price will be determined purely by orders.

WHATSAPP has still not brought forward proposals to address EU regulators’ concerns over the messaging service’s sharing of user data with parent company Facebook, Facebook’s European regulator said yesterday. The messaging service changed its privacy policy over a year ago to start sharing users’ phone numbers and other information with Facebook. That drew widespread regulatory scrutiny across Europe, and Whatsapp later suspended the data sharing for EU users. The Irish data protection authority (DPC), which has jurisdiction over Facebook because its European HQ is in Dublin, said last April it hoped to reach a deal with Whatsapp on the data sharing in a matter of months. With no proposals forthcoming, the DPC said it had maintained its insistence that Whatsapp’s EU personal data not be shared with Facebook for the management of ad campaigns and other purposes until it was satisfied there was a lawful basis for doing so. A spokeswoman for Facebook Ireland was not immediately Reuters available for comment.


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

ITV’s profit falls as ad market challenges bite COURTNEY GOLDSMITH

@courtneynoelg ITV’S profit fell in 2017 as a “challenging” environment hit the firm’s advertising revenues. The broadcaster’s pre-tax profit fell six per cent to £800m in the year to the end of December, but its total external revenue rose two per cent to £3.13bn driven by double-digit growth in non-net advertising revenue. As anticipated, ITV yesterday said family net advertising revenue fell by five per cent to £1.59bn, causing ITV’s shares to be the worst performers on the FTSE throughout the day. Despite taking early action to reduce overhead costs, ITV said ongoing economic and political uncertainty had “undoubtedly” had an impact on the demand for TV advertising.

However, the firm said it had started 2018 on a strong footing with advertising revenue expected to be positive in the first half, growing one per cent in the first quarter and up again in the second quarter due to the Fifa World Cup. The board proposed a full-year divi of 7.8p, up eight per cent, reflecting its confidence in the business’ underlying strength and the outlook for 2018. Carolyn McCall, ITV’s newly appointed boss, said the firm was focusing on its “strategic refresh” and was ready to build the next phase of ITV’s development on 2017’s solid foundations. George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said despite the drop in profit, there is not much ITV’s new chief executive was setting the firm on a sensible path. Carolyn McCall is the chief executive of ITV

NEWS

UK clarity on free movement post-Brexit LUCY WHITE

Over 2017 as a whole, 71 per cent of first-time buyer applicants secured a mortgage

First-time buyers saw mortgage approval rates rocket last year LUCY WHITE @LucyGJWhite THE PERCENTAGE of first-time buyers getting their mortgage applications approved via brokers shot up at the end of 2017 compared to a year earlier, according to new data. Improved access to mortgage finance – including better product

availability, low interest rates and competition between lenders – has helped to boost first-time buyers’ fortunes, according to data from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association. Mortgage approvals for debut homeowners lifted from 53 per cent at the end of 2016 to 74 per cent in the final quarter of last year.

@LucyGJWhite EU NATIONALS who come to the UK during the post-Brexit transition period, after March 2019, will be offered the choice to settle, the government has said. In a policy paper yesterday, the UK government said that any new arrivals to the UK from around two years after Brexit will be eligible for indefinite leave to remain. However the length of any transition period has not yet been agreed – the EU wants it to last until December 2020, while the UK has said it should extend two years from March 2019. Anyone arriving in the UK after the 29 March 2019, when Brexit officially begins, will have to register with the authorities if they want to stay longer than three months. After another five years, they will then qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain. But in a major change, when the transition period ends, migrants from the EU will no longer be able to automatically bring in family. Instead, the current rules which apply to UK citizens being joined by a non-EU individual will apply, such as minimum income rules.

Lloyds ‘needs firm message’ on duties after taking ‘colossal risk’ in HBOS deal JASPER JOLLY @jjpjolly LAWYERS acting for Lloyds Banking Group investors in a £550m legal action over its handling of the 2008 purchase of HBOS yesterday asked the judge in the case to send a “firm message” over the lender’s “duties to its shareholders”. The High Court heard closing arguments from Richard Hill QC, who is representing around 6,000

investors at the time of the deal. The court heard that “the directors were exposing their own shareholders to colossal risk” in proposing they vote through the acquisition, Hill said. The claimants argue Lloyds and five former executives did not give investors, ranging from former employees of the bank to big institutional investors, the information they needed to back the acquisition of HBOS, which was

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carried out at the height of the financial crisis and resulted in large losses for the merged bank. The claimants argue the Lloyds executives should have told investors about HBOS’s use of emergency liquidity assistance from the Bank of England. Lloyds argues the claims are “entirely devoid of merit”. The court will hear three more days of closing arguments as the case continues, before a judgement is reached in the coming months.

Lloyds and HBOS merged in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers


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THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

Laing O’Rourke joint venture walks away from £1.7bn HS2 station contract OLIVER GILL @ojngill A JOINT venture including troubled contracting giant Laing O’Rourke yesterday pulled out of the running to land a £1.7bn HS2 redevelopment of London Euston. HS2 confirmed Laing O’Rourke and Canary Wharf Contractors had withdrawn from the process. It is understood Canary Wharf got cold feet after last week losing out on a separate contract to oversee

HS2 station designs. Yesterday’s withdrawal leaves four firms, including London Bridge builder Costain, left to fight it out for the £1.65bn Euston deal. HS2 is expected to announce the winning bidder this autumn. It will come as a fresh blow to Laing O’Rourke, which breached a Companies House deadline for filing its accounts months ago. In December, the Hinkley Point C builder said its March 2017 financial statements would be lodged by the end of

January, after flogging a loss-making project to build Montreal’s new university hospital. However, the contractor, which employs around 15,000 people in the UK, subsequently announced fresh delays, simply saying meeting the deadline had “not been achievable”. Laing O’Rourke admitted to “certain contract problems” in the year to 31 March 2016, racking up losses of £264m. Accounts from 11 months ago have still not been filed, according to Companies House.

HS2 is expected to announce the winning Euston bidder in the autumn

Whitbread in Premier Inn Germany push

ALYS KEY

@alys_key WHITBREAD has invested an estimated £250m acquiring 19 hotels in Germany as it targets global expansion for Premier Inn. The exact value of the deal with Foremost Hospitality, which includes leases for 13 open hotels and six in the pipeline, was not disclosed. However, analysts at Barclays priced it at around £250m, which they called “OK” but not “cheap”. The agreement throws weight behind plans to expand Premier Inn in Germany. In addition to the one hotel already operating in Frankfurt and 11 others which are planned, this brings the future size of the German portfolio to 31. “One of our three key strategic priorities is to focus on building strong and sustainable growth in key international markets,” said the group’s chief executive Alison Brittain. “Today’s announcement marks the next stage in our ambitious growth plan for the Premier Inn brand in Germany. “We believe Germany has many of

the structural growth drivers that have underpinned the success of Premier Inn in the UK and that Germany is a market that will deliver strong returns in the future.” Whitbread said the German hotel market is 35 per cent larger than the UK and is undergoing a shift towards branded hotels which is similar to a trend in the UK 10 years ago. Barclays analysts said it “will provide the group with greater scale in key cities which we consider a positive”, calling it an attractive strategic move. Canaccord Genuity analysts said: “It’s not a big deal, the price is not disclosed but it creates an important bridgehead in Premier Inn’s key target market. If Whitbread gets Germany right, there could be growth for decades to come.” The deal is expected to show results by 2019. The move forms part of a push by Whitbread to take advantage of international markets. In October last year it bought out a joint venture partner to take full control of Costa Coffee in the growing Chinese market.

Scandal-hit Steinhoff sees revenue drop TANISHA HEIBERG

The global hotel industry is booming and London’s market is especially buoyant

New London hotels boost Park Plaza parent as industry booms ALYS KEY @alys_key REVENUES jumped at PPHE Hotel Group in 2017, thanks to new shiny new London hotels. The full opening of Park Plazas in London Waterloo and Park Royal added 706 rooms to the group’s portfolio. PPHE’s revenue jumped 19 per cent to £325.1m, while pre-tax profits crept up one per cent to £32.1m. The group proposed a final

dividend of 13p per share. The news came amid a flurry of updates from hotel companies, as the industry booms. Melia Hotels also released results yesterday, recording a five per cent rise in revenues to almost €1.9bn (£1.68bn). Meanwhile AccorHotels, the French owner of the Ibis and Mercure brands, confirmed on Tuesday that it had finalised the long-awaited €4.4bn sale of a stake in its real estate business AccorInvest.

SOUTH Africa’s Steinhoff International, which has been embroiled in an accounting irregularities, said yesterday its first quarter retail revenue had fallen and its working capital “had dried up” since the scandal broke. The multinational retailer has been fighting for survival after it discovered accounting irregularities in December which sparked a sell-off that wiped more than $10bn (£7.3bn) off its market value and led to multiple investigations globally. The Poundland owner said revenue for the period to endDecember fell by five per cent to €4.86bn (£4.3bn). “The group’s essential working capital, especially in its businesses outside of South Africa, largely dried up as the access of our operating businesses to their banking facilities and other credit lines was severely constrained,” the company’s acting chairwoman Heather Sonn said in a statement. Steinhoff was “working hard to uncover the truth and to prosecute wrongdoing” and was also cooperating with regulators, she said. The company also said many of its international business, particularly its European business, were at risk of failing to meet their Reuters financial obligations.

Informa buying spree pays off ahead of £3.9bn UBM merger ALYS KEY

UBM runs events such as the Game Developers Conference

@alys_key BUSINESS intelligence and events group Informa posted a major growth in revenue yesterday, as preparations get underway for its £3.9bn takeover of UBM. Revenue jumped over 30 per cent to over £1.7bn, with growth across all four sections: exhibitions, business intelligence, academic

publishing and networking events. Adjusted profit before tax grew by almost 30 per cent to £486.4m. The annual dividend was nudged up to 20.45p per share. Shares were up 1.4 per cent at the close. The biggest growth in revenue was in global exhibitions, with revenue up 75 per cent due to the integration of several acquisitions including Pentin Information Services and

Yachting Promotions. The group is set to continue on its acquisitive streak, tying up a deal with conference company UBM. The prospectus for the merger is due for publication next month. Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said consensus upgrades were likely, not just due to yesterday’s numbers but because UBM’s recent events performance looks better than expected.


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THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

British gas price fires up to hit a 12-year high

COURTNEY GOLDSMITH

@courtneynoelg FREEZING temperatures in Britain continued to send the UK wholesale natural gas price flying yesterday, with gas for immediate delivery climbing to a 12-year high. Within-day gas prices reached 194p per therm as the so-called “Beast from the East” whipped through the country carrying frigid winds from Siberia and pushing daily gas demand higher, according to Tom Marzec-Manser who heads up the European gas team at commodity price agency ICIS. Before yesterday’s spike, the average within-day price in February was 56p per therm. The within-day gas price was bolstered further by an unplanned shutdown at a key Norwegian gas processing plant and technical issues at an import pipeline from the Netherlands. “It’s been a roller-coaster few days

already on the NBP [within-day UK gas contract] with demand moving to levels not seen since 2012, but this morning’s prices have been on another level entirely,” said Marzec-Manser. He said yesterday’s price was “astonishing” in comparison with a string of disruptions in December which sent the price to 99p per therm, including the temporary closure of the major North Sea Forties pipeline. Marzec-Manser said Europe was playing “tug-of-war” over the available gas supplies as cold weather rocked the entire continent and countries tried to outbid one another. The damage done yesterday will also push up prices for futures contracts, meaning suppliers will end up with a higher bill for gas supplies than they expected. One supplier, Bulb, was already forced to announce it would hike its prices for customers on Tuesday due to the spike in wholesale prices this week.

Watchdog to probe Npower and SSE tie-up COURTNEY GOLDSMITH

Challenger firms had a market share of 4.7 per cent for electricity five years ago

Market share of Big Six energy firms is now at a record low COURTNEY GOLDSMITH @courtneynoelg THE BIG Six energy suppliers have been forced to loosen their grip on the sector as their combined market share fell to a record low, according to fresh data from the regulator. Ofgem said one in five energy consumers are now registered with a

small or medium supplier, sending the market share of the Big Six firms down to 79 per cent for electricity and 78 per cent for gas in December 2017, from 84 per cent for both at the end of 2016. More than a third switched away from one of the Big Six – which include British Gas, SSE, E.On, EDF Energy, ScottishPower and Npower.

@courtneynoelg THE COMPETITION watchdog yesterday opened an investigation into the proposed merger of SSE’s retail unit and German-owned Npower. In November, the firms announced a deal where Britain’s second-largest supplier, SSE, would merge and spin off its household energy and supply business to create an independent supplier with Innogy’s Npower. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will now assess whether the tie-up could significantly reduce competition in the supply of energy to domestic customers in the UK. The CMA will make its initial decision by 26 April. Last month, SSE confirmed it was on track to complete the merger by the last quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019. “We remain confident that the creation of a new, combined, standalone retail business will best serve the needs of customers, employees and shareholders in the long term,” said Alistair PhillipsDavies, chief executive of SSE.


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

Weir’s profit gushes as oil prices recover

COURTNEY GOLDSMITH

@courtneynoelg WEIR Group’s profits jumped in 2017 as the oil price recovery boosted investment from oil and gas firms. The oilfield services group’s profit before tax leapt by 47 per cent to £250m in the year to December 2017 as rising crude oil prices led to “excellent” growth in Weir’s oil and gas unit, the firm said yesterday. Group orders were up 20 per cent in 2017, with orders in the oil and gas business rocketing 67 per cent. In Weir’s north American upstream, or production, arm, orders increased by 82 per cent. Oil prices finally rose out of the doldrums last year, reaching prices not seen since around the time the market crashed. Weir, which had suffered throughout the downturn, said the improving oil price led to increased investment in the industry. In the US, which has

seen a boom in oil and gas activity since the shale revolution kicked off, the land rig count climbed 74 per cent in 2017 to 852. However, conditions in international markets “remained challenging”. “While the international rig count increased two per cent, new investment was subdued, with continued pricing pressure and project delays,” Weir said, although it still expects to deliver “strong” revenue and profit growth in 2018.

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US crude output hit record high in November JESSICA RESNICK-AULT

Singapore-listed Noble’s proposed restructuring aims to restore investor equity

Singapore-listed trader Noble Group swings to a $5bn loss COURTNEY GOLDSMITH

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@courtneynoelg COMMODITIES trader Noble Group revealed a loss of nearly $5bn (£3.6bn) for 2017 yesterday in what analysts have said is possibly the biggest loss made by a Singapore-listed company. The firm said it will focus on a debt restructuring after it tumbled

to a loss of $4.9bn for 2017 compared with a profit of $8.7m the previous year due to a hit from non-cash losses on its derivatives contracts. The group said the board was “satisfied that the group can continue as a going concern” until the $3.4bn debt-for-equity plan creates a sustainable capital structure for the troubled trader.

US CRUDE oil production shattered a 47-year output record in November, and then retreated slightly in December, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said yesterday, as oil production from shale continued to upend global supply patterns. Oil output rose to 10.057m barrels per day (bpd) in November, according to revised figures from the EIA. December production fell 108,000 bpd to 9.949m bpd, the EIA said. November’s output was the highest on record, surpassing the 10.044m bpd of crude produced in November 1970. Monthly average oil output for the US has only surpassed 10m bpd on one other occasion, in October 1970. In December, production pulled back after three consecutive increases, according to the EIA. The production decline was largely driven by Gulf of Mexico output, which dropped by 131,000 bpd in the month, even as production from shale in Texas continued to grow. Four Gulf of Mexico platforms were shuttered throughout the month in Reuters the wake of a fire.


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CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 01 MARCH 2018

CITY TALK PARTNER CONTENT

Labour’s Brexit policy shift shows political nous but little else

Matthew West discusses the deal both the Conservatives and Labour are offering and the businesses stuck in the middle of it all

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SHIFTING POSITIONS

Mr Corbyn backed Britain being part of a permanent customs union with the EU, just not the current Customs Union. He also made no mention of the Single Market despite many in his own party calling, in desperation, for him to support membership. Mrs May’s cabinet, meanwhile, is believed to have reached agreement on its negotiating position ahead of talks with Brussels. Britain will leave both the Single Market and the Customs Union but match EU regulations in certain key areas and trade freely with the EU in others, a policy being described as managed divergence. Spot the difference? Despite businesses giving their backing to Labour’s new policy there is actually very little. Ultimately, both the Conservatives and Labour are offering something that is worse than the deal Britain currently enjoys. What we are witnessing from our politicians instead is a very tactical game. Local elections are coming up, there is an amendment attached to the EU Withdrawal Bill by rebel Remain Tory MP Anna Soubry that calls for the government to stay in the existing Customs Union. Labour’s support for a customs union may be enough to see Remain rebel Tory MPs side with the opposition to defeat the

JASPER JOLLY @jjpjolly INFLATION in the Eurozone fell back in February as food price growth dipped, in a development which will confirm European Central Bank (ECB) bosses’ hesitation in signalling a tightening of policy. Prices grew by 1.2 per cent over the year to February, down from 1.3 per cent in the previous month, according to data published yesterday by the European Commission, in line with economists’ expectations. A marked slowdown in the pace of growth of food, alcohol and tobacco prices – from 1.9 per cent to 1.1 per cent – was the main drag on the headline index. Energy price growth moderated slightly, albeit still acting as the biggest upward push on the index.

INFINOX TALK

s Britain faces arguably its greatest challenge since the end of the Second World War, the country’s two main political parties are still horrendously split on how best to deal with it. At the helm of the government is a weak Prime Minister struggling to control the disparate wings of her party. And in charge of the opposition, a leader who, at best, can be said to lack enthusiasm for the European Union (EU) and, at worst, gives the impression that he wouldn’t be all that bothered if Britain left. Yet on Monday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn set out his party’s new position on Brexit. As a piece of political theatre it was a decent enough stunt. Labour was able to set out its stall before Theresa May gives yet another speech outlining the government’s cautiously agreed position on Brexit tomorrow.

Eurozone inflation drops back down as food fades

government. It could even bring down the government. Where that leaves the country is in a state of stalemate once again. There is no certainty around the outcome of another general election. And holding another general election will only delay attempts to negotiate an orderly withdrawal from the EU. While Labour’s policy shift does give greater clarity on its approach to the issue of tariff free trade, whether it goes as far as providing clear blue water between the Tories and Labour is debatable.

TACTICAL GAME

But that doesn’t matter. Such is the desperation of businesses for clarity around Brexit and the desire to continue to trade with Europe in a tariff free environment, that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the manufacturing lobby EEF both gave Labour’s policy shift enthusiastic support. Much to the annoyance of International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox. Even former Chancellor, George Osborne, saw the move as an open goal for the government with Jeremy Corbyn kicking “the ball into the back of it”. None of them are Labour’s natural bedfellows. Stuck in the middle of this horlicks are businesses; farmers terrified of losing subsidies, and of being exposed to competition from the US as regulations surrounding everything from chlorinated chicken and substandard milk are removed; to the City of London, which is making contingency plans to up sticks in the event of a hard Brexit; to Unilever, just the latest company to suggest it could quit the UK because of Brexit. It will begin to eat away at confidence and damage market sentiment. And, as we saw last week with the fourth quarter GDP downgrade, the economy is in a fragile enough state already. £ Matthew West, Contributing Editor for Infinox Capital

READ MORE ONLINE Read more at: cityam.com/infinox

Imports surge helps curb US GDP expansion

However, core inflation, which strips out the more volatile components from the index, rose slightly, to one per cent, giving some indication that price growth may continue its slow march towards the ECB’s two per cent target. The ECB’s governing council will meet next week to update its monetary policy, but most economists do not expect any major changes in tone, with the central bank keen to avoid a tightening of financial conditions, even in the context of an economy which grew at the fastest pace in a decade last year. However, Jack Allen, a European economist at Capital Economics, said the slower inflation reading will not prevent the ECB from tweaking its forward guidance on policy. He said the “decline in headline inflation does not change our view that

the ECB will drop the easing bias from its forward guidance. But with core inflation still weak and likely to rise only slowly, we think that interest rate hikes are a long way off.” However, consistent readings above one per cent will give ECB president Mario Draghi enough room to scale back the asset purchase programme of bond buying, known as quantitative easing, according to Alex Lydall, head of dealing at Foenix Partners. The ECB is currently buying around €30bn (£27bn) in securities every month in a bid to stimulate the economy. That programme is due to run out at the end of September. Lydall said: “Small steps higher for inflation will allow Draghi to consolidate his plan to curtail quantitative easing effectively and push the bloc out of the red and into recovery mode.”

INDIA’S ECONOMY BACK IN TOP SPOT Fastest growing globally in last 2017 quarter

LUCIA MUTIKANI US ECONOMIC growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in the fourth quarter after the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years depleted inventories and drew in imports as businesses struggled to produce enough goods and services. GDP expanded at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.6 per cent pace, the Commerce Department said in its second GDP estimate yesterday. That was a deceleration from the third quarter’s brisk 3.2 per cent pace. The downward revision to the growth estimate largely reflected a smaller inventory build than previously reported. The reliance on imports to satisfy domestic demand could widen the trade deficit and blunt the anticipated economic boost from a $1.5 trillion (£1.1 trillion) tax cut package. Reuters

INDIA regained its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the October-December quarter. It grew 7.2 per cent, surpassing China’s growth after a gap of one year, boosted by higher government spending and a pick-up in services.

Are you a central banker struggling with low inflation? Blame it on an ageing population JASPER JOLLY @jjpjolly CENTRAL bankers scratching their heads as to why inflation has stayed so low despite unprecedented loose monetary policy may have a new scapegoat: old people. Research published yesterday by Oxford Economics, a consultancy, shows a clear correlation between an ageing population and lower inflation. In the five years to 2015, 47 per cent of the variation in inflation rates can be explained by the proportion of elderly people in the general

population, the research shows. Older people might favour lower inflation because they tend to have a bigger pile of savings, the real value of which is eroded by price rises. Older people (which might include many of the policymakers) may therefore tend to vote for political regimes which favour lower inflation. The negative correlation between inflation and the share of over-65s in the population has existed in 50 of the last 60 years, with the ‘80s the only decade when it broke down. Gabriel Sterne, Oxford Economics’ head of global macro research and an

author of the research, told City A.M. the findings give further weight to calls to raise central banks’ inflation targets. The major central banks around the world all have similar mandates targeting two per cent annual inflation, but most have struggled to push inflation up to anywhere near that rate. Sterne favours raising the target to around three to 3.5 per cent, giving more room for error in central bank policy before damaging deflation begins. The idea of raising the target has gained traction in recent years from prominent economists.


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

Mayor sets out scope for west London rail line REBECCA SMITH

@BexKSmith LONDON mayor Sadiq Khan said yesterday his revised transport strategy for the capital over the next 25 years now includes plans for a West London Orbital rail line that would connect Hounslow with Cricklewood and Hendon. The potential line would go via Old Oak, Neasden and Brent Cross, and would be delivered through Transport for London, the West London Alliance boroughs and Network Rail, with the

A ROYAL FLUSH Eurostar eyes surge in US passengers with royal wedding in May

mayor saying it could potentially support the delivery of another 20,000 homes. The updated strategy also includes a specific proposal to work with the London boroughs of Merton and Sutton to develop the proposed Sutton Tram extension. However, Keith Prince, the London Assembly transport committee chair, said: “As a committee we have been crying out for some real detail in the mayor’s transport strategy.” But Prince added that there was “nothing new” in the revised document. Khan said the plans will drive new homes and jobs

@BexKSmith MPs TODAY warned there was “no credible argument” to suggest there are advantages to be gained from Brexit for UK car manufacturing, and called for the government to ensure the closest possible relationship with the existing EU regulatory and trading framework. A report out today from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) Committee has urged the government to pursue “an exercise in damage limitation in the negotiations”, warning a no-deal

scenario would put hundreds of thousands of UK jobs at risk, and threaten hundreds of millions of pounds of inward investment. It found it “unrealistic” to expect expansion of trade overseas to outweigh the loss of trade to Europe arising from a hard Brexit. Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Beis Committee, called the car industry “one of the UK’s great manufacturing successes” and a major contributor to our economic growth. She said: “There is no credible argument to suggest there are advantages to be gained from Brexit for the UK car industry.

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Trade body gives airlines Brexit guidance REBECCA SMITH

EUROSTAR said yesterday it expects rising US traffic to continue with the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approaching in May. It reported US visitor numbers up 26 per cent last year and business traffic up eight per cent.

MPs push for ‘damage limitation’ for car industry in Brussels talks REBECCA SMITH

NEWS

Regulatory consistency and frictionfree trade benefits car companies, consumers and car-workers.” A Beis spokesperson said: “The government is seeking a partnership that delivers the maximum possible benefits for both the UK and EU economies, and maintains the strength of our world-leading automotive sector. “From production to distribution, numerous companies in this sector around the UK and Europe are highly dependent on each other which is why we must ensure crossborder trade is as free and frictionless as possible post-Brexit.”

Toyota in Brexit boost with pledge to build next Auris in the UK REBECCA SMITH @BexKSmith TOYOTA announced yesterday it will build its new generation Auris model at its Burnaston factory in Derbyshire. The majority of the engines for the new model will be sourced from the firm’s Deeside factory in north Wales, which it said will secure 3,000 jobs across the two sites. The government said the commitment was secured in part thanks to its investment of more than £20m last year to support the installation of a new production platform in Burnaston, worth over £240m. Johan van Zyl, Toyota Motor Europe’s president and chief executive, said: “As a company, we are doing what we can to secure the competitiveness of our UK operations as a leading manufacturing centre for our European business.”

@BexKSmith A EUROPEAN aviation trade body yesterday issued advice for airlines on Brexit, saying there is “no one-sizefits-all solution”, with a warning that the aviation industry should not suffer “the brunt of political inadequacies”. The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents 49 airlines, has provided guidance to carriers to prepare for different Brexit scenarios. “We are now 20 months postreferendum, and 11 months after the triggering of Article 50, with no visible developments for the aviation industry across the European region,” the ERA said. It has told airlines to consider what percentage of their networks are intra-European, whether any deals currently under discussion need to be re-evaluated, and what is the residency status of their employees.

City of London update

Looking out for rough sleepers in the City

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ITH snow and freezing temperatures hitting the UK this week, City workers and residents are being asked to keep an eye open for rough sleepers. If you are concerned about a rough sleeper, or sleeping rough yourself, you can report it online via streetlink.org.uk, by downloading the StreetLink app (on smartphones) or calling 0300 500 0914. The City Corporation outreach team responds to all new information with immediate effect. During cold weather, the organisation operates a proactive shift model. Our commissioned

outreach service is on the streets looking out for rough sleepers every day to offer emergency accommodation. If you see someone sleeping rough and think they are suffering the effects of exposure to cold weather, please contact emergency services on 999.

How can the City earn trust? ALDERMAN Charles Bowman will be exploring the issue of Trust-Busting Or Trust-Building: How Can The City Earn Trust? in the Lord Mayor’s annual Gresham College Lecture on 8 March at Guildhall. “In the light of the 2016 Brexit vote, it is clear that trust amongst society and commerce is more important than ever. The City has a responsibility to regain the trust of the society it is here to serve.” This talk and panel discussion will explore the fundamentals of trust, why

companies lower standards at their peril, and what, other than pious words, can be done to restore confidence that society has appropriate levels of commercial trust. www.gresham.ac.uk

News, info and offers at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eshot


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THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

St James’s Place targets wealthy’s inheritance problems as profit lifts LUCY WHITE @LucyGJWhite WEALTH manager St James’s Place (SJP) announced yesterday its profit had shot up over 2017, as the firm saw rising demand from clients for pensions advice. Profit before tax stood at £186.1m, an impressive rise of 32 per cent from the year before. Meanwhile the full-year dividend

of 42.86p was up 30 per cent, helping to lift SJP’s share price by 2.58 per cent by the close yesterday. “Our core target market is already large and forecast to grow further still, driven by favourable demographic trends and the accumulation of investable assets as savers take on the responsibility for providing for their own well-being in retirement,” said SJP’s chief executive Andrew Croft.

He noted tax complexities, pensions freedoms and low interest rates were prompting individuals to take retirement planning into their own hands. SJP was also hoping to scoop up clients from the next generation, saying it was progressing with its “intergenerational proposition”. Around £2.8 trillion is expected to transfer between generations over the next 30 years.

Man Group’s chief executive Luke Ellis did ring some warning bells yesterday

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Record inflows help Man Group surpass $100bn LUCY WHITE @LucyGJWhite HEDGE fund house Man Group has broken through the $100bn under management barrier, as it yesterday reported record inflows over 2017 and results which exceeded expectations. Funds under management swelled by 35 per cent over 2017 to $109.1bn (£79bn), thanks to record net inflows of $12.8bn. Meanwhile Man’s profit before tax flew in at $384m, nine per cent ahead of consensus expectations and 87 per cent higher than last year. However, the group’s chief executive Luke Ellis did ring some warning bells with investors as he addressed recent investment performance. “In common with others, the recent moves in markets have impacted our investment performance in some areas, particularly for our momentum strategies,” Ellis said. “However, looking forward Man is well positioned, with strong fundamentals, investment in innovative strategies and a continuing pipeline of interest from clients.”

Momentum strategies, where an investor places bets on assets where the price has been trending upwards, suffered a knock when global equity markets stumbled into sudden volatility at the beginning of February. Management fee margins were slightly down, which Man put down to investors throwing money into lower margin strategies. Quant strategies, which use complex algorithms to detect investment opportunities, and Man’s discretionary investment division GLG saw particularly strong inflows. The FTSE 250-listed group’s shares closed down 5.14 per cent yesterday.

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Watchdog concludes William Hill TV advert was ‘misleading’ ALYS KEY @alys_key WILLIAM Hill has been given a slap on the wrist for an advert which the watchdog concluded was “misleading”. Following a complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reviewed a TV ad which offered punters a 15 per cent free bet bonus if their horse won by two lengths or more. Small print at the bottom of the screen said the offer was only

available on races with six or more runners. But the ASA said this was contradictory to the voiceover, which said the offer could be on “any live ITV flat race”. The watchdog also noted that runners can sometimes drop out of races at the last minute. “The ad must not appear again in its current form,” the ASA concluded. “We told William Hill to make significant conditions to offers in their ads clear and to ensure that they do not contradict the claims they qualified.”


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

AA shares put their foot down after bigwig pick

OLIVER GILL

@ojngill AA SHARES spluttered back to life yesterday after the breakdown giant appointed an insurance heavyweight to its board. Cathryn Riley, currently the chair of AA’s in-house insurance broker, will become a non-executive director with immediate effect. Riley is Aviva’s former chief operations officer and a non-exec at the likes of Equitable Life and insurance underwriter Chubb. Previously, she was a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand and led a transformation of healthcare giant Bupa. Shares closed up 8.22 per cent to 73.48p on the news. “I am delighted that Cathryn has agreed to join the board at this time,” said AA chairman John Leach. “She has been a great asset to the AA as chair of our insurance broker. She is an experienced non-executive director with focus in insurance, financial

services and IT transformation which will provide further strength and depth to the board. I believe that she will bring valuable experience and perspective.” AA’s return to form comes after markets shuddered in response to a turnaround plan unveiled last week. After decades as a breakdown firm, the AA has developed its insurance offering in recent years. The firm rolled out plans to “accelerate” its expansion into the sector.

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‘Back in groove’ Admiral hands £3,600 to staff OLIVER GILL

Gocompare spent 2017 making a series of new “strategic investments”

Gocompare profits swell by a fifth after ‘disciplined’ year OLIVER GILL

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@ojngill ANNUAL profits at price comparison site Gocompare grew by a fifth, it was announced yesterday. Insurance grandee and Gocompare founder Sir Peter Wood said 2017 marked a “disciplined approach” to growth.

Revenue was 5.1 per cent higher at £149.2m. Adjusted operating profit grew 20 per cent to £36m. Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Nicholas Hyatt said: “The group’s prodigious cash flow has seen leverage tumble despite the group embarking on a programme of strategic investments.” Shares fell 0.35 per cent to 114p.

@ojngill ALMOST 10,000 Admiral staff were yesterday been handed a £3,600 special bonus each. Full-year profits at the Cardiffbased insurer rose 43 per cent to £405m. Chief executive David Stevens said it was “great to be back in the groove” of posting a 23rd year of record profits. Last year was only the second time the firm had reported a year-on-year fall in earnings. Dividends were hiked by 11 per cent to 114p per share. The firm’s 9,600 staff will receive their bonus in the form of shares. In common with other motor insurers, Admiral’s profits were hit hard by the UK government’s decision to slash the discount rate – a move that hiked payouts for personal injury claims. Stevens added: “Beyond the pure financials, there’s also a lot going on that helps build the longer-term prosperity of the group – notably our investment in widening our product range (van, travel, loans in 2017) in a way that helps us attract more customers.”

GUEST OPINION

The case for the best from all backgrounds

Caroline Adair explains the merits of apprenticeships for resilient workforces

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PPRENTICESHIPS should be the foundation of a skills policy for a socially mobile UK workforce. They should be high quality, at a meaningful level and with opportunities for career progression. They should be available to all who are capable, regardless of background. They should, in short, be a genuine alternative to a costly university system that leaves all-too-many behind. We’re nowhere near that yet, and the apprenticeship levy hasn’t helped. As Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI told the BBC this week, it’s “a massive lost opportunity… This is the time when we have to get it right.” The failings of the initiative were not only predictable, but predicted – and now proven. Last month, representatives from the Institute for Public Policy Research, Sutton Trust and Young Women’s Trust appeared before the Education Select Committee as part of an inquiry into the quality of the apprenticeship delivery. Their findings indicated the difficulties that young people face, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – not least as a direct result of the levy. With a target of 3m apprenticeship ‘starts’ – an objectively unhelpful measurement of anything – things got off to a difficult start for the government when the first official post-levy figures saw a dramatic 61 per cent year-on-year fall. The removal of an upper age limit for apprenticeships had the obvious effect too: Sutton

Trust’s research estimates two-thirds of the ‘apprenticeships’ that have been taken up are converting existing employee’s skills into qualifications, or further investing in the adult workforce. This skills-investment is important too, but doesn’t serve a generation of young workers who were ostensibly at the heart of the apprenticeship levy reform, and has created the evident oxymoron of a Level 7 ‘apprenticeship’ – equivalent to a Master’s degree. This isn’t the fault of business, or the providers of Level 7 apprenticeships. Government policy created that market, and their failure to incentivise firms to engage in the spirit of the levy meant that young people were always going to lose out. But there is a compelling business case for youth and diversity. Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB) is now in its sixth year of preparing and supporting bright, ambitious young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into accountancy apprenticeships with major firms. Their pre-apprenticeship training programme makes school leavers workready, and they’ve gone on to flourish in RSM, EY, Grant Thornton, Nex and

There is a compelling business case for youth and diversity

The apprenticeship levy came into force last April, hitting employers with a pay bill of more than £3m over 60 other companies. It’s a model that works, as Fairbairn herself recognises, speaking at our Women In Finance event last year: “The way forward is partnership: partnership between business, government and crucially also the third sector. The kind of work Leadership Through Sport & Business is doing is absolutely vital, creating new pathways to work. And something we’re particularly excited by at the CBI is the apprenticeship route because I think it does open up new opportunities.” Michael Spencer, CEO of Nex, has supported the programme since it was founded by former Tradition COO

David Pinchin in 2012: “Not only do I view this as the right thing to do, I also recognise the contribution these ambitious young people can make to our business.” “Nex (and previously Icap) has employed 49 apprentices in total from LTSB in our group finance department. Each year we were able to retain 4 to 6 of the LTSB apprentices, and I am delighted to report that these young people have been able to take on more and more responsibility and continue their professional studies.” Even those who are not retained – it often comes down to headcount, rather than ability – have the benefit

of an incredible start to a career, as Spencer notes: “They’re often scooped up really quickly by other financial service organisations who value the training they have had with Nex and the support they get from LTSB.” LTSB’s long-term programme makes a lasting difference, but employers need to give non-traditional talent their chance – and critically they must accept the challenge of creating environments in which young people not only contribute, but also develop. £ Caroline Adair is CEO of social mobility charity Leadership Through Sport & Business


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THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

What a load of snowflakes: The capital turned white again as subzero temperatures and snow caused further travel chaos and closed schools

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INTER is going out with a bang this year, as the capital looks set to enter its fourth day of sub-zero temperatures this morning, following a photogenic whiteout yesterday. However the snap-happy smiles won’t be shared with some commuters and parents as they scramble to deal with cancelled trains, closed schools and grounded flights. Greater Anglia, Stansted Express and Southwestern services all reported cancellations and lengthy delays yesterday, while getting into town on the Tube proved frustrating for some. Transport for London reported severe delays across several lines, including the Central and Piccadilly, while TfL Rail and London Overground also had delays. More than 100 mainly short-haul European flights were cancelled or delayed at London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports due to the bad

weather caused by Storm Emily. Meanwhile Highways England issued an amber or “be prepared” alert for drivers in south east England. The Met Office also issued an amber warnings for today and tomorrow. “A spell of heavy snow is expected to move north across south west England and Wales through Thursday afternoon and evening. Some places could also see significant ice build up overnight into Friday,” the forecasting service said. The Good use of bad vegetables government issued fresh health warnings as conditions deteriorate, and said people should consider stocking up on essential items while they can. But it wasn’t all bad news, many dozens of schools closed due to the bad weather and children made the most of the wintry weather – with sleds and snowmen a common sight in London’s parks and commons.

A Household Cavalry Guard looks on as the snow keeps falling

Enthusiastic locals make the most of the rare snowfall in Greenwich

Clockwise from above: Greenwich Park in south east London became an unofficial ‘blue run’ for this snowboarder among the morning walkers; the Trafalgar Square fountain freezes over in central London; train travel has been disrupted across many franchises for the last two days, but this c2c service trundled through Leigh-onSea; elsewhere, commuters around Glasgow had it much worse, with bumper-tobumper traffic in and out of the city.


CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

NEWS

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Capital stalls in whiteout

Canary Wharf snow is rare enough it warrants a photo for this worker

The sub-zero chill was not enough to keep Boris Johnson inside

Storm Emma helped the swell for this surfer in Redcar


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MARKETS

CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITY DASHBOARD LONDON REPORT

Miners knock blue-chip index after China data

U

K SHARE indexes fell yesterday, dragged down by mining companies after weak factory data from China, while comments from US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell reignited expectations of more interest rate hikes in the United States. The FTSE 100 was down 0.7 per cent at 7,231.91 points at its close, tracking further weakness on Wall Street after Powell gave an upbeat view on the US economy and said data had strengthened his confidence on inflation. Traders boosted bets that the central bank would squeeze in a fourth rate hike this year following the remarks. A drop in the pound provided some shortlived relief for the FTSE after the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said a transition deal was not guaranteed and the prime minister said the EU’s draft legal text would undermine Britain. The FTSE 100, which tends to gain when sterling is weak due to its high proportion of international constituents, touched a session high before sliding lower.

TOP RISERS 1. St James’s Place up 2.58 per cent 2. IAG up 1.86 per cent 3. Shire up 1.8 per cent

TOP FALLERS

Among sectors miners were the standout fallers in London after growth in China’s manufacturing sector in February cooled to the weakest in more than one-and-a-half years. The weakness was driven by disruption to business activity due to Lunar New Year holidays and curbs to factory output from tougher pollution rules, but there are worries of a bigger loss in momentum. Antofagasta, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton were all down between 2.7 to four per cent. ITV, down 7.6 per cent, Stocks in some of the FTSE’s biggest miners lost steam yesterday topped the FTSE 100 fallers’ list, retreating after gains in the previous session when hopes for a bidding war for Sky after Comcast’s offer for the pay-TV group put broadcasters in the spotlight. ITV reported a five per cent earnings drop in a tough advertising market yesterday. Its earnings met analyst expectations, but it ended its special dividend. Taylor Wimpey fell four per cent despite full-year results in line with analysts’ expectations and a solid start to 2018.

BEST OF THE BROKERS To appear in Best of the Brokers, email your research to notes@cityam.com

1,650

1,562 28 Feb

1,500 1,450 1,400

22 Feb

205

P

7,150

22 Feb 23 Feb 26 Feb 27 Feb 28 Feb

28 Feb

28 Feb

188

195 190 185 180

22 Feb

23 Feb

26 Feb

27 Feb

28 Feb

Ready meal maker Bakkavor’s results may not have offered any tasty surprises yesterday, but they were broadly in line with expectations. Its volume growth year to date had been slightly slower than expected, Peel Hunt analysts noted, as inflationary pressures were passed down the chain. Though they added this should ease throughout the year, Peel Hunt lowered its forecasts by five per cent to reflect the slower start while reiterating a “buy” recommendation. Bakkavor is set to enter the FTSE All Share at the next review, and has several plant investments planned.

GREGGS 1,350

P

1,325 1,300 1,275

28 Feb

1,250

1,195

22 Feb

7,231.91

27 Feb

200

1,200

28 Feb

26 Feb

BAKKAVOR

7,350 7,300

23 Feb

Marine engineering business James Fisher & Sons may have seen its share price sink a little in recent weeks, but this has only caused analysts at Canaccord Genuity to up their recommendation to “buy” from “hold”. Saying that the company is “not often available for less than 16 times earnings”, Canaccord noted that the company has “rarely disappointed” on expectations. The FTSE 250 company announced “positive” full-year results on Tuesday, with its working capital position beginning to stabilise which Canaccord concluded could mean more bolt-on acquisitions.

1,225

7,250

P

1,600 1,550

23 Feb

26 Feb

NEW YORK REPORT

S&P’s worst month since January 2016

FISHER & SONS

FTSE

7,200

1. ITV down 7.62 per cent 2. Admiral down 4.56 per cent 3. Fresnillo down 4.2 per cent

YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP BROKER VIEWS AND MARKET REPORTS

27 Feb

28 Feb

Pastry producer Greggs is “in a demand sweet spot”, according to Barclays analysts, but it is facing cost headwinds and capital intensity is rising. “We have great admiration for Greggs’ consumer offering,” said one analyst, who may or may not have been a steak bake fan, but food inflation and wage inflation are expected to pile on the pressure. Even though like-for-like sales are predicted to rise and net 110 new stores are set to open, analysts only expect flat earnings margins. Barclays reiterated a neutral “equal weight” rating and target price of £14.05.

U

S STOCKS sold off late to end sharply lower yesterday, dragged down by continued worries over rising interest rates, and the Dow and S&P 500 capped their worst months since January 2016. The S&P 500 also snapped a 10month straight run of gains, which had been its longest monthly winning streak since an 11-month run from March 1958 to January 1959. Yesterday’s declines closed a month marked by spikes in volatility and fears that rising inflation could prompt the Federal Reserve to pick up the pace of interest rate hikes. New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s Tuesday remarks, which revived fears about more rate increases than expected this year, continued to weigh. Energy shares dropped with oil prices and the sector had the biggest daily decline in the S&P 500, but a break below the 50-day moving average on the S&P 500 triggered further selling in afternoon trading. The Cboe Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term volatility of the S&P 500 index , closed up 1.26 at 19.85, its highest close in a week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 380.83 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 25,029.2, the S&P 500 lost 30.45 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 2,713.83 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.35 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 7,273.01. For the month, the Dow lost 4.3 per cent and the S&P 500 fell 3.9 per cent. The Nasdaq declined 1.9 per cent, its biggest monthly percentage fall since October 2016. The month also included a confirmation of a 10percent correction for the stock market but that was followed by a rebound that made the monthly losses less steep. Retailer shares were among the bright spots of the day. Booking Holdings, formerly known as Priceline, rose 6.8 per cent after reporting upbeat quarterly profit, helped by higher hotel bookings, while off-price apparel seller TJX jumped 6.9 per cent after posting upbeat same-store sales.

CITY MOVES WHO’S SWITCHING JOBS AMUNDI

Amundi has appointed Cristina Matti as head of European small and mid-cap equities and country strategies, overseeing portfolio management for pan-European small and midcap funds and mandates, Euroland small and mid-cap funds and mandates, as well as the micro-caps and country strategies. She reports to Diego Franzin, head of equity investment platform. Cristina has been co-head of European small and mid-caps at Amundi since July

2017. Prior to this, she was head of European small and mid-caps for Pioneer Investments since June 2001, and head of country strategies since 2007. Before focusing on the area of small-cap markets, Cristina was a member of the European equity team in Pioneer Investments from 1996- 2001. She has concentrated her investment management skills on European equity markets since the beginning of her career. A graduate of the Bocconi University in Milan in 1993, Cristina joined Credit Rolo Gestioni from Fondigest in Milan, where she worked as a portfolio manager.

FROG CAPITAL

Shirin Dehghan, one of the most successful European female entrepreneurs of recent years, is joining the

To appear in CITYMOVES please email your career updates and pictures to citymoves@cityam.com

scale-up focused tech VC, Frog Capital, as partner on the investment team. Shirin Dehghan was founder and CEO of Arieso, a UK-headquartered software business that she grew to become the global leader in smartphone quality of service before ultimately being acquired by JDSU (now Viavi). Within the last 10 years, less than 10 female ex-CEO entrepreneurs have joined the European VC industry as senior partners. Since leaving Arieso, Shirin has been an active angel investor as well as chairwomanof OpenSignal. Shirin has been acclaimed in several awards, such as European entrepreneur of the year.

CLUTTONS COMMERCIAL AGENCY

Cluttons Commercial Agency team has recruited

Henry Brewster as an associate partner to join the growing practice based in London, which has a number of new clients including Shaftesbury, Astrea and several charity clients. He has a wealth of experience and joins from the West End agency team at Kinney Green where he focused on the office market, providing strategic advice to both Landlords and Tenants across a range of sectors, from technology to financial services. Under the leadership of Freddie Pritchard-Smith who also recently joined Cluttons, the team has been developing an offer which is focusing on the changing needs of occupiers and anticipating new developments in the market. This includes focusing on the importance of connectivity and wellness in the workplace.


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

FTSE 100

FTSE 250

7231.91 50.54

19687.27 188.51 Price Chg High Low

GILTS Tsy 5.000 18 . . . . . . .100.11 Tsy 1.250 18 . . . . . . .100.36 Tsy 4.500 19 . . . . . .103.94 Tsy 3.750 19 . . . . . . .104.62 Tsy 4.750 20 . . . . . .108.09 Tsy 2.500 20 . . . . . .363.06 Tsy 8.000 21 . . . . . .123.00 Tsy 1.875 22 . . . . . . .118.50 Tsy 4.000 22 . . . . . . .112.10 Tsy 2.250 23 . . . . . .105.96 Tsy 2.500 24 . . . . . .359.24 Tsy 0.125 24 . . . . . . .111.60 Tsy 5.000 25 . . . . . .125.07 Tsy 4.250 27 . . . . . .124.86 Tsy 1.250 27 . . . . . . .129.82 Tsy 6.000 28 . . . . . .143.98 Tsy 0.125 29 . . . . . . .120.10 Tsy 4.125 30 . . . . . . .359.57 Tsy 4.750 30 . . . . . . .135.01 Tsy 4.250 32 . . . . . . .131.36 Tsy 1.250 32 . . . . . . .146.91 Tsy 0.125 36 . . . . . . .136.21 Tsy 4.250 36 . . . . . . .136.71 Tsy 4.750 38 . . . . . .149.29 Tsy 0.625 40 . . . . . . .157.32 Tsy 4.500 42 . . . . . .150.88 Tsy 3.500 45 . . . . . .132.99 Tsy 4.250 46 . . . . . . .151.55 Tsy 4.025 49 . . . . . . .157.30 Tsy 0.500 50 . . . . . .182.95 Tsy 0.250 52 . . . . . . .178.81

0.00 0.00 -0.03 -0.04 -0.06 -0.03 -0.12 -0.22 -0.15 -0.20 -0.24 -0.28 -0.23 -0.42 -0.44 -0.41 -0.48 -0.29 -0.41 -0.44 -0.41 -0.44 -0.56 -0.65 -0.53 -0.71 -0.78 -0.82 -0.83 -0.77 -0.84

105.0 101.7 109.1 109.3 114.0 375.0 133.0 129.1 118.0 110.9 375.4 120.3 132.9 133.0 141.5 153.9 130.6 380.7 143.9 139.1 160.8 150.1 144.1 157.2 175.2 159.2 140.3 160.4 166.7 209.1 206.3

100.1 100.1 103.9 104.6 108.0 362.4 122.8 118.2 111.8 105.4 356.8 111.3 124.1 123.4 129.1 142.4 119.1 355.1 133.0 129.3 145.1 134.0 134.3 146.2 154.3 147.2 129.4 147.5 152.5 177.0 171.5

AEROSPACE & DEFENCE BAE Systems . . . . . . . . .579.4 Cobham . . . . . . . . . . . . .113.5 Meggitt . . . . . . . . . . . . .452.6 QinetiQ Group . . . . . . . .205.1 Rolls-Royce Holdi . . . . .839.6 Senior . . . . . . . . . . . . . .290.8 Ultra Electronics . . . . .1590.0

6.8 -2.2 1.6 1.6 -12.8 4.0 70.0

677.0 148.0 526.0 319.7 981.0 296.8 2204.0

535.5 104.1 437.1 195.5 743.0 182.9 1142.0

AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .437.8

7.1 447.6 294.3

BANKS Aldermore Group . . . . . .311.0 -0.8 312.6 212.2 Barclays . . . . . . . . . . . . .213.5 1.5 232.9 178.9 BGEO Group . . . . . . . .3390.0 10.0 3868.0 2805.0 Close Brothers Gr . . . . .1570.0 -33.0 1715.0 1316.0 CYBG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301.2 -3.6 340.3 260.0 HSBC Holdings . . . . . . . .717.1 -2.1 796.0 620.8 Lloyds Banking Gr . . . . .68.8 -0.2 73.1 62.2 Metro Bank . . . . . . . . .3952.0 -2.0 4000.0 3212.0 Royal Bank of Sco . . . . .267.7 -2.7 302.4 224.7 Standard Chartere . . . .810.8 -28.2 849.2 685.9 TBC Bank Group . . . . .1564.0 -20.0 1818.0 1390.0 Virgin Money Hold . . . .279.6 0.1 342.0 258.2

BEVERAGES Barr (A.G.) . . . . . . . . . .660.0 Britvic . . . . . . . . . . . . . .678.0 Coca-Cola HBC AG . . .2385.0 Diageo . . . . . . . . . . . .2460.0

0.0 -10.5 -57.0 -19.0

670.0 820.0 2671.0 2725.0

521.0 631.5 1936.0 2201.5

CHEMICALS Croda Internation . . . .4622.0 72.0 4646.1 3483.0 Elementis . . . . . . . . . . .291.8 11.0 317.1 259.1 Johnson Matthey . . . . .3135.0 -20.0 3503.0 2727.0 Sirius Minerals . . . . . . . . .27.5 -1.0 35.0 17.3 Synthomer . . . . . . . . . .473.4 0.4 509.5 446.5

FTSE ALL SHARE

BATS UK 100

3981.61 29.91

12296.69 65.55

Price Chg High Low Victrex plc . . . . . . . . . .2592.0 14.0 2730.0 1832.0

CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty . . . . . . .265.2 -1.6 CRH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2402.0 -34.0 Galliford Try . . . . . . . . . .918.0 -5.0 Ibstock . . . . . . . . . . . . . .261.2 -4.8 Kier Group . . . . . . . . . .1037.0 -8.0 Marshalls . . . . . . . . . . . .416.8 6.8 Polypipe Group . . . . . .390.4 -10.6

307.6 253.5 2920.0 2380.0 1583.0 800.0 270.2 198.0 1503.0 955.5 480.2 293.9 436.5 332.2

ELECTRICITY Drax Group . . . . . . . . . .248.6 10.0 364.0 221.4 SSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1225.0 -16.0 1551.0 1182.0

ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQ. Halma . . . . . . . . . . . . .1205.0 -8.0 Morgan Advanced M . .338.0 -1.4 Renishaw . . . . . . . . . .4834.0 -64.0 Spectris . . . . . . . . . . . .2725.0 -24.0

1330.0 959.5 366.2 281.9 5775.0 3050.0 2834.0 2229.0

EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUM. Aberforth Smaller . . . .1280.0 -4.0 1386.0 1177.0 Alliance Trust . . . . . . . .738.0 -2.0 769.0 667.0 Bankers Inv Trust . . . . .882.0 -5.0 923.0 733.5 British Empire Tr . . . . . .721.0 1.0 753.0 658.5 Caledonia Investm . . .2715.0 -35.0 3008.0 2600.0 City of London In . . . . .410.0 -4.0 443.0 402.0 Edinburgh Inv Tru . . . . .637.0 -3.0 779.5 634.0 F&C Global Smalle . . . .1310.0 -5.0 1415.0 1250.0 Fidelity China Sp . . . . . .244.5 -2.0 262.0 186.8 Fidelity European . . . . .222.0 -1.0 234.0 188.2 Finsbury Growth & . . . .748.0 -5.0 777.0 684.0 Foreign and Colon . . . . .651.0 -2.0 672.0 555.5 GCP Infrastructur . . . . . .117.4 -0.2 133.0 117.0 Genesis Emerging . . . .709.0 -7.0 750.0 620.5 Greencoat UK Wind . . . .122.2 -0.2 126.5 117.8 HarbourVest Globa . . .1240.0 -6.0 1306.0 1199.0 Herald Investment . . . .1175.0 -35.0 1210.0 915.5 HICL Infrastructu . . . . . .146.0 -0.4 174.6 141.1 International Pub . . . . .151.0 -0.6 166.6 147.2 John Laing Infras . . . . . .116.6 -0.8 140.2 113.4 JPMorgan American . . .399.5 -5.0 418.5 366.1 JPMorgan Emerging . . .891.0 -9.0 930.0 735.0 JPMorgan Indian I . . . .705.0 -7.0 785.0 661.5 Jupiter European . . . . .736.0 -6.0 794.0 569.0 Mercantile Invest . . . .2100.0 -20.0 2210.0 1796.0 Monks Inv Trust . . . . . .800.0 -4.0 825.0 612.0 Murray Internatio . . . .1232.0 -18.0 1307.0 1166.0 NB Global Floatin . . . . . .91.3 -0.2 100.2 90.9 Perpetual Income . . . . .351.5 -1.5 408.5 347.5 Pershing Square H . . . .951.0 -6.0 1250.0 933.0 Personal Assets T . . .39900.0 0.0 41580.039500.0 Polar Capital Tec . . . . . .1172.0 -6.0 1197.0 903.0 RIT Capital Partn . . . . .1930.0 -28.0 2005.0 1815.0 Riverstone Energy . . . .1176.0 2.0 1370.0 1170.0 Schroder Asia Pac . . . .462.0 -7.0 484.0 362.8 Scottish Inv Trus . . . . . .826.0 -2.0 891.0 777.5 Scottish Mortgage . . . .458.6 -8.4 477.0 348.4 Sequoia Economic . . . .106.5 0.5 114.5 105.4 Syncona Limited N . . . .196.0 -2.0 215.5 141.5 Temple Bar Inv Tr . . . .1262.0 -8.0 1335.0 1226.0 Templeton Emergin . . .783.0 -5.0 825.0 643.0 The Renewables In . . . .106.6 -0.2 112.2 101.4 TR Property Inv T . . . . .372.0 -5.0 405.0 304.2 Vietnam Enterpris . . . .473.0 -1.0 495.0 319.0 Witan Inv Trust . . . . . .1060.0 -6.0 1108.0 944.0 Woodford Patient . . . . .75.4 -1.6 106.0 74.7 Worldwide Healthc . .2490.0 -40.0 2679.0 2265.0

BATS UK 250

17914.21 119.99

Price Chg High Low Arrow Global Grou . . . .351.0 4.0 470.5 293.3 Ashmore Group . . . . . . .412.8 -6.0 433.2 332.3 Brewin Dolphin Ho . . . .344.6 -0.4 393.0 302.6 Charles Taylor . . . . . . . .275.0 -13.5 295.0 220.0 Charter Court Fin . . . . . .318.0 -2.0 336.0 228.8 City of London In . . . . . .431.0 -16.0 450.0 360.0 CMC Markets . . . . . . . . .153.4 1.0 175.5 111.3 Coats Group . . . . . . . . . . .82.1 -0.9 90.0 55.8 Hargreaves Lansdo . . .1725.5 0.0 1928.0 1266.0 IG Group Holdings . . . .808.5 3.5 815.5 491.9 Intermediate Capi . . . .1058.0 -9.0 1178.0 700.5 International Per . . . . . .189.3 -10.7 222.0 157.5 Investec . . . . . . . . . . . .635.0 -1.8 638.8 461.4 IP Group . . . . . . . . . . . . .114.8 -2.8 168.2 109.4 John Laing Group . . . . .271.0 -2.2 317.8 252.0 Jupiter Fund Mana . . . .512.2 4.8 631.4 411.3 Liontrust Asset M . . . . .548.0 -18.0 610.0 380.9 LMS Capital . . . . . . . . . . .48.8 0.0 57.1 41.3 London Finance & . . . . .44.0 -0.5 46.0 43.5 London Stock Exch . . .4028.0 -26.0 4085.0 3014.0 Man Group . . . . . . . . . . .171.8 -9.3 217.7 141.2 OneSavings Bank . . . . .408.6 1.8 470.3 364.2 Paragon Banking G . . .487.8 -3.0 512.0 403.9 Provident Financi . . . . .980.0 -22.0 3265.0 588.0 Rathbone Brothers . .2604.0 -34.0 2800.0 2262.0 Real Estate Credi . . . . . .167.0 -1.0 175.0 159.9 Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47.9 -0.1 52.5 38.4 S&U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2260.0 -5.0 2420.0 1883.5 Sanne Group . . . . . . . .645.0 15.0 830.0 606.0 Schroders . . . . . . . . . .3449.0 -22.0 3773.0 3030.0 Standard Life Abe . . . . .368.1 -5.9 447.1 351.1 TP ICAP . . . . . . . . . . . . .537.6 -2.6 553.6 444.8 VPC Specialty Len . . . . . .78.0 -1.8 83.0 74.3 Walker Crips Grou . . . . .38.0 0.0 48.5 37.0 Xafinity . . . . . . . . . . . . .188.0 2.8 194.0 152.3

FIXED LINE TELECOMS BT Group . . . . . . . . . . . .239.8 -3.5 342.5 225.6 TalkTalk Telecom . . . . .102.6 -0.9 218.0 94.5 Telecom Plus . . . . . . . .1250.0 -2.0 1321.0 1069.0

FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Booker Group . . . . . . . . .227.1 Greggs . . . . . . . . . . . . .1195.0 Morrison (Wm) Sup . . .225.7 Ocado Group . . . . . . . . .553.2 Sainsbury (J) . . . . . . . .259.0 SSP Group . . . . . . . . . . .604.5 Tesco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210.8 UDG Healthcare Pu . . . .836.0

3.6 -97.0 0.8 10.2 1.3 -13.5 3.7 -8.0

233.2 1399.0 252.9 562.2 281.7 687.5 215.0 959.0

182.7 978.0 207.0 238.5 224.8 404.0 166.5 689.5

FOOD PRODUCERS Associated Britis . . . . .2631.0 -30.0 Cranswick . . . . . . . . . .3058.0 -32.0 Dairy Crest Group . . . . .553.5 -5.5 Greencore Group . . . . . .177.6 -5.3 Purecircle Limite . . . . . .425.0 -13.0 Tate & Lyle . . . . . . . . . .560.4 -1.6 Unilever . . . . . . . . . . . .3733.5 -18.5

3371.0 2484.0 3337.0 2331.0 652.5 545.5 262.8 176.4 517.0 276.0 795.0 555.8 4548.5 3728.0

FORESTRY & PAPER Mondi . . . . . . . . . . . . .1902.0 8.5 2130.0 1693.0

GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica . . . . . . . . . . . . .143.0 1.2 National Grid . . . . . . . . .740.2 -16.3 Pennon Group . . . . . . .608.6 -19.4 Severn Trent . . . . . . . . .1707.5 -50.0 United Utilities . . . . . .666.2 -15.4

227.7 1091.0 944.0 2553.0 1056.0

124.1 736.8 608.6 1703.0 659.0

GENERAL INDUSTRIALS

FINANCIAL SERVICES 3i Group . . . . . . . . . . . .939.6 -8.4 969.5 688.5 3i Infrastructure . . . . . .196.8 -0.4 214.5 187.7 Allied Minds . . . . . . . . .136.0 -1.4 418.0 116.0

DOW JONES

RPC Group . . . . . . . . . .804.0 -5.8 993.0 720.5 Smith (DS) . . . . . . . . . .479.6 -3.4 558.5 418.8 Smiths Group . . . . . . . .1597.5 -2.5 1685.0 1444.0

25029.20 380.83

Price Chg High Low Smurfit Kappa Gro . . .2542.0 14.0 2640.0 1962.0 Vesuvius . . . . . . . . . . . .590.5 -9.0 619.5 456.8

GENERAL RETAILERS Auto Trader Group . . . .365.0 -0.6 B&M European Valu . . .412.9 -9.1 Brown (N.) Group . . . . .190.5 -11.3 Card Factory . . . . . . . . . .197.5 -8.3 Dignity . . . . . . . . . . . . . .818.0 7.0 Dixons Carphone . . . . .196.6 1.4 Dunelm Group . . . . . . .580.0 -4.0 Halfords Group . . . . . . .354.2 -2.6 Inchcape . . . . . . . . . . . .678.5 -1.0 JD Sports Fashion . . . . .383.3 -2.4 Just Eat . . . . . . . . . . . . .877.0 2.0 Kingfisher . . . . . . . . . . .357.9 -4.6 Marks & Spencer G . . . .295.6 -4.4 Next . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4856.0 -56.0 Pets at Home Grou . . . .171.5 -3.3 Saga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114.0 -3.2 Sports Direct Int . . . . . .367.4 -2.8 Ted Baker . . . . . . . . . .3052.0 18.0 WH Smith . . . . . . . . . .2028.0 -18.0

435.9 319.0 434.8 298.2 357.8 189.0 355.0 185.9 2767.0 748.5 342.0 149.1 753.5 545.0 375.0 307.4 880.5 664.0 456.0 303.3 890.0 497.5 368.1 288.0 395.5 286.1 5320.0 3617.0 219.5 154.9 215.3 111.7 419.5 284.5 3118.0 2320.0 2347.0 1664.0

S&P 500

/€ 1.1283

0.0084 €/$ 1.2199

0.0033

7273.01 57.34

2713.83 30.45

/$ 1.3768

0.0139 €/£ 0.8860

0.0065

/¥ 146.96

2.3361 €/¥ 130.21

1.1220

INDUSTRIAL METALS & MINING Evraz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .427.1 -10.9 438.0 173.2 Ferrexpo . . . . . . . . . . . .312.7 -3.3 323.2 137.2 368.8 292.5 3460.0 2490.0 1761.0 1360.0 570.0 369.9 303.2 189.3

NON LIFE INSURANCE

HEALTH CARE EQUIPMETN & S.

Admiral Group . . . . . .1843.0 -88.0 Beazley . . . . . . . . . . . . .520.0 -11.0 Direct Line Insur . . . . . .382.8 -5.1 esure Group . . . . . . . . .227.4 -2.4 Hastings Group Ho . . . .312.6 8.6 Hiscox Limited (D . . . . .1391.0 4.0 Jardine Lloyd Tho . . . .1322.0 -44.0 Lancashire Holdin . . . .560.0 1.0 RSA Insurance Gro . . . . .631.4 -2.2

Assura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57.8 -0.7 66.7 56.5 Convatec Group . . . . . .206.5 -1.0 344.0 182.0 Mediclinic Intern . . . . . .591.8 -15.4 887.0 507.5

Aviva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .505.6 -0.4 544.0 486.5

2178.0 560.5 411.3 303.0 325.0 1470.0 1448.0 759.5 666.5

1784.0 423.5 333.8 213.8 231.8 1078.0 1030.0 556.5 570.5

LIFE INSURANCE

MAIN CHANGES UK 350 Risers

% 10.8 8.2 4.6 4.2 3.9 2.8 2.6 2.4 1.9 1.9

Fisher (James) . . . . . . . . . . . . .1562.0 AA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79.5 Ultra Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . .1590.0 Drax Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .248.6 Elementis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291.8 Hastings Group Hol . . . . . . . . . . .312.6 St James's Place . . . . . . . . . . . .1154.5 Sanne Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .645.0 Ocado Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .553.2 UBM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .922.0

Fallers % Travis Perkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1285.0 -10.5 ITV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160.0 -7.6 Greggs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1195.0 -7.5 Genus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2182.0 -6.6 NewRiver REIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295.5 -5.9 Brown (N.) Group . . . . . . . . . . . .190.5 -5.6 FirstGroup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82.0 -5.3 Man Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171.8 -5.1 Vectura Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72.5 -4.8 Hunting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .608.5 -4.6

Price Chg High Low NMC Health . . . . . . . . .3434.0 -82.0 3524.0 1744.0 Smith & Nephew . . . . .1268.5 -15.5 1431.0 1211.0 Spire Healthcare . . . . .229.8 -6.6 361.0 219.2

HHOLD GDS & HOME CONSTR. Barratt Developme . . . .539.0 -9.0 Bellway . . . . . . . . . . . .3116.0 -48.0 Berkeley Group Ho . . .3854.0 -38.0 Bovis Homes Group . .1050.5 -23.0 Countryside Prope . . . .313.8 -1.6 Crest Nicholson H . . . . .476.2 -13.0 McCarthy & Stone . . . . .137.0 -2.1 Persimmon . . . . . . . . .2601.0 -3.0 Reckitt Benckiser . . . .5776.0 -65.0 Redrow . . . . . . . . . . . . .589.0 -9.0 Taylor Wimpey . . . . . . .186.0 -7.8

700.0 511.5 3792.0 2606.0 4240.0 2908.0 1213.0 780.0 371.5 223.9 636.5 474.0 196.9 134.5 2890.0 2061.0 8108.0 5772.0 664.5 488.5 211.2 174.9

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Bodycote . . . . . . . . . . . .923.0 -18.0 Fenner . . . . . . . . . . . . . .477.8 -0.2 Hill & Smith Hold . . . . .1215.0 -24.0 IMI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1227.0 -10.0 Melrose Industrie . . . . .228.3 2.7 RHI Magnesita N.V . . .4425.0 -25.0

1006.0 503.5 1475.0 1443.0 261.2 4605.0

739.5 278.3 1103.0 1121.0 198.8 3249.0

Price Chg High Low Just Group . . . . . . . . . . .145.8 Legal & General G . . . . .262.6 Old Mutual . . . . . . . . . .255.3 Phoenix Group Hol . . . .785.5 Prudential . . . . . . . . . .1830.5 St James's Place . . . . . .1154.5

Price Sky . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1348.0 STV Group . . . . . . . . . . .358.0 Tarsus Group . . . . . . . .305.0 Trinity Mirror . . . . . . . . . .76.9 UBM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .922.0 WPP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1394.0 ZPG Plc . . . . . . . . . . . . .338.0

Chg High Low 16.5 1349.5 900.0 -8.0 389.8 306.0 -1.5 335.0 273.3 0.1 121.0 66.1 17.0 926.0 645.0 20.0 1921.0 1227.0 -1.8 394.0 321.7

MINING

INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION -3.0 15.0 152.0 -3.6 -7.5

2.1 -0.8 -2.5 -5.0 -10.5 29.0

170.4 277.4 258.0 815.0 1981.0 1270.5

121.5 245.0 188.0 724.0 1607.5 1030.0

MEDIA 4Imprint Group . . . . . .1890.0 -25.0 Ascential . . . . . . . . . . . .407.2 -2.8 Bloomsbury Publis . . . .167.0 -1.5 Centaur Media . . . . . . . . .50.1 -1.4 Entertainment One . . .303.8 2.8 Euromoney Institu . . .1200.0 10.0 Gocompare.com Gro . . .114.0 0.0 Haynes Publishing . . . .214.0 0.0 Huntsworth . . . . . . . . . .78.0 -2.0 Informa . . . . . . . . . . . . .695.4 9.4 ITE Group . . . . . . . . . . . .165.8 0.0 ITV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160.0 -13.2 Johnston Press . . . . . . . .10.5 0.1 Moneysupermarket. . .260.5 -5.4 Pearson . . . . . . . . . . . . .732.4 5.4 Relx plc . . . . . . . . . . . .1493.0 2.0 Rightmove . . . . . . . . .4277.0 -138.0

2020.0 1550.0 411.6 295.0 190.0 157.3 56.8 40.5 329.4 216.0 1305.0 1027.0 118.0 86.0 227.0 152.5 84.0 40.8 761.0 629.5 195.3 152.0 219.6 146.9 26.0 9.5 366.5 259.9 750.0 566.5 1782.0 1455.0 4573.0 3889.0

Acacia Mining . . . . . . . .139.0 -1.0 Anglo American . . . . .1780.6 -61.4 Antofagasta . . . . . . . . .870.0 -35.8 BHP Billiton . . . . . . . . .1484.2 -40.8 Centamin (DI) . . . . . . . .149.0 -3.7 Fresnillo . . . . . . . . . . . .1219.5 -53.5 Glencore . . . . . . . . . . . .386.4 -10.2 Hochschild Mining . . . .204.5 -6.3 Kaz Minerals . . . . . . . . .857.4 -17.6 Polymetal Interna . . . . .747.8 -20.8 Randgold Resource . .5848.0-100.0 Rio Tinto . . . . . . . . . . .3926.0 -121.5 Vedanta Resources . . . .735.0 -28.2

540.0 1843.6 1061.0 1660.0 190.5 1725.0 415.0 331.6 965.8 1095.0 8190.0 4172.5 954.0

137.1 959.4 748.0 1117.0 131.8 1219.5 276.6 204.1 430.5 744.4 5816.0 2910.0 575.0

MOBILE TELECOMS Inmarsat . . . . . . . . . . . .469.9 6.9 850.5 426.1 Vodafone Group . . . . . .203.8 -1.1 238.0 198.8

OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .475.2 Cairn Energy . . . . . . . . .187.2 Royal Dutch Shell . . . .2301.0 Royal Dutch Shell . . . .2321.0 Tullow Oil . . . . . . . . . . . .181.8

-3.1 -4.6 -1.5 4.5 -5.5

534.8 439.8 236.2 167.5 2573.5 1992.5 2609.0 2052.5 238.9 145.6

OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Hunting . . . . . . . . . . . .608.5 -29.5 658.5 382.6 Petrofac Ltd. . . . . . . . . .451.9 -1.7 941.0 349.0 Wood Group (John) . . .613.0 -11.8 828.5 560.0

PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Group . . . . . .1533.5 -4.5 1985.0 1498.0 PZ Cussons . . . . . . . . . .282.4 -4.0 363.7 280.0 Superdry . . . . . . . . . . .1712.0 -41.0 2076.0 1446.0

PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECH AstraZeneca . . . . . . . .4775.0 -20.0 BTG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .656.5 -6.5 Dechra Pharmaceut . .2518.0 40.0 Genus . . . . . . . . . . . . .2182.0-154.0 GlaxoSmithKline . . . . .1307.2 3.4 Hikma Pharmaceuti . . .861.6 -33.8 Indivior . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381.1 3.8 Shire Plc . . . . . . . . . . .3109.0 55.0 Vectura Group . . . . . . . . .72.5 -3.7

5508.0 4325.0 779.0 565.0 2594.0 1610.0 2573.0 1695.0 1722.0 1242.8 2297.0 855.6 419.5 267.6 5036.0 2992.0 163.0 71.9 324.8 253.1 1989.0 190.2 7005.0 5650.0 151.8 134.5 299.8 244.0 366.2 278.0 520.0 366.0 1034.0 842.0 426.0 317.6 92.5 82.3

REAL ESTATE INVEST. TRUSTS Big Yellow Group . . . . .831.0 -0.5 British Land Comp . . . .628.0 -9.2 Derwent London . . . . .2873.0 -94.0 Great Portland Es . . . . .628.0 -10.0 Hammerson . . . . . . . . .447.0 -8.7

Chg High Low -1.9 145.6 116.3 -7.4 289.0 194.7 -0.5 1208.5 915.7 -0.4 188.4 151.2 -0.7 40.5 33.9 -3.6 591.2 448.0 -3.0 1055.0 900.0 -1.5 151.4 138.7 -12.0 813.0 622.0 -3.5 1035.0 758.5

Price Chg High Low National Express . . . . .349.2 -0.8 386.8 340.9 Paddy Power Betfa . .8440.0-145.0 8900.0 6665.0 Rank Group . . . . . . . . .220.0 -6.0 248.5 205.9 Stagecoach Group . . . . .142.4 -0.5 216.7 132.4 Thomas Cook Group . . .122.7 -1.5 129.5 84.1 TUI AG Reg Shs (D . . . .1544.5 -8.5 1640.5 1068.0 Wetherspoon (J.D. . . .1268.0 5.0 1315.0 929.5 Whitbread . . . . . . . . .3883.0 -45.0 4307.0 3512.0 William Hill . . . . . . . . . .328.5 -4.4 338.0 240.0 Wizz Air Holdings . . . .3625.0 -5.0 3716.0 1615.0

0.0 4.0 -21.0 60.0 3.0 -1.4 0.4 1.0 -11.6

3054.0 1879.0 1192.0 715.0 1031.0 645.0 3830.0 2041.0 2871.6 2006.0 1016.0 751.8 821.4 615.5 588.0 322.2 669.5 263.5

AA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79.5 6.0 Aggreko . . . . . . . . . . . . .747.4 -20.2 Ashtead Group . . . . . . .2114.0 6.0 Babcock Internati . . . . .651.8 -6.2 BCA Marketplace . . . . . .165.0 -5.0 Bunzl . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1955.0 -14.5 Capita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176.2 -1.7 DCC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6635.0-100.0 Diploma . . . . . . . . . . .1096.0 -20.0 Electrocomponents . . .628.6 -6.4 Equiniti Group . . . . . . . .287.5 -6.5 Essentra . . . . . . . . . . . .447.6 -5.2 Experian . . . . . . . . . . .1556.0 -1.5 Ferguson . . . . . . . . . . .5146.0 -40.0 G4S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .262.4 -3.2 Grafton Group Uni . . . .765.0 -33.0 Hays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193.7 -1.4 Homeserve . . . . . . . . . .720.0 -19.0 Howden Joinery Gr . . . .444.1 -9.8 Intertek Group . . . . . .4913.0 -12.0 Mitie Group . . . . . . . . . . .157.3 -1.2 Pagegroup . . . . . . . . . .537.0 -4.5 Renewi . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90.5 -2.9 Rentokil Initial . . . . . . .289.6 -2.5 Serco Group . . . . . . . . . .91.0 0.7 SIG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145.0 -2.2 Travis Perkins . . . . . . .1285.0-150.0

272.6 72.2 1064.0 747.4 2152.0 1542.0 969.5 626.2 227.0 160.2 2465.0 1941.0 705.5 158.6 7755.0 6635.0 1247.0 1019.0 709.0 471.2 310.9 174.8 581.5 447.6 1705.0 1446.0 5702.0 4460.0 341.1 248.8 841.0 607.0 205.0 155.9 867.0 523.0 475.7 399.5 5425.0 3527.0 297.2 150.9 560.0 418.4 108.2 80.0 335.8 237.4 123.1 83.6 182.0 106.0 1696.0 1285.0

Abcam . . . . . . . . . . . . .1270.0 1.0 1282.0 806.0 Advanced Medical . . . .325.0 0.0 350.0 213.5 ASOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7452.0 -30.0 7530.0 5432.0 Blue Prism Group . . . .1596.0 38.0 1639.0 436.0 Brooks Macdonald . .2040.0 0.0 2582.0 1810.0 Camellia . . . . . . . . . .12200.0 -50.0 13600.010070.0 CareTech Holding . . . . .394.0 -2.5 454.8 346.0 CityFibre Infrast . . . . . . . .42.1 -0.3 70.0 39.5 Clinigen Group . . . . . . .924.0 -45.5 1177.0 758.0 Conviviality . . . . . . . . . .286.5 -13.5 426.3 263.5 CVS Group . . . . . . . . . .1066.0 -13.0 1490.0 855.0 Dart Group . . . . . . . . . .807.0 -13.0 820.0 486.3 EMIS Group . . . . . . . . . .730.0 -10.0 1017.0 705.0 Faroe Petroleum . . . . . .105.2 0.4 114.4 75.5 Fevertree Drinks . . . . .2483.0 -78.0 2584.0 1406.0 First Derivatives . . . . .3800.0 30.0 4380.0 2288.0 Frontier Developm . . .1210.0 -25.0 1510.0 281.5 Gamma Communicati .696.0 4.0 704.0 463.0 GB Group . . . . . . . . . . .425.0 3.0 455.0 277.5 Gooch & Housego . . . .1415.0 15.0 1539.0 1200.0 Hurricane Energy . . . . . .31.6 -0.4 67.0 24.0 Iomart Group . . . . . . . .360.0 -15.5 410.0 285.5 IQE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128.1 -3.9 178.8 46.0 James Halstead . . . . . .423.0 3.0 542.0 419.0 Johnson Service G . . . . .139.2 2.8 151.0 108.3 Keywords Studios . . . .1562.0 -8.0 1661.0 580.0 Learning Technolo . . . . .78.4 -0.6 84.0 40.0 M&C Saatchi . . . . . . . . .402.0 0.0 414.0 292.0 M. P. Evans Group . . . . .757.0 2.0 819.8 685.0 Midwich Group . . . . . . .597.5 0.0 640.0 303.5 Mulberry Group . . . . . .829.0 -25.0 1149.0 820.0 Next Fifteen Comm . . .445.0 7.0 455.0 370.0 Nichols . . . . . . . . . . . . .1555.0 0.0 1958.0 1420.0 Numis Corporation . . . .351.5 0.0 354.3 231.3 Pan African Resou . . . . . .7.0 -0.2 17.3 6.7 Patisserie Holdin . . . . .355.0 -16.0 400.5 300.5 Polar Capital Hol . . . . .479.0 -21.0 558.0 329.3 Purplebricks Grou . . . .438.6 -0.8 514.5 270.3 Redde . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166.2 -2.6 182.0 144.3 Renew Holdings . . . . .408.0 -3.0 485.0 364.5 RWS Holdings . . . . . . .445.0 -1.0 539.0 310.0 Scapa Group . . . . . . . . .480.2 4.4 515.5 351.0 Secure Income Rei . . . .360.0 4.0 380.0 327.5 Smart Metering Sy . . . .713.0 4.0 874.5 479.5 Sound Energy . . . . . . . . .45.1 -1.6 93.0 39.8 Staffline Group . . . . . . .975.0 3.0 1450.0 913.0 Telford Homes . . . . . . .395.0 -11.0 444.5 343.0 Thorpe (F.W.) . . . . . . . .346.0 1.0 396.5 307.5 Watkin Jones . . . . . . . .206.0 3.0 249.0 144.5 Young & Co's Brew . . .1420.0 0.0 1440.0 1300.0 Young & Co's Brew . . . .1125.0 0.0 1147.0 995.0

AB INBEV ..........................................................87.48 ADIDAS N........................................................182.60 AIR LIQUIDE .....................................................103.15 AIRBUS.............................................................98.34 ALLIANZ..........................................................192.02 ASML HLDG......................................................161.30 AXA..................................................................25.86 BANCO SANTANDER ...........................................5.67 BASF N..............................................................86.41 BAYER N...........................................................96.23 BBVA..................................................................6.89 BMW ................................................................86.82 BNP PARIBAS BR-A..........................................65.37 CRH PLC.............................................................27.27 DAIMLER N........................................................70.47 DANONE...........................................................65.75 DEUTSCHE BANK N............................................13.20 DEUTSCHE POST N.............................................37.64 DEUTSCHE TELEKOM N.......................................13.26 E.ON N................................................................8.36 ENEL N................................................................4.78 ENGIE................................................................12.88 ENI N..................................................................13.71 ESSILOR INTL ...................................................107.85 FRESENIUS.........................................................67.10 IBERDROLA........................................................6.08 INDITEX............................................................24.96 ING GROUP .......................................................14.48 INTESA SANPAOLO N...........................................3.10 KON AH DEL BR.................................................18.50 L'OREAL ...........................................................177.05 LVMH..............................................................246.50 MUENCHENER RUECKV N.................................184.10 NOKIA ................................................................4.79 ORANGE............................................................13.94 ROY.PHILIPS.......................................................31.53 SAFRAN ...........................................................90.90 SAINT-GOBAIN .................................................46.75 SANOFI.............................................................65.03 SAP I ................................................................86.20 SCHNEIDER E.SE ................................................71.58 SIEMENS N......................................................108.44 SOCIETE GENERALE............................................47.12 TELEFONICA........................................................7.99 TOTAL ...............................................................46.97 UNIBAIL-RODAMCO..........................................191.75 UNILEVER CERT ................................................42.98 VINCI.................................................................81.32 VIVENDI.............................................................21.25 VOLKSWAGEN VZ I...........................................187.28

AIM 50

SOFTWARE & COMPUTER SERV. Aveva Group . . . . . . . .2886.0 Computacenter . . . . . .1104.0 FDM Group (Holdin . . . .861.0 Fidessa Group . . . . . . .3750.0 Micro Focus Inter . . . .2063.0 Playtech . . . . . . . . . . . .782.2 Sage Group . . . . . . . . . .692.6 Softcat . . . . . . . . . . . . . .583.0 Sophos Group . . . . . . . .498.4

SUPPORT SERVICES

TOBACCO British American . . . .4295.5-102.0 5643.0 4295.1 Imperial Brands . . . . .2619.0 13.0 3933.5 2590.0

TRAVEL & LEISURE

REAL ESTATE INVEST. & SERV. Capital & Countie . . . . .266.0 -2.3 CLS Holdings . . . . . . . . .219.0 -8.0 Daejan Holdings . . . . .5720.0-150.0 F&C Commercial Pr . . . .141.0 -1.4 Grainger . . . . . . . . . . . .273.0 -4.0 NewRiver REIT . . . . . . .295.5 -18.5 Safestore Holding . . . .496.0 -10.0 Savills . . . . . . . . . . . . . .957.5 -17.0 St. Modwen Proper . . . .383.4 -9.6 UK Commercial Pro . . . .86.5 -0.3

Price Hansteen Holdings . . . .132.3 Intu Properties . . . . . . .202.2 Land Securities G . . . . .927.0 LondonMetric Prop . . . .177.7 RDI Reit . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34.5 SEGRO . . . . . . . . . . . . . .571.6 Shaftesbury . . . . . . . . .962.5 Tritax Big Box Re . . . . . .140.5 Unite Group . . . . . . . . . .761.5 Workspace Group . . . .948.5

869.5 707.5 691.5 590.5 3118.0 2580.0 703.7 587.5 609.5 445.9

888 Holdings . . . . . . . .285.6 1.0 Carnival . . . . . . . . . . . .4799.0 -22.0 Cineworld Group . . . . . .237.0 -0.4 Compass Group . . . . .1546.0 -4.0 Domino's Pizza Gr . . . . .326.1 -0.6 easyJet . . . . . . . . . . . .1679.0 0.0 FirstGroup . . . . . . . . . . . .82.0 -4.6 Go-Ahead Group . . . . .1531.0 -67.0 Greene King . . . . . . . . .522.0 -10.8 GVC Holdings . . . . . . . .893.0 -7.0 InterContinental . . . .4699.0 0.0 International Con . . . . .614.6 11.2 Ladbrokes Coral G . . . . .164.6 -0.5 Marston's . . . . . . . . . . . .103.8 -1.2 Merlin Entertainm . . . .340.0 1.7 Millennium & Copt . . . .533.0 -5.0 Mitchells & Butle . . . . .244.6 3.0

EU SHARES Price

17

NASDAQ

Price Chg High Low Rotork . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295.0 -0.5 304.2 223.5 Spirax-Sarco Engi . . . .5710.0 -30.0 5920.0 4449.0 Weir Group . . . . . . . . .2036.0 35.0 2305.0 1727.0

BBA Aviation . . . . . . . .344.8 Clarkson . . . . . . . . . . .3420.0 Fisher (James) & . . . .1562.0 Royal Mail . . . . . . . . . . .560.0 Stobart Group Ltd . . . . .238.5

MARKETS

300.5 230.3 5380.0 4397.0 327.3 214.0 1760.2 1425.0 394.0 263.4 1696.0 940.0 153.0 81.7 2002.0 1338.0 766.0 500.6 982.0 689.0 4928.0 3668.0 670.0 523.5 188.0 111.3 146.1 101.4 537.0 318.4 625.5 431.9 283.1 221.0

http://corporate.webfg.com mailto: globaltechsales@webfg.com

US SHARES

Chg

High

Low

Price

Chg

High

Low

0.39 0.60 -0.20 -0.37 -0.84 -0.80 -0.06 -0.06 -0.57 -1.87 -0.06 -0.88 -0.15 -0.46 0.10 -0.85 -0.25 0.30 -0.03 -0.20 -0.06 -0.20 -0.11 0.30 -0.84 -0.09 -0.29 -0.21 -0.01 0.54 -0.45 -0.45 -0.35 -0.06 -0.03 -0.21 -0.46 -0.01 -0.55 0.75 -0.56 -1.06 0.25 -0.03 -0.33 1.50 -0.39 -1.36 0.14 0.06

110.10 202.10 111.60 99.97 206.85 169.20 27.69 6.20 98.80 123.90 7.93 97.50 69.17 34.87 76.48 72.13 17.69 41.36 17.53 10.81 5.59 15.16 15.45 122.15 80.07 6.99 36.90 16.69 3.23 20.88 197.15 260.55 199.00 5.93 15.80 36.12 92.36 52.40 92.97 100.70 76.34 133.50 52.26 10.63 48.75 238.15 52.31 88.80 24.87 225.00

82.03 156.50 91.64 68.28 163.30 112.40 21.88 4.95 78.97 94.43 6.12 77.07 54.62 26.53 59.01 59.55 12.37 30.52 12.74 6.70 4.05 11.38 12.94 100.60 60.15 5.87 24.75 12.81 2.19 14.72 170.30 188.35 166.60 3.81 13.32 28.11 65.90 42.05 63.09 82.19 63.75 106.40 41.54 7.45 41.11 184.40 42.70 67.13 16.33 140.00

3M...................................................................235.51 ABBVIE ............................................................115.83 ACCENTURE-A..................................................161.01 ALPHAB NON VTG RG-C.................................1104.73 ALPHABET RG-A............................................1103.92 ALTRIA GROUP.................................................62.95 AMAZON.COM ................................................1512.45 AMERICAN EXPRESS..........................................97.51 AMGEN............................................................183.77 APPLE..............................................................178.12 AT&T.................................................................36.30 BANK OF AMERICA............................................32.10 BERKSHIRE HATH RG-B..................................207.20 BOEING CO......................................................362.21 CATERPILLAR ..................................................154.63 CHEVRON .........................................................111.92 CISCO SYSTEMS.................................................44.78 CITIGROUP........................................................75.49 COCA-COLA CO..................................................43.22 COMCAST-A.......................................................36.21 DOWDUPONT...................................................70.30 EXXON MOBIL ...................................................75.74 FACEBOOK-A...................................................178.32 GENERAL ELECTRIC.............................................14.11 GOLDMAN SACHS GR......................................262.93 HOME DEPOT...................................................182.27 IBM..................................................................155.83 INTEL................................................................49.29 JOHNSON & JOHNSO.......................................129.88 JPMORGAN CHASE ..........................................115.50 MASTERCARD RG-A.........................................175.76 MCDONALD'S ...................................................157.74 MERCK..............................................................54.22 MICROSOFT.......................................................93.77 NETFLIX...........................................................291.38 NIKE -B-...........................................................67.03 NVIDIA...........................................................242.00 ORACLE ............................................................50.67 PEPSICO ...........................................................118.61 PFIZER ..............................................................36.31 PHILIP MRRS INT.............................................103.55 PROCTER&GAMBLE...........................................78.52 TRAVELERS COS..............................................139.00 TWITTER ...........................................................31.86 UNITEDHEALTH GRO .......................................226.16 UTD TECHS ......................................................134.74 VERIZON COMM.................................................47.74 VISA RG-A ......................................................122.94 WALMART ........................................................90.01 WALT DISNEY RG-DIS......................................103.16 WELLS FARGO...................................................58.41

-5.27 -2.43 -1.54 -13.56 -13.59 -1.05 0.47 -2.07 -2.02 -0.27 -0.57 -0.23 -2.46 -2.43 -6.63 -1.69 -0.26 -0.89 -0.40 -0.45 -2.06 -1.76 -3.14 -0.39 -5.00 -2.71 -0.72 -0.62 -1.79 -1.86 -0.17 -2.92 -0.50 -0.43 0.77 -1.00 -4.06 -0.06 0.56 -0.49 -0.53 -2.02 -2.54 0.54 -6.36 0.83 -0.30 -0.43 -1.51 -1.71 -0.80

259.77 125.86 165.58 1186.89 1198.00 77.79 1528.70 102.39 201.23 180.62 42.70 32.85 217.62 371.60 173.24 133.88 45.89 80.70 48.62 44.00 0.00 89.30 195.32 30.54 273.79 207.61 182.55 50.90 148.32 119.33 179.17 178.70 66.80 96.07 297.36 70.25 251.97 53.14 119.74 39.43 123.55 94.67 150.55 35.00 250.79 139.24 54.77 126.88 109.98 116.10 66.31

186.31 61.69 114.82 803.37 824.30 60.01 833.50 75.51 152.16 136.70 32.55 22.07 160.93 173.75 90.34 102.55 30.36 56.55 41.64 34.78 0.00 73.90 134.75 13.95 209.62 144.25 139.13 33.23 120.95 81.64 109.99 126.58 53.36 63.62 138.26 50.35 95.17 42.25 101.06 31.67 96.66 78.50 113.76 14.12 162.74 107.05 42.80 87.76 69.33 96.20 49.27

COMMODITIES Gold .............................................................1317.85 Silver..............................................................16.44 Brent Crude...................................................66.63 Krugerrand.................................................1332.80 Palladium...................................................1061.00 Platinum.....................................................996.00 Tin Cash Official .......................................21730.00 Lead Cash Official......................................2578.00 Zinc Cash Official .......................................3547.00

-7.90 -0.17 -0.87 -21.25 0.00 -9.00 30.00 -20.00 -41.00

CREDIT & RATES

Copper Cash Official..................................7028.00 Aluminium Cash Official............................2172.00 Nickel Cash Official ..................................13880.00 Aluminium Alloy Cash Official ..................1865.00 Cocoa Futures ...........................................2240.00 Coffee 'C' Futures ..........................................121.97 Feed Wheat Futures....................................138.00 Soybeans Futures Continuation Contract .1045.20

-82.00 -13.50 -20.00 0.00 1.00 0.89 1.35 7.20

BoE IR Overnight.........................................0.500 BoE IR 7 days..............................................0.500 BoE IR 1 month...........................................0.500 BoE IR 3 months.........................................0.500 BoE IR 6 months ........................................0.500 LIBOR Euro - overnight ..............................-0.441 LIBOR Euro - 12 months.............................-0.254 LIBOR USD - overnight.................................1.448 LIBOR USD - 12 months................................2.481 Halifax mortgage rate ................................3.990

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00

Euro Base Rate ...........................................0.000 Finance house base rate .............................1.000 US Fed funds..................................................1.30 US long bond yield.........................................3.13 Euro Euribor...............................................-0.378 The vix index................................................19.85 The baltic dry index..................................1188.00 Markit iBoxx EUR ......................................228.59 Markit iBoxx GBP........................................319.53 Markit iTraxx................................................69.48

0.00 0.00 -0.11 -0.04 0.00 1.26 -3.00 0.26 1.41 -0.78

WORLD INDICES Price Chg %chg FTSE 100. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7231.91 -50.54 -0.69 FTSE 250 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19687.27 -188.51 -0.95 FTSE All-Share. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3981.61 -29.91 -0.75 FTSE AIM All-Share . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1038.32 -4.82 -0.46

Price S&P 500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2713.83 Dow Jones I.A.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25029.20 Nasdaq Composite. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7273.01 Xetra DAX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12435.85

Chg -30.45 -380.83 -57.35 -54.88

%chg -1.11 -1.50 -0.78 -0.44

Price Chg %chg CAC 40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5320.49 -23.44 -0.44 Swiss Market Index. . . . . . . . . . . . 8906.38 -86.14 -0.96 ISEQ Overall Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6683.39 -47.19 -0.70 FTSEurofirst 300. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1488.26 -8.88 -0.59

Price Hang Seng. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30844.72 Shanghai Composite . . . . . . . . . . . 3259.41 Straits Times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3517.94 ASX All Ordinaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6117.30

Chg -423.94 -32.66 -22.45 -42.00

%chg -1.36 -0.99 -0.63 -0.68


18

OPINION

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

FORUM EDITED BY RACHEL CUNLIFFE

How to read the mind of a mad market without going insane

W

HEN the stock market goes bipolar and oscillates wildly, what’s the impact on your emotional state? Computerised trading algorithms might be increasingly preferred over human beings because side-lining sentiment improves results. Computers “don’t get emotional about the stock”, to quote a famous line from the movie Wall Street. The same obviously cannot be said for people. In the hit TV series Billions, an in-house hedge fund psychiatrist is deployed to handle trading floor mood swings. But it’s not just panic, fear and greed in play during volatile periods. Now new research poses the question: is there also a natural human tendency to infer that the market has a mind of its own? Personifying financial risks is what gamblers do when they curse the roulette wheel, convinced it’s started scheming against them. This is referred to by psychologists as “intentionality” or the “intentional stance”, and appears a universal tendency. Because of the way our brain is wired, to wrestle with other people and their intentions, we see intentionality everywhere, even projecting intentions onto inanimate objects. There is a famous scene in Fawlty Towers where John Cleese is desperately rushing for a deadline, but frustratingly, his ancient car breaks down. Furiously, he remonstrates with the stubbornly stationary vehicle, pleading with it to start, eventually smacking it for disobedience. Are investors guilty of this error of

intention, with negative consequences for profits? Traders may be making decisions partly on an assumption that the entire market has a single mind of its own. So how effective can they be? How good are you at mind-reading? Can you figure out what people are thinking without having to directly ask them? This skill is referred to by psychologists as “mentalising”, and the maths whizzes who dominate finance are often poor at it. A new study entitled Perception of Intentionality in Investor Attitudes Towards Financial Risks, from the Brain, Mind and Markets Laboratory at the University of Melbourne and the Computation and Neural Systems Department at the California Institute of Technology, used the latest brain scanning technology to explore investors’ brains as they make trading decisions. Researchers found no link between performance on the financial tasks they set investors and their scores on mathematics and logic tests. Instead, it was superior psychological mindreading skills that correlated significantly with better performance in these trading experiments. The regions of the human brain which tend to be particularly active in situations where subjects are doing more mind-reading were found to become particularly active during market movements such as “bubbles” and “crashes”. In this study, it is argued that it is part of our basic nature to view the market movements as if generated by a mindful agent with its own intentions and desires. This “intentional stance” can at

Adrian Furnham and Raj Persaud

Personifying risks is what gamblers do when they curse the roulette wheel times help investors – it led to better investment decisions in the case of markets with “insiders”. But at other times the intentional stance is a mistake. It misleads investors in particular market situations, for example when deciding to “ride” a financial bubble. This intentional stance explains some classic investor errors, for example, the famous “gambler’s fallacy”. Just because a certain number has not come up for an extraordinarily long time on the roulette wheel, does not mean its time has now come and it’s worth betting on. The gambler’s fallacy leads people to assume runs must end sooner than they might. If you think that the market behaves like a person and has intentionality, as an investor you will tend to assume it will reverse its direction of travel sooner than you would believe if you understood the

market was not a single person with its own mind. Another recent study (Mental capabilities, trading styles, and asset market bubbles: Theory and experiment) used laboratory replication of trading scenarios to demonstrate that to correctly grasp the fundamental value of an asset, a trader needs analytical skills, but to accurately judge market sentiments, she also needs to read minds. The authors argue that analytical capability alone does not generate substantial trading gains, because poor mind-reading produces misinterpretations of price deviations from the fundamental. But strong mind-reading ability alone, these economists argue, produces even more serious mistakes, because these “mentalising” traders will detect and follow an upward price trend, but miss the optimal exit point, since they do not sufficiently account for the fundamental. What this new research suggests is that Billionaires contains a major plot flaw involving the shrink. If the hedge fund psychiatrist were properly assisting the traders, she would be helping them accurately read the minds of the markets, and they’d be making so much profit they wouldn’t need therapy at all. £ Dr Adrian Furnham is professor of business psychology at the Norwegian Business School and author of Backstabbers and Bullies: How to Cope with the Dark Side of People at Work. Dr Raj Persaud is consultant psychiatrist in private practice in Harley Street, London and co-author of the forthcoming book, The Streetwise Person’s Guide To Mental Health Care.

The Irish border scuffle could be turned to the UK’s advantage in Brexit negotiations

T

HE STORM over the EU’s letter about the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is not quite the beast from the east, but it is being used by some to drive a snowplough through the heart of the Brexit negotiations. The EU says Northern Ireland will have to be part of the customs union in order to prevent a hard border and customs checks. But this is sheer tosh, for two reasons. First, World Bank figures show that for the most advanced economies, between 95 and 99 per cent of all traded goods are now precleared without physical inspection. As the MEP Daniel Hannan has pointed out, electronic clearance has replaced border officials with peaked caps and epaulettes. HMRC only physically checks four per cent of consignments entering the EU at the UK’s external border. Physical border checks are part of

a bygone age. They are not required in the twenty-first century in order to enforce customs. The idea that every crossover point between Northern Ireland and the Republic would need to be manned, with mandatory searches, is a complete and utter fiction. But that mental picture is being used to scare us into thinking that Brexit means physical border checks, which remind people of soldiers and police searching vehicles before the Good Friday Agreement. Throw in the current breakdown in Northern Ireland’s devolved government, and people naturally worry that the Troubles might return. It’s a powerful negative mental image, but one that should be countered by the more powerful positive image of vehicles crossing the border with no physical checks whatsoever. Second, if the UK chose to implement genuine free trade postBrexit, with zero tariff and

Graeme Leach

non-tariff barriers, there would be no need for the UK to collect anything at the Irish border. Zero tariffs would mean zero need for UK border checks. From the standpoint of the Brexit negotiations, this could be quite interesting, and would potentially wrong-foot the EU. If the UK says it will have zero tariff barriers post-Brexit, there would be no need for physical checks on our side of the border, but in order to implement the EU’s Common External Tariff, Ireland would have to introduce its own physical checks.

At this point, it would have to admit that electronic pre-clearance meant physical checks weren’t required north or south. Obviously the last thing the Irish government wants to do is implement a hard border policy. So, leaving aside pre-clearance arguments, we will have an EU country which doesn’t want to enforce the EU’s Common External Tariff. This provides Ireland with a powerful incentive to veto any Brexit deal which doesn’t allow the UK tariff-free access to the EU. So at this very moment, when politicians and the media in the UK are working themselves up into a right lather over the border problem, a moment of quiet reflection shows how it could be turned to the UK’s advantage in Brexit negotiations. £ Graeme Leach is chief executive and chief economist of Macronomics, a macroeconomic, geopolitical and future megatrends research consultancy.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Toys Were Us [Re: Toys R Us has fallen into administration] Toys R Us has officially entered administration, with stores to remain open for the time being. The company failed to adapt and was stuck with a large portfolio of large warehouse shops. No experience for customers, no compelling online presence. A £15m VAT bill did for Toys R Us in the end after another poor Christmas, but it was a systemic failure to move with the changes in the retail sector that really did for it. Maplin has also gone into administration in what’s now a pretty torrid week for UK retail. In both cases, the Amazon effect is all too clear to see, but there is more to it than that – there are retailers out there who are adapting and prospering. There are implications for competitors and the retail market in general – we are seeing some read in the stock market off the back of it. Neil Wilson, senior market analyst, ETX Capital This week has seen another two high street retail chains go into administration. While it’s sad news, it’s also another reminder of just how difficult times are for today’s retail industry. In such a tough market, with consumer spend on the high street rapidly declining, retailers simply can’t afford not to put their customers at the heart of their offer. With a business model that failed to use its stores to support its digital channels, Toys R Us couldn’t meet the expectations of today’s shoppers. Unfortunately, as spending power continues to be squeezed, it’s likely other retailers could risk facing the same trouble. The retailers that are able to marry up their online and physical offer, prioritising customer experience and a convenient, fast and sustainable delivery model will be the ones who succeed. Patrick Gallagher, chief executive, CitySprint Group

BEST OF TWITTER One day’s news in the new UK economy: 1. Toys R Us UK goes bust 2. Maplin goes bust 3. Foxton shares down as London property market falls 4. ITV profits down as UK ad market falls 5. British Gas cutting 4,000 jobs Strong And Stable Taking Back Control Getting On With The Job @steveparks Major eulogising the benefits of a free vote on Brexit. So the whipping over Maastricht was imaginary, was it? @stephenpollard Funny how all the best reasons to leave – the EU’s unerring centralising ethos, the adherence to arbitrary rules as if tablets of stone, the prioritisation of Project Europe over Europe’s citizens, treating democracy as a hindrance – keep being proven entirely spot on? @silvesterldn Weird that Corbyn would say “red white and blue Brexit” would appeal to Tory MPs. Does he not think Labour MPs are all that bothered by patriotism? (Not passing any comment on what the hell the red white and blue Brexit phase actually meant) @IsabelHardman


THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

CITYAM.COM

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It’s not just about bitcoin and robots –now harnessing tech can help break the glass ceiling

W

HILE issues around diversity and inclusion have been well and truly thrust into the spotlight following a year of sexual harassment and gender pay inequality scandals, the numbers still paint a bleak picture. In the UK, there is still no single sector where women make up more than 33 per cent of total senior management positions, with the average hovering depressingly at 25 per cent. The technology industry is one of the worst offenders for gender disparity. Studies have shown that while women make up 50 per cent of gamers and social media users, only one in six tech specialists in the UK are female. What’s worse, fewer than one in 10 of these women tech specialists are in leadership positions. The figures highlight how, despite decades of attempts to remove the glass ceiling and unconscious bias across the UK workforce, the barriers keeping women from the top positions are still very much in place. It’s important to note that there has been a concerted effort from employers over recent years to try to redress this gender and ethnic imbalance, not least due to the realisation it makes good business sense as much as ethical sense. But if we want to go further, technology has a leading role to play. Historically, one of the main obstacles faced by women aiming for the top positions has been a pervasive and extensive unconscious bias. Social

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Charlotte Attwood

stereotypes, both positive and negative, that exist subconsciously have for centuries dictated the behaviour and decision-making processes when hiring or promoting employees. Artificial Intelligence (AI) software algorithms are now being used by a number of graduate employers and recruiters to eliminate unconscious bias across the workplace. Driven intrinsically by data and trained rigorously to ignore historical prejudices, this AI is helping to ensure that all candidates are judged based solely on their merit and experience, instead of subconscious human bias. Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, is also beginning to be harnessed by companies to verify qualifications and experience. These verified CVs can document

AI is now being used to eliminate unconscious bias in the workplace

Certified Distribution from 01/01/2018 till 28/01/2018 is 90,569

OPINION

all qualifications immutably, meaning that there will be no doubt as to who is the most experienced candidate for promotion. Female candidates will also gain confidence, going into the application process secure in the knowledge that they will be judged solely on their experience, and not conceptions about their gender. The rise of readily-available communication tools such as IM, Slack and iMeet has also helped remove many barriers that have been raised against women reaching the highest roles in business. Enabling rapid decision making, regardless of location or time, everyone involved can be kept up to date on important details and issues that need resolving by harnessing this on-the-go technology. This flexible, smarter working is no longer a taboo for many businesses, and it is enabling working mothers or those restricted by location to continue working successfully while accommodating their personal lives. Technology has been a fundamental force of change in every aspect of our lives, so it is unsurprising that it could be part of the answer to breaking the glass ceiling. We still have a long way to go before the statistics get to a level we can be proud of, but through embracing AI, blockchain and other technologies, we can all shape the future business landscape to be a more positive, equal one. £ Charlotte Attwood is head of Women in Tech.

19

:@cityam

DEBATE Is the increase in ‘super strength skunk’ in Britain a reason to legalise cannabis? This new study is scientists confirming what we already know. There is nothing new here – it has been clear for 30 years that THC levels in street cannabis are rising. The first driver is prohibition. As with alcohol prohibition, more concentrated versions of the drug are promoted. The second is improved growing techniques. This means inhaling less harmful smoke for the same effect. Under prohibition, consumers have no choice, no labelling, and no quality control. The answer is regulation: licensed growers and retailers, age limits, labelling, and harm reduction information. This would create tens of thousands of new jobs, cut out the criminal gangs, and reduce the harms of the drug.

Legalising cannabis will only make an already serious problem much worse. Almost 90 per cent of young people currently in treatment for substance abuse have a problem with cannabis. We know that using it increases the risk of psychosis. A recent study found that up to one in four psychotic conditions are the direct result of smoking extrastrong varieties of cannabis. Smoking it is rightly described as playing Russian roulette with your mental health. In 2016, we surveyed more than 100 frontline charities working to fight poverty, and 73 per cent were concerned about the effect of cannabis on their clients and their families. Unsurprising then, that twice as many of these charities opposed legalisation

Editorial Editor Christian May | Deputy Editor Julian Harris Digital Editor Emma Haslett | Comment & Features Editor Rachel Cunliffe Lifestyle Editor Steve Dinneen | Sports Editor Frank Dalleres | Head of Politics and Investigations Catherine Neilan | Creative Director Billy Breton

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YES PETER REYNOLDS

Using this study to scaremonger about psychosis is shameful. NHS records do not support the wildly speculative projections. Where are all the schizophrenics in the 30 US states where much stronger cannabis is legally available? Where are the psychotic “cannabis addicts” in the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, and the Czech Republic? £ Peter Reynolds is president of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform.

NO RORY GEOGHEGAN

as supported it. Legalisation would only increase the access and availability of the drug. It would downplay the very real and serious harms, and would make a bad situation much worse. The real focus should be on tackling the supply and demand for drugs, and ensuring that addicts can get treatment and recover. £ Rory Geoghegan is head of criminal justice at the Centre for Social Justice.

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20

FEATURE

CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 01 MARCH 2018

ALTERNATIVE FINANCE

KEEPING THE LITTLE GUYS IN THE LOOP

Katherine Denham finds out how Funding Circle is fixing the financial system

L

ET’S be honest, financial institutions can be bleak places. Pretentious, impenetrable, and determined to make you feel conscious of your own tiny existence. So when I step into the lively hive that is Funding Circle’s office, it’s a breath of fresh air. There’s not a suit in sight, the place is immersed in a babble of chat and laughter, and some members of staff are elbow-deep in a game of table tennis – though admittedly, it was lunchtime. Even their canteen, which has a polaroid-mosaic of every employee brandished on the wall, seems too cool to belong to a finance firm. But should we be surprised that a company so integral in the new era of finance is switching things up a bit? An image on the wall opposite the reception desk says “we’re building a better financial world” in large lettering. It’s definitely a bold statement. Here’s a team doing some serious work in trying to change a finance system which its founders describe as “broken”, but that doesn’t mean their work has to take all the fun out of life. “When we think about the people we hire, it’s all about energy,” says Funding Circle co-founder James Meekings. “We want staff to share their excitement about what they do with others in the office – even if they’re talking about tax.” It’s clear that the company is serious about creating a healthy workplace culture, but as many burgeoning firms know, instilling the values into a rapidly growing team is no easy feat. A couple of years after the business launched, Meekings and his fellow founders, Samir Desai and Andrew Mullinger, decided to set certain values. “You soon realise that you are no longer going to meet everyone you hire. You start to see different behaviours emerge, so you have to codify how you want the company to behave. “Most companies put values in place, but the real question is how you live those values.” Of course, culture is a hot topic in the business world at the moment. Big financial organisations have come under scrutiny for their corporate culture, and even fresh-faced tech companies are not immune from criticism over some pretty questionable behaviour. Natasha Jones, Funding Circle’s head of comms, says a company’s behaviour comes from the top. “When people are empowered to make decisions, there are times when they will make the

wrong call. But here, it’s a no-blame culture; we work together to come up with a solution, and learn from it for the future.” Values are to rules what spirituality is to religion, and often an inflexible set of rules at massive institutions can be the bugbear for consumers and employees alike. But fintech firms like Funding Circle often want to encourage freedom and creativity among their (relatively young) staff members. Meekings says he wants to allow people to be creative when finding solutions to problems. “Even though we now have 800 employees, we still feel like a small business. We still push for opportunity and for people to be creative.” Being entrepreneurs themselves, it’s clear that the founders of this fintech firm understand the needs and challenges of small business owners. “Entrepreneurs will always see the opportunity in a bad situation, and latch

Entrepreneurs will always see the opportunity in a bad situation, and latch onto the positives

onto the positives – because there are a lot of negatives,” he chuckles, with a glint in his eye that tells me he’s seen things. “You can’t let that wear you down. There’s also no one to carry you through the hard times, so you need to motivate yourself.” Funding Circle has seen some astronomical growth over the years. In its first month back in 2010, it lent £50,000 through the marketplace. But the company now lends north of $200m every month in four different countries around the world. And the 30,000 British businesses that now borrow through Funding Circle are a colourful mix, dotted across every region in the UK. “The finance system is broken for every type of business,” says Meekings. “Lots of small businesses are born out of adversity, so it’s amazing to be able to support them, and for investors to be a part of it. That’s what’s lost through banking; when people put deposits into

their bank, they are supporting businesses – they just don’t know it because there’s not that connection.” But being open and transparent can be quite an alien thing to some parts of the financial services industry. This is where digitally-oriented companies like Funding Circle can step in to overhaul the way people think about finance, helping consumers understand the benefits that can come of investing their money. If you were to invest in hundreds of companies through Funding Circle’s platform, you can click through to find out details on each individual business. While the company uses the traditional underwriting process used by the banks to ensure a pair of human eyes looks over each loan, it combines this with machine learning. “There are different complexities in business lending; when we launched, we didn’t have any data, so we employed experienced credit underwriters to look at every single loan – regardless of how big or small the loan was. And as you build up more data, you can vary the level of experience you need for different loan sizes, and combine the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence.” While the banking world will often price loans based on their size, Funding Circle aims to ensure that it’s the level of risk that’s the focus, rather than the amount of money being borrowed. So if you had a £1m loan and a £10,000 loan that had the same level of risk, investors would expect the same return. “We have a more sophisticated pricing mechanism which aims to be more competitive.” And essentially it’s about making sure that the little guys don’t miss out on vital funding. “Small businesses are quite awkward in that they slip between endconsumers and corporations,” Meekings explains. They might be the most unloved part of the banking world, but SMEs contribute to most of our GDP. This is about a fundamental re-wiring of an industry, which Funding Circle hopes to drive. He reckons that the banks will continue to retreat from the SME space as the impact of the EU referendum sinks in. In fact, In fact, disconcerting figures from the Bank of England indicate that net lending to SMEs has been shrinking since the summer of 2016. But the raft of alternative lenders, means the picture isn’t as dire for SMEs as it could be. And for Funding Circle, it’s about ensuring these fledging businesses stay in the loop.


CITYAM.COM

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

TECHNOLOGY

: @city_am

EDITED BY STEVE HOGARTY

LIFE&STYLE

21

: @cityamlife

The best tech from MWC As Mobile World Congress 2018 wraps up, here’s a look at some of the biggest announcements from the show floor

NOKIA 8110 ETA: MAY 2018 €97, NOKIA.CO.UK When HMD (the Finnish puppeteers now in charge of the Nokia brand) resurrected the old 3310, nostalgiaaddled 30-something year olds celebrated the world over. HMD even claims it was the best selling feature phone in Europe in 2017 (a feature phone being a very narrowly defined category of device between a basic mobile phone and a fully featured smartphone). Buoyed by its rampant success, HMD has now announced a rebooted version of the Nokia 8110, the slidey banana phone popularised by The Matrix. There are some concessions made to the needs of modern users – 4G data and a rudimentary camera – but battery life is the big winner here. The 8110 can last 25 days on a single charge. Just like the old days.

SAMSUNG GALAXY S9 ETA: 16 MARCH £739, SAMSUNG.COM

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lace the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S9 beside last year’s Galaxy S8 and you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference. “Shoot him,” one phone would implore during a climactic fight scene in which you must decide to execute the phone you believe to be the impostor. “I’m the real Samsung Galaxy S9.” The fastest way to tell them apart would be to pick them up and snap a few pictures. The camera is where Samsung has focused most of its effort with this generation of Galaxy. The screen is very slightly wider, and the phone is imperceptibly thinner. Left alone is the sleek edge-to-edge Infinity display and rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. But much improved is the camera. Already one of the best smartphone cameras in the market, the S9 now features a dual aperture lens, meaning the hole that lets in light can physically change size to adapt to dark conditions, or to produce authentic depth-offield bokeh effects. The S9 also improves on the S8’s slow motion feature. It can shoot at 960 frames per second, and uses motion detection to determine when to start recording, rather than requiring you to have Spider-Man like reaction times to catch fast moving objects. Then there’s the AR Emoji feature, which lets you create a personal (and extremely creepy) avatar based on your facial features. Your virtual puppet can mimic your expressions using the front-facing camera, though exactly why anyone would want to do this remains a mystery. It’s an odd trend started by Apple with Animoji, and one that’s already run its course.

HUAWEI MATEBOOK X PRO ETA: SPRING 2018 €1,499, HUAWEI.COM There’s no new flagship to be seen from Huawei at this year’s MWC, but the Chinese manufacturer has instead revealed a high-end successor to last year’s Matebook X, rather straightforwardly called the Matebook X Pro. It has virtually no bezel surrounding the screen, and so hides its webcam inside its keyboard. The display is similar to that of Microsoft’s Surface Book, with a pinsharp 3000 x 2000 resolution. And inside it’s got competitively beefy components: eight-generation Intel i5 and i7 processors, and a dedicated Nvidia GPU.

NOKIA 8 SIROCCO

ASUS ZENFONE 5

SONY XPERIA XZ2

ETA: APRIL 2018 €749, NOKIA.COM

ETA: APRIL 2018 €479, ASUS.COM

ETA: MARCH 2018 PRICE TBA, SONYMOBILE.COM

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the company currently wearing Nokia’s skin (Finnish manufacturer HMD) had only planned on cashing in on our misplaced nostalgia for the phones of our youth (see the Nokia 8110 elsewhere on this page), but for a while HMD has been putting the resurrected brand name to work on a series of high-end, serious, forrealsy smartphones. At MWC it announced the best Nokia flagship yet, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, with a glass and metal premium look and fancy features such as wireless charging. The 5.5” display has a 2560 x 1440 resolution, which is nice and dense for its size, and round the back the phone boasts an impressive duallens camera. Once a market-leader, it seems Nokia is making a push to get its ass back on (or at least in the same room as) the throne.

Companies that are not Apple have a long history of copying Apple’s designs. It’s customary to straight-up pretend you haven’t done it, or that it was some crazy fluke, but the conspicuous notch atop the Zenfone 5 (deliberately hidden in the official press shot to the right, but definitely there) is about as blatant a design-heist as it gets. Still, if you’re going to be inspired by anyone, you may as well be inspired by the best. The Zenfone 5 is an iPhone X lookalike with a set of punchy speakers and a much, much smaller pricetag. The dual-cameras around the back are a mix of a 12MP main sensor and an 8MP wide-angle sensor, and the camera software will remember how you tend to edit your photos and create a personalised filter, just for you.

In all of the official press shots of Sony’s latest flagship, the screen’s background colour has been set to match the colour of the phone. You can’t help but feel it’s to disguise the fact that Sony’s phone still has quite prominent bezels in an increasingly bezel-averse market. But the Xperia XZ2 needn’t be shy about its appearance, it’s a slick looking device that’s packing a really impressive display and some innovative, entertainment-focused features. The 5.7” screen upscales content to HDR on the fly, and a new Dynamic Vibration System analyses the audio of movies and games to produce a force feedback effect, like the old Rumble Pak on the N64. Front-facing stereo speakers are ideal for at home, while Hi-Res audio through the headphone jack keeps you going on public transport.


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FEATURE

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OFFICE POLITICS

Business has the power to save our seas The world’s greatest resource is under attack – we must act now to protect it Claire Vyvyan Dell EMC

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HE WORLD’S greatest resource is under attack, and unfortunately, we can only blame ourselves. Our throwaway culture has resulted in at least eight million tonnes of plastics entering the ocean every year, and researchers predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is a huge problem, affecting not only marine life, but us too. Currently, the European economy is being charged €630m a year for coastal and beach cleaning, while, to the long-term detriment of our health, we consume on average 11,000 plastic particles a year via seafood. Granted, there is no easy fix, but local governments and organisations are attempting combat the waste. Theresa May’s announcement on

her government’s war on plastic refuse to dramatically reduce our consumption is positive progress. But this is one of the fastest-growing threats to the ocean ecosystems in our history. The onus is on us, and we must all do more to take responsibility for how our choices are impacting the world around us. Despite the gravity of this environmental crisis, there is hope in prevention initiatives. Many organisations are already taking bold steps to initiate change. At Dell, we started looking for ways to address the ocean plastics challenges within our business after the severity of this issue was brought to our attention by Adrian Grenier, our social good advocate and founder of the non-profit organisation, Lonely Whale Foundation. As a result, we introduced the industry’s first ocean-bound plastic packaging for our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop earlier this year. The pilot programme processes plastics collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas, and moulds them into recyclable packaging trays. This year alone, the programme will use 8,000 kilograms of ocean-bound plastic.

FILL ME UP Refill Free

It is critical that companies across all industries get engaged in open dialogue around what they can do to get involved

Working with Lonely Whale, we have now created NextWave, an opensource initiative to engage private companies, scientists, and NGOs to figure out how to integrate oceanbound plastics into consumer products in a way that’s scalable and sustainable. The founding companies – which include Trek Bicycle Corporation, British flooring company Interface, Herman Millerand and General Motors – will collaborate to move beyond simply reducing plastic consumption, to create a supply chain

Government and business have a part to play in the battle against plastic waste, but we can all do our bit. Refill is an app designed to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles we throw away. It displays locations where you can refill a bottle, rather than buy a new one. So far Costa and others have signed up. It’s a good start to saving our seas.

infrastructure that will aim to divert more than one million kilograms of plastics and nylon-based fishing gear from entering the ocean within five years. This level of collaboration is what needs to happen across Europe – and the world – to bring about transformational change. Our oceans cover nearly three quarters of our planet, and it’s hard to believe the extent to which we are poisoning them. It’s a topic that has received immense attention over the past few months, and one that we are planning on combatting for years, even decades, if that’s what it takes to repair the damage. The challenges are many, but the chance to make a real, measurable change is life altering. Encouraging individuals to be responsible with plastic waste is only part of the equation. To dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste in our oceans, it is critical that companies across all industries get engaged in open dialogue around what they can do to get involved. Through driving real solutions and establishing shared goals, we’ll make a difference in our business and communities around the globe. £ Claire Vyvyan is senior vice president of commercial business UK&I at Dell EMC.


CITYAM.COM FEATURE

What do Creative Artists Agency and the owners of San Francisco 49ers and Crystal Palace have in common? Joe Hall finds out

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T WOULD only take a cursory glance at sports headlines in recent weeks to realise that disruptive forces are rapidly reshaping all areas of the industry. Amazon is thought to have challenged traditional broadcasters in making a serious bid for Premier League broadcast rights. Two YouTubers, meanwhile, went up against live football and rugby last month by fighting each other in an amateur boxing match that sold out London’s ExCel Arena and attracted more than 1m live viewers online. And ahead of England’s Six Nations match with Wales, Twickenham chiefs unveiled virtual reality technology they are using to sell hospitality packages for future games. For stakeholders, negotiating this new terrain might require an expert helping hand. Executives from the sponsorship agency that represents sporting stars including Cristiano Ronaldo as well as A-listers such as Beyonce, the ownership group that includes an NBA franchise and a Premier League team, and the NFL outfit ranked the fifth most-valuable by Forbes have united to form a new venture in the understandable belief that they have the chops to offer that very expertise. Elevate Sports Ventures is a new sports high-end consultancy comprised of NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers, the Creative Artists Agency, and Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and Crystal Palace. And it is coming to London, immediately opening an office in a city that it sees as a port particularly buzzing with sporting commerce with which it can help. “The landscape is changing so dramatically and the risks have never been greater,” Al Guido, 49ers president and Elevate chief executive, tells City A.M. “The competition is growing day by day but the opportunity is immense if you do it right. You only really have

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2018

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one chance to launch a product or service or stadium and you want to make sure that you have every single conversation possible to futureproof your buildings or your plans. “There’s no doubt that the growth of the Premier League, the Championship, what the RFU has been able to do with Twickenham Stadium — there’s a ton of opportunity in the marketplace. We like the space, we know a lot of the players. And we’re looking forward to helping those teams and brands. “We believe that you can’t be a oneElevate president Guido launched the 49ers stadium (main)

size-fits-all shop. You can’t just take the principles that work in the United States and the NFL and plug them into the UK market. We believe our expertise and knowledge of the UK fanbase and the amount of verticals in which we’re able to help sets us apart.” By sourcing expertise and a globetrotting network from three different companies, each with its own strengths, Elevate says its offering can range from sectors as varied as eSports, performance analytics, stadium construction and emerging tech. For a group of executives who oversee teams in the NFL, NBA and Premier League, that could well mean working helping competitors. But Guido insists the

wider sports industry is not as zerosum as a team’s match results. “We don’t believe it will cannibalise our success,” he says. “We believe a rising tide lifts all boats in the sport and entertainment world. Our job is to lift each sport and brand up as much as possibly because it — pardon the pun — elevates all of us and competition breeds success. No one can argue that brands doing good jobs or generating new revenue streams or adding fanbase is a bad thing.” Guido’s own point of passion is in stadium building, having spearheaded record sponsorship and corporate seats sales at new stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and the 49ers. Indeed, there are projects aplenty in

Arsenal suffer £23m Champions League hit @frankdalleres ARSENAL have revealed that missing out on Champions League participation for the first time in 21 years led to a £23.4m drop in football revenue in their half-year results. Turnover from football for June to November fell to £167.7m from the 2016 figure of £191.1m, while operating profits from football plummeted to £15.6m from £54.2m. The club – who host Premier League leaders Manchester City tonight – cited a decline in broadcast, ticket and commercial revenue caused by playing in the less lucrative and

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SPORT’S ALL-STAR Hyhyhyhyhyhy CONSULTANCY hyhyhyhyhyhy

FOOTBALL

FRANK DALLERES

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prestigious Europa League, and an increase in wage costs of £13.2m. Overall operating profits more than halved to £20.7m from £54.4m, yet player sales and the club’s property business saw Arsenal’s pretax profits rise to £25.1m from £12.6m. The sales of Alex OxladeChamberlain to Liverpool, Kieran Gibbs to West Brom, Gabriel to Valencia and Wojciech Szczesny to Juventus brought in a £58.4m profit, a vast increase on £6.3m in 2016. That more than offset the impact of signings, such as Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, which increased amortisation costs to £43.6m Wenger dismissed questions about his future yesterday

from £36.0m. Property sales generated £14.5m in revenue and £5.1m of profit. Arsenal’s cash reserves grew to £160.7m from £123.7m, although £23.0m of that is reserved for debt service. The club have also spent big since, signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a clubrecord fee thought to be £55.5m, although they recouped by selling Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin, as well as trading Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal look likely to miss out on Champions League qualification again this term unless they win the Europa League, which has led to renewed speculation about manager Arsene Wenger’s position. “This has not been the easiest of campaigns but we are all working hard to ensure we have a strong finish,” said chairman Sir Chips

Keswick. “We need to spend effectively and be the best we can across the whole of our football operations if we are to compete at the level our ambitions for the club demand.” Wenger dismissed questions about his future yesterday ahead of the visit of City, who beat them 3-0 in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final. “My position is my position,” he said. “Honestly, that’s the last worry I have at the moment. My worry is to focus, to get the team ready for tomorrow’s game.” The Frenchman said he had been “quite amazed” at the level of criticism aimed at his team’s display in losing to City on Sunday. “It looks like we have lost against bottom of division five,” he added. “We have lost against a team that dominates English football at the moment. I think we lack a little bit of perspective in our analysis.”

London and beyond. Tottenham’s new ground is set to be completed next season, but they are yet to announce a naming rights partner. Everton, QPR, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Chelsea are also looking to new homes. “We love the amount of building that’s going on Beyonce is among the stellar names on Creative Artists Agency’s books in the UK,” says Guido. “The renovation plans, the new stadium builds. We feel there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity here and not just in soccer. We’re doing a lot of due diligence on the projects and stadiums that are happening in the UK and we’ve been talking to a number of clients.” In an industry undergoing rapid change, opportunity knocks.

IN BRIEF

ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND AVOID SCUFFLE PUNISHMENT

£ RUGBY UNION: England’s Owen Farrell and Ryan Wilson of Scotland have avoided disciplinary action after becoming embroiled in a tunnel scuffle prior to Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield. Six Nations organisers concluded that there was no clear evidence of violent conduct against any individual player. Wilson, meanwhile, has been cleared of intentional foul play after being cited for allegedly making contact with the eye area of England’s Nathan Hughes.

RUSSIA HAS MEMBERSHIP OF OLYMPICS RESTORED BY IOC

£ OLYMPICS: The International Olympic Committee have confirmed that Russia’s Olympic membership has been restored following its suspension from Pyeongchang. Russia was banned from the Winter Olympics following allegations of state-sponsored doping, although 168 Russian athletes competed as part of a neutral Olympic Athlete from Russia team. A statement read: “The suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect.”


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BEY TEAM Why Beyonce’s reps want to help build your club’s new stadium PAGE 23

SPORT FOOTBALL

Parish: VAR incredibly dangerous

JOE HALL

@joehallwords CRYSTAL Palace chairman Steve Parish has described the potential adoption of video assistant referee (VAR) technology as an “incredibly dangerous road” for football to go down. The Palace part-owner warned that football’s hold on television audiences could be broken by adding breaks to a game at a time when attention spans are dwindling. “I’m very worried about VAR,” Parish said at yesterday’s Sport Industry Group Breakfast Club. “I hate all these games that stop and start. I think we’re going down an incredibly dangerous road with this. “If we’re talking about less attention span for people, then why would we want to make a 90 minute game 120 minutes because we’re wandering

around with earpieces?” VAR is currently only being trialled for four match-changing types of incident but Parish fears it being expanded in the future. “My real problem with it is we’ve got it for these four decisions at the moment but you know the answer to everything will be more VAR,” he said. “We’ll say ‘Well, we’re getting these decisions right but we’re not getting those others right so why don’t we have VAR for those?’ Then it will be VAR for whether the goalkeeper’s taken six steps. I just can’t see an end to it. I would leave the game as it is.” Parish also warned that the Premier League’s appeal to broadcasters could be threatened if games between

the top six and the rest become more predictable. The league’s six biggest clubs have lobbied for a greater slice of income from international TV rights by arguing that it is their global brands that attract fans, but the Palace co-owner believes a greater disparity in wealth would threaten the league’s soap-opera like drama on match days. “Every single thing like this in the end eats itself if it’s not careful,” Parish said. “What happened in F1? The big teams got all the power, they demanded more and more money. Now you’ve got this spectacle where in the

Parish has major worries over VAR

last two seasons there has been one team — two drivers — that has had any chance of winning and people are switching off. “It [more TV money] makes hardly any difference to them, but it makes us [bottom 14 clubs] worse. And if it makes us worse, it devalues the league. And if it devalues the league, then in the end the pot at the top isn’t as big. I just don’t see any logic in it.” Although the Premier League’s domestic TV income appears to have stalled — the latest deal with Sky announced last month will see the broadcaster save almost £200m a year — Parish believes English clubs could benefit. “I think it will be good for football,” he said. “We all waste lot of money in the Premier League because of this never-ending increase in TV income issue. A little tightening of the purse strings wouldn’t go amiss.”

FOOTBALL

Llorente hat-trick helps Spurs forget video controversy

CRICKET

Stokes delight as he inspires England to win FRANK DALLERES @frankdalleres ENGLAND all-rounder Ben Stokes savoured an emotional return to form after he shone with bat and ball in a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second one-day international in Tauranga. Stokes was named man of the match after claiming two wickets and two run-outs as England restricted the hosts to 223 and then top-scoring for the tourists with an unbeaten 63 as they levelled the five-game series. It was only the 26year-old’s second match since returning to the England fold, having been suspended while he was investigated and charged with affray following an alleged incident in Bristol in September. “It was very satisfying for me. It’s an amazing feeling to be back among the team, being around all

Ben Stokes scored an unbeaten 63 as England romped home by six wickets

Fernando Llorente, right, netted a treble, but confusion, above, reigned at Wembley

FA CUP

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ROCHDALE

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ROSS MCLEAN @rossmcleanRMAC TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino added to questions over the effectiveness of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) last night after his side’s FA Cup fifth round replay victory over League One strugglers Rochdale was littered with delays and confusion. Striker Fernando Llorente scored a 12-minute second-half hat-trick to calm Tottenham’s nerves after Rochdale had levelled through Stephen Humphrys, while Heungmin Son and Kyle Walker-Peters also netted for Spurs at a snowy Wembley. So while the north Londoners ultimately progressed quite comfortably to the quarter-

finals, where they will face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on 17 March, the debate over VAR raged. “It was a game we can talk about different things,” said Pochettino. “It was so complicated because of the new system, it was difficult to keep focus on the game. “I think we have the best referees in Europe or the world but I don’t know if this system will help them or cause more confusion. It is a game of emotion. If we are going to kill this emotion I think we are going to change the game. “It’s difficult for the referee. I feel so sorry for the referee and I feel more sorry for the fans because it’s so difficult to understand the situation.” The first controversy arrived on six minutes as Llorente was adjudged to have fouled Rochdale defender Harrison McGahey, despite apparent mutual shirt pulling, before Erik Lamela pounced to tap home. The goal was ruled out by referee

Paul Tierney following a VAR consultation, while further deliberation was had when McGahey stuck out an arm and Spurs winger Lucas Moura went to ground, although no penalty was given. Tottenham opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Son cut inside and curled an effort beyond Rochdale goalkeeper Josh Lillis, but the South Korean’s mood turned from celebratory to apoplectic within minutes. Spurs were initially awarded a free-kick following a foul by Matt Done – contact began outside the penalty area – on Kieran Trippier, although that was upgraded to a penalty following discussion with the VAR. Son converted the spot-kick but the goal was ruled out for a stopstart run up – the 25-year-old was also booked – and Rochdale levelled shortly after the half hour mark as Humphrys collected an Andrew Cannon pass and fired beyond Michel Vorm.

Rochdale gave Spurs an almighty fright on the stroke of half-time as Cannon struck the base of Vorm’s post, although 73 seconds after the re-start Llorente chipped Lillis from Moura’s through ball. Llorente poked home his second from Moura’s pull-back moments later and completed his hat-trick by nodding Son’s cross beyond Lillis. The floodgates were well and truly open and Lamela’s cross was tapped in by Son on 65 minutes. Spurs notched their sixth in the closing stages when substitute Dele Alli provided the ammunition for Walker-Peters to slot past Lillis.

FA CUP SIXTH ROUND DRAW Leicester City v Chelsea Manchester United v Brighton Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur Wigan v Southampton Ties to take place on 16-19 March.

the lads and even the backroom staff,” said Stokes. “The time spent at home, the amount of hard work that I’ve put in – that feeling walking out the other night was amazing. It was a bit emotional tonight walking off the field not out. “I’m back here now and I’m really glad to have contributed to a winning game. “There was relief and happiness and obviously it’s been a long time. Hopefully now this is a stepping stone on the road to trying to keep on helping England win games. We’ve got a massive summer ahead and the World Cup coming up after that as well so hopefully this is just the start of it.” Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes also took two wickets each as England mustered a much-improved fielding display. They reduced New Zealand to 147-8, despite opener Martin Guptill’s 50, before Mitchell Santner spurred a late rally with 63 not out, his first one-day half-century. Opener Jonny Bairstow hit 37 but Jason Roy (8) and Joe Root (9) fell cheaply before captain Eoin Morgan’s 62 gave England renewed impetus. Morgan and Stokes shared a stand of 88 and Jos Buttler swept them to victory with 36 off 20 balls, including the match-winning six.

City A.M. (2018.03.01)  

City A.M. (2018.03.01)

City A.M. (2018.03.01)  

City A.M. (2018.03.01)

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