Wouldn't normally bother with the Daily Mail but they were handing out free on BA. That aside, it is very unusual to read such triva about such a large company outside the business section. Daily Mail "forgot" to reference allegations of bribery and potential market abuse that we referred to in the Times. Also unusal for a company to make such public comments in support of the article ahead of a court case. What's the upside of making a public comment? This doesn't pass the sniff test and looks like a smoke screen.
I read the articles in DM and Times. Grim stuff if you ask me and agree, you can't help thinking it's a deliberate attempt to slur. What are the heck are the NEDs doing though? Who's supposed to be controlling this?
What is going on? Former FD makes misconduct allegations against his former employer and the Daily Mail jumps into the gutter. Surely it is for the High Court to decide the outcome? Very unusual for a company to comment to the media ahead of the High Court - unless this was deliberate? What a choice of paper - the Daily Mail (honestly!).
"Can the rally in UK housebuilders continue? A look inside the FTSE 100 consumer discretionary sector reveals a wide spread in performance in the wake of the Brexit vote. Intercontinental Hotels, luxury fashion company Burberry Group, WPP, engineer GKN and Compass Group are all more than 10% up on their pre-Brexit levels. At the other end of the scale are the residential property companies, retailers including Dixons Carphone, Marks & Spencer and Next and media companies ITV, Sky and Pearson. Once again it�s the property sector that�s the real drag, with Berkeley Group and Taylor Wimpey some 19% below their pre-Brexit level and Persimmon and Barratt Developments down by 13% and 15% respectively.
Brexit is just one factor among several that are having a major impact on the UK housing market at the moment. Recent changes to stamp duty � the UK�s house buying tax � and to the tax regime governing buy-to-let investments, has taken the steam out of the property market as a whole in the south east and the top end of the market elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Brexit vote has apparently driven sellers away from the market, and that�s helping prop up house prices.
The interesting thing about the housebuilders is that they currently operate in a somewhat different market to the UK�s larger used property market. Berkeley is most exposed to the downturn in the market in the south east, but the others are still reporting strong demand and record levels of completions post-Brexit as government assistance programmes continue to help prop-up demand for new build homes. They�re also operating in a market that still has a chronic shortage of housing supply. That shortage may ease as the Brexit process continues as long as net immigration falls, but it�s not going to go away any time soon. Still, the stocks have always been heavily exposed to sentiment and conditions in the broader UK housing market and there�s no doubt the Brexit vote combined with recent government intervention has knocked sentiment in that market.
Take a look at Persimmon as an example. The stock has rallied strongly since diving in the wake of Brexit, but is still some way from its pre-Brexit highs. That�s despite the company reporting a 6% rise in both legal completions and average selling prices in the first half of the year, a 29% rise in pre-tax profit, and saying visitor numbers to its sites were 20% up on the year even in the wake of the Brexit vote."
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