London Stock Exchange: goodbye, Dubai: Just look at Borse Dubai’s investment in the London Stock Exchange. It bought the shares in 2007 at about £14. It has just sold the lot for £22.50 each. Sure, it has been a rocky ride (they fell below £4 in the crisis) but compare that 61% return to the 15% that it would have made in the FTSE All-share over the same period. That valuation makes sense only if LSE can continue its trajectory. When Dubai bought, LSE had just fought off a bid from Nasdaq. Since then it has bulked up with a string of acquisitions: Borsa Italiana, clearing house LCH. Clearnet and the £1.6 billion purchase of Frank Russell, an index provider and investment Manager, last year. The deals have diversified LSE beyond the U.K. equities market, taking in growth trends such as the rise of passive investment and the increasing use of centralised clearing along the way. The other danger is that the share price is affected by any slowdown in the core capital markets business. It had a strong year in 2014, with admissions revenue up a fifth and secondary markets up 12%. If growth slows the shares may fall victim to any lingering feeling that LSE is just a geared play on stock market activity. But RBC expects capital markets to account for just 14% of revenues this year. These days, LSE is about more than just the shovels.
Although it is slightly disappointing that another placing has taken place I think we need to remember that NR is managing an on-going situation here which is changing over time. Very few would have predicted the extent of the severe decline in the poo and NR is taking the necessary safeguards to keep the company running efficiently and to keep the investment programme on course. Whilst disappointing it isn't a big dilution in the big scheme of things and it should set a support level for the share price in the short term.
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