After a bright start on the back of the initiative announced last night to get British banks lending, equities have moved into consolidation mode ahead of this Sunday's big election in Greece.
Meanwhile, the failure of last week's Spanish banking hand-out to put an end to the Eurozone crisis appears to have been the final straw for economists at Barclays Capital, who are now predicting the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to approve a further £50bn of quantitative easing (QE) at its July meeting. "We had previously forecast no further QE. We expect the asset purchases again to be exclusively of gilts. The primary reason for our change of view is the deepening of the euro crisis, following the renewed turbulence in Spain. This is infecting the UK economy through tightening credit conditions and weak levels of household and business confidence," they wrote.
Banks on a high
Banks have reacted positively to the initiatives from the the UK government and the Bank of England to help banks grease the wheels of British commerce.
Chancellor George Osborne said the plan, which reports have valued at between £80bn - £140bn, showed the UK was "not powerless in the face of the eurozone debt storm".
A second scheme, called Extended Collateral Term Repo (ECTR) Facility, will give banks access to short-term money to manage "exceptional market stresses".
The latter scheme will see the Bank of England allocating a minimum of £5bn every month to banks in the form of six month loans.
The news sent investors scurrying off to load up on shares in banks, especially Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking and Barclays.
Temporary power and temperature control specialist Aggreko is getting a shoeing despite highlighting the boost it expects to get in the second half of the year from the London Olympics.
The problem is that in the first half of the year, revenue growth has slowed down in the second quarter. The group said it expects first half underlying group revenue will grow by around 15% and trading profit by around 20%, indicating a slow-down from the first quarter performance when both its International Power Projects and Local divisions delivered underlying revenue growth of more than 20%.
Also getting chopped down inside the box are pay TV operators BSkyB and BT in the wake of the eye-watering sums paid by both to the Football Association for the rights to televise live matches from the Premiership.
Doing the board room shuffle today are accountancy software titan Sage and troubled specialist engineering services provider Lamprell.
Sage's Chairman, Tony Hobson, has decided it is time to give up the chair to make way for Donald Brydon, currently chairman of medical devices maker Smiths Industries. Brydon will join Sage's board as a non-executive director on July 6th to get his feet wet prior to taking over from Hobson at the beginning of September.
Lamprell, meanwhile, has moved quickly to replace Jonathan Silver, who announced earlier this month his intention to give up the Chairman role to become Deputy Chairman. The new guv'nor is industry veteran John Kennedy who, until US conglomerate General Electric took it over, was Chairman of Wellstream Holdings.
Struggling Premier Foods said it is selling its vinegar and soured pickles business for £41m. The business, which includes the Sarson's, Haywards and Dufrais brands, will go to Japanese firm Mizkan and the deal is expected to complete by the end of July.
While an Asian company prepares to get pickled on a typically British delicacy, UK drinks giant Diageo has raised its stake in Vietnam's Hanoi Liquor, the country's leading vodka supplier. The company has spent £14m, taking its ownership of Hanoi, Vietnam's leading domestic branded spirits producer, up to 45.5%.
Tempus yesterday pointed out that one of his picks for 2013, Lamprell, was up 53 per cent so far and suggested investors might take some profits. A second, Thomas Cook, is up 78 per cent so far, after yesterday's update. For him the best option for nervous investors may be that 78 per cent in five weeks might be regarded as enough. He is not sure, though, that Thomas Cook shares might not have farther to run, even if some sort of equity issue looks inevitable. [8 Feb '13]
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