With a key jobs report from the US expected later this afternoon, European markets are expected to open lower; yesterday's measures by central banks in the UK, Europe and China to boost growth have clearly failed to lift sentiment.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open down 14 points from yesterday's close of 5,693.
Having promised on Thursday that it would raise money from disposals, insurance giant Aviva has moved quickly to act on that pledge by saying it will sell more of its stake in Delta Lloyd than originally intended. The original plan was to offload up to 25m shares in the Dutch insurer by way of an accelerated book-building operation in the market but demand has been so strong the size of the disposal has been increased to up to 37m shares, equivalent to up to 21% of Delta Lloyd's issued ordinary share capital.
Food, ingredients and retail firm Associated British Foods (ABF) is to buy ethnic flour brand Elephant Atta from Premier Foods, the company announced on Friday. Elephant Atta, established in 1962, is being purchased by ABF's ethnic food subsidiary Westmill Foods for a cash consideration of £34m.
RGI International, the AIM-listed developer of residential and retail properties in and around Moscow, has been given the go-ahead by the state to construct a kindergarten in the in the Krasnagorsk Region, near Mitino. The school is part of phase one of the residential project Micro city 'V Lesu', "the best product currently on the market," according to RGI's Chief Executive Officer Andrey Nesterenko.
The Guardian says: "Premier Foods, the firm behind Bisto, Hovis and Mr Kipling, is sitting on a pensions timebomb that risks wiping up to a quarter off the value of retirement savings of 60,000 past and present workers if the debt-laden food manufacturer were to slip into insolvency, according to a leading pensions expert." Nevertheless, the company has stressed that bankruptcy remains highly unlikely. [25 Apr '13]
Recently resigned Premier Foods Chief Executive Michael Clarke has left a smell of 'spoilt food' behind him after his 18-month tenure. While he did push through a vital restructuring he left the job half done. In fact, the company's very existence is still in question. Its deficit is expected to double when it finishes its triennial pension valuation, to which one must add 900m pounds in debt. Indeed, Premier needs to sell more businesses, or raise cash in a rights issue, or [21 Apr '13]
Debt laden food manufacturer Premier Foods said it expects to make progress in the year ahead, despite persistently challenging markets, as it posted an increase full year underlying trading profit. [21 Feb '13]
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