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Breaking up Prudential would not be straightforward

Thursday 27 Feb 2020

Global insurer Prudential ( PRU ) is in the crosshairs as activist investor Dan Loeb took a near-5% stake in the company and urged the FTSE 100 constituent to separate its US and Asian operations. Loeb runs Third Point, manager of investment trust Third Point Offshore ( TPOU ) which we recently...

The stocks sinking and soaring as global markets wobble

Thursday 27 Feb 2020

On 24 February stock markets finally seemed to hit the panic button on the coronavirus with the FTSE 100 hitting its lowest level since early December and the Dow Jones index in the US enduring its worst day in two years. WHAT TRIGGERED THE MARKET SELL-OFF? The catalyst for the big sell-off in...

What to buy and sell if inflation keeps rising

Thursday 27 Feb 2020

Economists and the Bank of England received a rude reminder last week that inflation has a nasty habit of confounding expectations. According to the Office for National Statistics, consumer prices rose at an unexpectedly high 1.8% in January, compared with just a 1.3% increase in December and...

Government review could put the brakes on rail operators’ earnings

Thursday 20 Feb 2020

In the next few weeks the Government is set to publish a review of the UK rail industry which is likely to recommend a major shake-up in the way trains are run and the way we pay for them. The Williams Review, led by former British Airways boss Keith Williams, has been a year in the making and is...

Why the markets could be too complacent about the coronavirus

Thursday 20 Feb 2020

The news from Apple that the coronavirus will hit sales of its iPhone should not have come as a surprise but has nonetheless provided a jolt to investors who had seemed quite relaxed about the outbreak. There may now be increased attention on the impact on other firms. The management teams of...

Dunelm’s price looks too high given China risks

Thursday 20 Feb 2020

Shares in homewares market leader Dunelm ( DNLM ) have surged 148% higher since the start of 2019 thanks to a series of positive trading updates. Its latest half year results, published on 12 February, show the benefits of a recently-upgraded digital platform which has made it easier for customers...

Major cost-cutting fails to lift HSBC’s shares

Thursday 20 Feb 2020

Europe’s largest bank HSBC ( HSBA ) has revealed plans to slash up to 15% of its workforce over the next three years after earnings more than halved in the year to 31 December. Despite a 4% increase in revenue, net profits slid 53% to just $6bn from $12.6bn as the bank took a $7.3bn write-down on...

Infrastructure stocks diverge on HS2 hopes and energy price fears

Thursday 13 Feb 2020

There was good and bad news for infrastructure investors over the past week, depending on where in the sector they invested. On the plus side, an infrastructure boom could be about to hit the UK after the government gave the green light to build the £106bn High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, spelling...

Micro Focus rethink could scupper takeover hopes

Thursday 13 Feb 2020

Infrastructure software company Micro Focus ( MCRO ) has abandoned plans to sell off parts of the business and return to cash to shareholders, a move that may scupper any hopes of a possible takeover of the whole business. Micro Focus has effectively been in play since its latest profit warning in...

Why the Lindsell Train funds sell-off is continuing

Thursday 13 Feb 2020

Two Lindsell Train funds were among the most sold by investors in January as the fallout from a ratings downgrade continues. Around £225m was pulled in January from LF Lindsell Train Global Equity (B3NS4D2) and LF Lindsell Train UK Equity (B18B9X7) , according to estimates by Morningstar. This...

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