Hong Kong exchange tables shock £30bn bid for London Stock Exchange — live updates

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Hong Kong exchange tables shock £30bn bid for London Stock Exchange — live updatesOffer to combine companies to create “global market infrastructure leader” Announcement follows LSE agreement to buy data giant Refinitiv FTSE 100 advances at open as investors as Brexit turbulence calms Apple launches price war on Netflix as it unveils cheaper iPhone 11 Jeremy Warner: Is Christine Lagarde capable of the change necessary to save the eurozone? 10:15AM LSE would have to drop Refinitiv offer for deal to pass A crucial part of HKEX’s announcement is its demand that LSE withdraws plans to merge with data giant Refinitiv. The planned LSE/Refinitiv merger would place the company in competition with Bloomberg in the lucrative financial data space. Read more: David vs Goliath: London Stock Exchange’s $27bn swoop on Refinitiv pits it against Bloomberg HKEX says: The Proposed Transaction, whether implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement or takeover offer, would be subject to, amongst other things: a resolution in respect of the approval of the Refinitiv transaction having been voted on and not approved by the LSEG shareholders; or the Refinitiv transaction being terminated, lapsing, being withdrawn or not proceeding for any other reason; in each case by 31 December 2019 or such later date as HKEX may determine;    My colleague Harriet Russell reports: Sources in Hong Kong said the deal had been in the works for a number of months but was “catalysed” by LSE’s Refinitiv announcement last month. The deal is only expected to proceed if LSE takes the Refinitiv deal off the table altogether. In August, City analysts said they would not be surprised to see the LSE receive takeover offers of its own in the wake of the Refinitiv announcement as potential suitors looked to snap up the London-based exchange before it got “too big to buy” 10:10AM Merger would ‘redefine global capital markets for decades to come’ Charles Li, HKEX boss Credit:  Bobby Yip/ REUTERS  Charles Li, HKEX’s chief executive said: Bringing HKEX and LSEG together will redefine global capital markets for decades to come. Both businesses have great brands, financial strength and proven growth track records. Together, we will connect East and West, be more diversified and we will be able to offer customers greater innovation, risk management and trading opportunities. A combined group will be strongly placed to benefit from the dynamic and evolving macroeconomic landscape, whilst enhancing the long-term resilience and relevance of London and Hong Kong as global financial centres. 10:05AM HKEX’s proposal All the noise we have on this is from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing side. They say the proposal would: Create a world-leading market infrastructure group with a global footprint, diversified across asset class, ideally positioned to benefit from the evolving global macroeconomic landscape, connecting the established financial markets in the West with the emerging financial markets in the East, particularly in China; Elevate the UK’s role in capturing the significant growth opportunities presented by Mainland China's continuing internationalisation and the emergence of RMB as a global reserve currency, securing London’s position as the global centre for both Eurodollar and offshore RMB; Reinforce Hong Kong’s position as the key connection between Mainland China, Asia  and the rest of the world, providing a trusted and clear path for the continued opening up of Mainland China's capital markets and for the investment of Asia's growing wealth; Enable the creation of unique and valuable data sets for global investors, through the combination of LSEG's global data and analytics capabilities and distribution channels, and HKEX’s access to China, the world’s most digitalised growth economy; Enhance global capital formation by making it easier for companies to access equity capital across the world, through the IPO and secondary fundraising markets in London, Hong Kong, Milan, and Mainland China via the Connect programmes; and Offer innovation opportunities in equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities and derivatives products with domestic, regional and global relevance; allow for the application of best-in-class technologies in multiple markets and platforms; and help strengthen transparency, resiliency and risk capabilities in both London and Hong Kong. Snap reaction: not going to happen. https://t.co/s1ahqX9RZo— Ben Wright (@_BenWright_) September 11, 2019 A London Stock Exchange - Hong Kong Exchanges merger would be a bold move. One of course is at the heart of an ageing financial centre struggling with a larger and more powerful neighbor, in a moment of acute political crisis, and the other is Hong Kong.— Mike Bird (@Birdyword) September 11, 2019 9:54AM NEW: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing tables £30bn bid for London Stock Exchange Group Financial market figures are shown on big screens and a ticker in the main entrance at London Stock Exchange Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images Europe Just weeks after London Stock Exchange announced its acquisition of data business Refinitiv, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), which operates the stock market and futures market in Hong Kong, has thrown its hat in the ring to snap up the LSE, in a deal which could be worth close to £30bn (Harriet Russell writes). HKEX intends to apply for a secondary listing of its shares on the LSE, should the deal complete, which it said demonstrated its “commitment to the UK”. In August, LSE agreed to buy financial information provider Refinitiv in a $27bn (£22bn) deal aimed, to establish itself as a credible rival to Bloomberg. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom happened to be on Bloomberg TV as the news broke. She said the UK welcomes foreign investment but would “look very carefully at anything that had security implications for the UK”. HKEX said: LSEG and HKEX are two of the world's premier market infrastructure businesses, which together would offer unique potential to enhance and capture global capital and data flows. The proposed combination would strengthen both businesses, better position them to innovate across markets and geographies, and offer market participants and investors unprecedented global market connectivity. LSE shares have surged by nearly 9pc on the new: 9:46AM Sports Direct prepares for annual general meeting. Not on the invite list: journalists Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Today will mark another twist in the saga of Sports Direct — one that has recently included investors being left in the lurch by repeated delay to the retailer’s market update. Journalists have been banned from the event, so it is likely we won’t hear what occurs at the gathering of shareholders until after 11am. Just been told Sports Direct is banning all media from its AGM tomorrow. Never a good look when a company shuts out journalists. What happened to its “very open” promise in 2016? Mind you “very prudent” and “very compliant” also in question... pic.twitter.com/1ebagZTIN0— Ashley Armstrong (@AArmstrong_says) September 10, 2019 Boss Mike Ashley is facing calls to step down following the company’s update fiasco during the summer, which culminated in its revealing it had been hit by a £605m tax bill by Belgian authorities. It’s also on the hunt ofr a new auditor, as it struggles to find a bean-counter willing to take on its increasingly-complicated accounts. Section 490 which says where an auditor is not appointed the Secretary of State (at BEIS) may appoint one, and determine remuneration. Also the company must let the SoS know within a week that the power is exercisable. Otherwise both the company and its officers commit an offence— PIRC (@PIRC_news) September 11, 2019 The company structure has grown ever-more byzantine in recent years, as Mr Ashley buys up more and more high street brands. Mike Ashley's business empire Here’s a reminder of how things went down during its delay saga in July: Sports Direct results delays Telegraph Business  columnist Ben Marlow has weighed in on the saga today, comparing Sports Direct with rival  JD sports — which is having a rather better time. He writes: While the burly billionaire continues his bizarre obsession with snapping up failing rivals and struggling brands, JD Sports has cornered the booming market for fashionable athletic clothing. The fortunes of the two high street sports chains couldn’t be more different. In the last five years, shares in Ashley’s empire have slumped two-thirds amid fears that a company once feted by the City is beginning to unravel. You can read his full thoughts here: JD Sports leaves Mike Ashley floundering in high street fashion race 9:15AM Oil steadies after Bolton ouster relieves pressure on producers Mr Bolton was known as a supreme hawk Credit:  Cliff Owen/AP The sudden ouster of John Bolton — the latest national security advisor to lose a spot in the White House — had a fairly sharp initial impact on the price on oil yesterday. The exit Mr Bolton, known for his hawkish foreign policy stance, relieved fears over an escalation in US hostilities towards oil producers Iran and Venezuela. Donald Trump ‘fires’ national security adviser John Bolton over policy disagreements Mr Bolton, who was hired by Donald Trump after the President was impressed by his television performances. Reporting suggests he fell out with the commander-in-chief after Mr Trump was left frustrated by the US’s failed attempt to bring about regime change in Venezuela. As for exactly how Mr Bolton was ousted, here’s what the two men say: ....I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019 I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019 Ousted | The ‘no men’ who Trump has let go 9:03AM Sorrell’s S4 Capital aims to double in size by end of 2021, swings to loss as acquisitions continue Sir Martin formed S4 Capital after leaving ad giant WPP Credit:  Jason Alden/Bloomberg Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital said it remains on track to double in size by 2021 in half-year results today, even as a spending spree pushed it to a loss. The marketing group made a £8.5m pre-tax loss for the six month to June, which registered as a profit if adjusted for one-off costs. The company, with Sir Martin formed after leaving ad giant WPP under a cloud, has been on a spending spree as it seeks to expand further into programmatic advertising. Sorrell’s new venture aims to win big clients as revenues jump Inside story - The day it all ended for WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell Its client list has expanded to include several major advertisers, including Coca-Cola, Nestle and Proctor & Gamble. Sir Martin said (in comments directed at investors): These results confirm the power and relevance of the faster, better, cheaper, digital-only unitary advertising model, with first party data fuelling content and programmatic. Now the task is to build significant scale organically, by broadening and deepening existing and new client relationships and adding resources through merger and acquisition. Your company is being increasingly involved in significant industry reviews. 8:45AM Competition watchdog to assess Union plans to buy student digs rival The Competition & Markets Authority has announced it is evaluating the anticipating takeover by Unite Group, which build and maintains student accommodation, of rival Liberty Living Group. The watchdog said it “is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation... and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition”. Business Briefing Newsletter REFERRAL (Article) Unite released a statement and trading update this morning to coincide with the announcement. It said it had experienced “a strong lettings performance” over the summer, putting revenues around 40pc than in 2018. “As such, we remain confident in delivering rental growth of 3.0–3.5pc for 2019/20 and 2020/21, including improved utilisation,” the company said. Richard Smith, Unite’s chief executive, said: Demand for UK Higher Education remains robust, as reflected in the record share of 18-year olds choosing to attend University. Student demand also supports our strategic alignment to mid and higher tariff Universities. Despite increased political and economic uncertainty, we maintain our positive outlook for the business 8:33AM Galliford Try announces profit drop amid Bovis takeover talk Galliford’s housebuilding unit saw a slightly fall in units Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg  Galliford Try was a FTSE 250 darling yesterday, with its shares soaring after peer Bovis Homes announced it was restarting a takeover bid for the housebuilder. Today, Galliford posted full-year results, which show its profit slipped over the year to June. My colleague Laura Onita reports: Profits fell to £104.7m from £143.7m for the year to the end of June, while revenues edged down from £2.9bn to £2.7bn. The FTSE 250 construction firm had to foot another £26m bill to complete the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, which has now been finalised, as well as other one-off charges worth £24m. Stripping these out, pre-tax profit was in line with expectations at £155.5m, down from £188.7m last year.  Its housebuilding arm, which will merged with that of Bovis in a £1bn deal if all goes to plan, built 6,057 new homes, a slight fall on the year before. You can read her full report here: Aberdeen bypass costs take a chunk out of Galliford Try profits The results have shaved just more than a percentage point off Galliford’s shares so far today. 8:11AM European stocks climb at open Equities markets across Europe have opened to the upside, with Germany’s DAX leading risers. Credit: Bloomberg TV Top stock indices across the continent had closed broadly positive on Tuesday, with a late rally shaking off what had been a flat morning. 7:42AM What happened overnight Bond yields climbed and stock markets held steady on Wednesday, as hopes of easing US-China tensions and diminished risk of a no-deal Brexit prompted traders to take profit before key central bank meetings, Reuters reports. Oil prices also firmed, underpinned by a big drop in US crude stockpiles, after slipping the previous day. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4pc to hit a fresh 5-1/2-week high. Investors around the world continued to rotate into value stocks, representing a major reversal after many months of outperformance by growth shares such as tech companies. Japan's Nikkei average climbed 0.9pc, with the Topix Value index jumping 1.9pc whereas the Topix Growth added 0.8pc. The Shanghai Composite and the blue-chip CSI300 fell in afternoon trade, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.6pc. 7:41AM Agenda: Markets await Draghi WIll Mario Draghi leave with a bang? Credit: RALPH ORLOWSKI/REUTERS Good morning. European stocks closed higher yesterday after a late rally while the pound strengthened against both the dollar and the euro. Today is likely to see stimulus fever crank up as investors look ahead to the European Central Bank’s meeting tomorrow. It’s a quieter day on the corporate and economic fronts for the UK. 5 things to start your day 1) Shops are shutting at a rate of up to 16 a day across the country, with closures hitting record levels as the crisis engulfing the high street escalates. The first half of this year saw 2,868 store closures, almost twice as many as openings, as retailers increasingly resort to controversial rescue deals to cut rents and shut unprofitable stores.  2) Has ECB boss Mario Draghi got anything left in his box of tricks? Running any central bank is hard enough, but spare a thought for European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. The Italian, who steps into the spotlight tomorrow for almost the final time, took the job on in the teeth of an existential Eurozone debt crisis in 2011. Mario Draghi's efforts to kick-start lending 3) A wildly swinging pound is trading like an emerging market currency as the next Brexit deadline looms, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned. The extreme volatility in sterling is more in line with the performance of currencies in developing economies while the pound has now “decoupled” from its peers in other advanced countries “for obvious reasons”, Mr Carney said at an event in New York. 4) Brexit 'train crash' warning from Vauxhall boss Tavares at Frankfurt motor show: Mr Tavares said it was like “sending two trains to crash at full speed into each other just to demonstrate the strength of your muscles. [It] doesn't seem to be the best approach." Frankfurt Motor Show 2019 | Read more 5) Honest Burger has shrugged off Britain’s casual dining crunch by not simply turning a profit, but growing its bottom line. Sales at the burger chain rose by more than a third to £31m, with pre-tax profit a fifth higher at £873,000 in the year to January, according to Companies House filings. Coming up today Interim results: AMS, Chemring, S4 Capital Full-year: Galliford Try Trading statement: Biffa Economics: Mortgage applications, producer price index (US)


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