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7am: CMA to probe Babcock deal
Competition watchdogs is launch a further investigation into the £10m sale of Babcock’s Aberdeen-based oil and gas aviation business to CHC Group.
The acquisition of the business, which operates in the UK, Australia and Denmark, prompted an initial inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority.
It set a 25 November deadline for undertakings that might be accepted by the CMA, but CHC informed the CMA that it would not be offering any such undertakings.
The CMA has therefore decided to refer the merger for a phase 2 investigation.
7am: AG Barr upgrades forecasts
Soft drinks firm AG Barr said both revenue and profit before tax for the full year should be ahead of market expectations while the fast-moving situation in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic remains a risk.
In a trading update it said the positive trading momentum reported at its interim results in September has continued and sales have grown ahead of expectations, across Barr Soft Drinks and Funkin business units.
“Our performance in both the “on the go” and hospitality sectors remains particularly strong and our recent innovation launches have exceeded our expectations. In what remains a challenging supply chain environment, our production and wider supply chain have maintained their resilience and supported the growth in volume we are experiencing.
“Assuming no significant changes to current market conditions, we expect revenue to be in the order of £264m and profit before tax to be around £41m.
“The fast moving situation in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic remains a risk. However, we expect our revenue momentum to continue into 2022 and we plan to provide a further trading update in early February 2022.”
7am: White steps in for Regnier
Santander UK has confirmed that Mike Regnier will become chief executive, joining from Yorkshire Building Society, where he has been CEO since 2017 and prior to that chief commercial and chief customer officer.
Yorkshire Building Society has announced that Stephen White has been appointed as interim chief executive with immediate effect. He will work with Mr Regnier to ensure a smooth transition before he leaves the Society.
… more follows
Markets were expected to claw back some of the value lost in Friday’s wipeout with spread betters predicting the FTSE 100 to show a 66 point lift to open at 7,010.30.
However, worries over the potential economic impact of the Omicron Covid variant, which saw the blue chip index lose 266 points on Friday, look set to influence the direction of world markets.
Shares in China slipped as concerns lingered about the newly-discovered and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant.
The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.30% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.20%,
The Nikkei in Japan slumped 1.63% while South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.89%.