Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Friday, June 5, 2015

FTSE 100 suffers worst week in six months as Greek concerns mount

Investors unnerved by escalation of Greek crisis and prospect of US rate riseWorries about Greece’s fate in the eurozone after it delayed a €300m payment to the International Monetary Fund due on Friday sent European shares sharply lower, with the FTSE 100 recording its worst weekly fall for six months.The UK’s leading index finished the day down 54.64 points at 6804.60, its lowest level since 31 March. The 2.57% decline over the week is the worst performance since 12 December last year. Germany’s Dax finished down 1.26%, France’s Cac closed 1.33% lower and the Athens market fell 4.96%.We’ve seen no improvement in UK grocery market growth since the tentative rebound experienced December and January faded.MediaTek, which is one of Arm’s key customers, reported May revenue this morning which fell 21% year on year. The fall is due to a slowdown in Chinese smartphone sales. Given Arm reports royalties one quarter in arrears this won’t impact Arm’s royalty until the third quarter.Separately, the consolidation amongst Arm’s customer base could reduce its licensing revenue (NXP/Freescale are both important Arm’s licensees where only one license will be required from now on; Intel will presumably design out Arm’s technology now that it has acquired Altera).Many argue that Chancellor Osborne should “launch” a disposal of the UK Government’s 79% stake at the Mansion House next week; but why sell now at around 350p when he didn’t at 404p in February 2015? Alistair Darling wouldn’t even sell any at 576p (at a profit) in August 2009...We believe it would be a mistake for the government to initiate a sell-down now. We do not deny that the share price has enjoyed unwarranted and/or premature exuberance in the recent past. However, following sharp underperformance in 2015 year to date we believe the share price now carries an exaggerated “uncertainty discount” for outstanding conduct issues which should unwind over the next 12 months. Moreover, within this timetable, we expect very material progress with the group’s restructuring programme.According to The Australian Financial Review quoted Australian infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno (market cap £233m, enterprise value £509m) has courted the attention of Atkins and WSP Global. Cardno, whose share price has fallen by 55% over the past 12 months, has EBITA of around 30% that of Atkins’. The acquisition of Cardno would make Atkins a more geographically balanced business and help Atkins towards achieving its strategic goal of reducing UK exposure from 50% to 25%. We await developments. Continue reading...