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Court rejects bid to block Petropavlovsk iron ore stake sale, TR Property reports "good" first half

By Josh White

Date: Friday 03 Dec 2021

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 36 points higher on Friday, having closed down 0.55% at 7,129.21 on Thursday.
Stocks to watch

Petropavlovsk said the UK's High Court had rejected a bid by its major shareholder JSC Uzhuralzoloto Group of Companies to stop the sale of a stake in iron ore subsidiary IRC. JSC wanted a court order to force Petropavlovsk into a general meeting at which it would try to prevent the company offloading its 29.9% share in IRC to the Stocken Board, a Liechtenstein-incorporated investment company, for $10m. Gazprombank in May signed off Petropavlovsk's agreement to sell the stake, which would free the company from $234m of linked credit line guarantees.

TR Property Investment Trust reported a "good set of results" in a challenging market on Friday, with its net asset value rising 13.5% year-on-year to end the first half at 474.34p. The firm said its net debt improved to 11.6% of net asset value as at 30 September, from 16.5% at the end of March. Its board recommended an interim dividend of 5.3p, up 1.9% from the 5.2p it paid at the interim a year ago.

Newspaper round-up

The $75bn takeover of Cambridge-based chip designer Arm by its rival Nvidia is in jeopardy after US regulators followed the UK and Europe in moving to block "the largest semiconductor chip merger in history". The Federal Trade Commission has sued to stop the takeover of Arm, which has ballooned in value from $40bn to $75bn since the offer was made last September due to a stock market surge in the chip sector, as seemingly almost insurmountable opposition now mounts after regulator action in Europe and the UK. - Guardian

Hotels in the UK have been hit by a wave of Christmas cancellations as business customers call off parties and events amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The Best Western Hotel Group, a franchise operator, said mixed messaging from ministers had already damaged trade, with concerns Christmas 2021 would have to be "written off", while one independent hotelier in Devon pleaded with the government not to "hang hospitality out to dry". - Guardian

A major North Sea oil project which it was claimed would help secure UK energy supplies has been plunged into crisis after Shell pulled out citing doubts about its viability, amid a lack of political support in Westminster and Holyrood. The Cambo oil field off the Shetland Islands was set to create an estimated 1,000 jobs and produce more than 170m barrels of oil equivalent in a boost to the UK's oil and gas industry even as it moves towards greener energy. - Telegraph

The government's efforts to tackle fraudulent attacks on the £47 billion bounce back loan scheme are "inadequate" and have been "implemented too slowly to be effective", the public spending watchdog has warned. The National Audit Office has criticised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for what it says was a lack of action to mitigate the billions of pounds of losses that are set to arise from the scheme. - The Times

Rolls-Royce continues to expand its share of the tugboat propulsion market in Brazil after supplying eight 16V 4000 M63 mtu engines to the Rio Maguari shipyard. The engines, each with an output of 2,000 kW, will power four new tugboats that the shipyard is building for Svitzer, a leading tugboat shipping company, to be used at ports around the country. The engines will be delivered by May next year. - The Times

US close

Wall Street finished well into positive territory on Thursday, with the Dow turning in its best rise in a year in terms of points, after the first case of the 'Omicron' variant of Covid-19 fuelled another sell-off in the previous session.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.82% at 34,639.79, as the S&P 500 added 1.42% to 4,577.10 and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.83% at 15,381.32.

The Dow closed 617.75 points higher on Thursday, more-than-reversing the losses recorded in the previous session after the White House tightened travel restrictions in the wake of the variant's arrival in California.

"Traders despise uncertainty and typically their reaction is to fear for the worst, so it's possible the declines seen on Wall Street yesterday were overdone," said Equiti Capital market analyst David Madden.

He noted that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cautioned earlier that the strain of the virus could cause "significant problems" for the economy.

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