27 April 2018

@AdamDShaw

27 April 2018

Good morning,

A large red circle has been drawn around Friday 13th July on Theresa May’s calendar. President Trump is coming for tea. It won’t be a full state visit, the invite for which still stands, but rather a working visit, where security, the framework for a future trade deal and US tariffs on steel and aluminium are all likely to be on the agenda.
 
Downing Street and the White House had reportedly been keen to co-ordinate releasing details of the trip, however, Sarah Sanders, the president’s spokesperson, broke the news during a mock grilling by the children of White House reporters on take your kids to work day.
 
Regardless of how it was announced, news of the visit will no doubt come as a relief in Whitehall, after French President Emmanuel Macron parked his tanks on the lawn of the so-called US-UK “special relationship” during his state visit to the US this week.
 
However, the wider reaction has been mixed. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – who has clashed with Trump in the past over the London terrorist attacks and the proposed ban on Muslims entering the US – tweeted that “Trump will experience an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope over fear”.
 
Widespread protests are expected and Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK's director, said: "When Donald Trump arrives on these shores, we and thousands of our supporters will very definitely be making our voices heard."
 
One government minister has been quoted as saying Donald Trump won't go anywhere where he can be publicly shouted at. Details are still to be finalised but expect a tightly controlled affair.

NEWS

Kim Jong-un has become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. In a symbolic moment, he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the military line that divides the peninsula, with the two men shaking hands and Kim Jong-un pledging a “new history” in relations.
 
The ability of the NHS to recruit doctors is being hampered by immigration rules, according to health officials. There is a cap on the number of skilled non-EU workers granted UK visas, however, NHS leaders say an increasing number of doctors are being refused permission to work, exacerbating shortages and extending the waits patients face. The Home Office argues that the cap is in the “national interest”.
 
Bill Cosby has been convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assaultby a Pennsylvania court. He was found guilty of drugging and molesting a woman at his Philadelphia home in 2004. More than 60 women in total have made similar allegations, however, the case of Andrea Constand was the only one prosecutors were able to take to trial. The 80-year-old comedian could be sentenced to 10 years in prison on each charge and faces spending the rest of his life in jail.
 
The Football Association is in talks to sell Wembley to Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of Fulham F.C and NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a deal that would be worth almost £900 million. Khan has stressed that Wembley would continue to be the main home of the England national team and the “Wembley” name would remain, albeit with the possibility of a sponsor being added. However, England would have to play fixtures elsewhere between September and December. It is understood that the profits from the deal would be ploughed into grassroots football.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Amazon’s share price leapt 7.4% in after-hours trading after the company’s first quarter results smashed Wall Street expectations. The ecommerce group posted a record quarterly profit which was nearly triple analysts’ forecasts. If the organisation’s shares open today at the level implied in after-hours trading, Amazon will overtake Alphabet as the world’s second largest public company by value, behind Apple.
 
Royal Bank of Scotland has more than tripled its profits in the first quarter of 2018. The bank reported a profit of £792 million for the first three months of the year, up from £259 million for the same quarter last year. This was attributed to a fall in costs stemming from restructuring and conduct and litigation.
 
Deutsche Bank will focus its efforts on the European market and significantly reduce its corporate finance and trading operations in the US. Just 18 days after taking on the role of chief executive, Christian Sewing hinted that the bank would no longer compete with the likes of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, announcing that he would “redefine the core of our bank” by focusing on corporate clients in Europe.
 
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has dismissed claims that the bloc “desperately needs the City of London”. Speaking at a financial industry conference in Sofia, Barnier said the suggestion that the EU would be worse off if Britain’s financial sector did not have full market access was “not what we hear from market participants, and it is not the analysis that we have made ourselves”. He also said that the EU would never accept UK plans for a “special access regime” based on a broad commitment to “equivalence”.

MARKETS

What happened yesterday?
The FTSE 100 was down in early trading but ended the session up 0.57% at 7,421.43.
 
First quarter results from Barclays was one of the bigger stories of the day. Despite reporting a quarterly loss of £764 million, chief executive Jes Staley described the first quarter of 2018 as the bank’s best in four years as its equity and bond trading operation outperformed many US and European rivals. Investors did not share his optimism however, with the company’s shares dropping 1.41%.
 
Mining company Evraz was the best performer on the main index, climbing 6.62%. It was closely followed by Melrose Industries which rose 4.17%.
 
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Legal & General dropped 4.06%.
 
On the other side of the Atlantic, the S&P 500 was up 1.04% to 2,666.94 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.99% to 24,322.34.
 
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq climbed 1.64% to 7,118.68, helped by Facebook’s shares gaining 9.06% on the back of a 49% year on year revenue growth.
 
On the currency markets the euro fell to a three-year low against the dollar after Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, described the central bank’s attitude to monetary policy as “cautious”.
 
The pound was up 0.38% against the euro at €1.1495 but fell 0.16% against the dollar to $1.3913.

Finals
Aseana Properties Ltd., Harvey Nash Group, Residential Secure Income
 
Q1 Results
Banco Bilbao Vizcya Argentaria SA, Royal Bank of Scotland Group
 
Trading Announcements
Computacenter, Travis Perkins
 
AGMs
Alpha Pyrenees Trust Ltd., Hutchison China Meditech Ltd., JPMorgan US Smaller Co. Investment Trust, Kellan Group, LMS Capital, Laird, Merlin Entertainments, Rotork, Senior, TMT Investments, Travis Perkins, Ultra Electronic Holdings

EGMs
Societatea Energetica Electrica SA GDR (Reg S)

GMs
Societatea Energetica Electrica SA GDR (Reg S), Flowgroup, O’Key Group GDR (Reg S) (WI)
 
UK Economic Announcements
(00:01) GFK Consumer Confidence
(09:30) GDP (Preliminary)
(09:30) Index of Services
 
International Economic Announcements
(09:00) Unemployment Rate (GER)
(10:00) Business Climate Indicator (EU)
(10:00) Economic Sentiment Indicator (EU)
(10:00) Industrial Confidence (EU)
(10:00) Services Confidence (EU)
(11:00) Consumer Confidence (EU)
(13:30) GDP (Preliminary) (US)
(13:30) University of Michigan Confidence (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

 

In The Times, Philip Collins laments the role of Len McCluskey in declining trade union membership. He argues that McCluskey is “slowly strangling trade unionism because he is not really interested in his real job, which is to be a good representative for his members”. Collins suggests McCluskey should seek a parliamentary seat and allow Gerard Coyne, who would get on with the day job, to assume leadership of Unite.
 
Incentivising long-term results is more important than reducing pay when it comes to reforming executive remuneration. That is the argument of Clare Chapman in the Financial Times. She contends that performance targets “can be gamed” and executives are more aligned with business strategy and long-term shareholder interests if they themselves are long-term shareholders. Chapman also states that chief executives need to take the lead, even if it means delaying their personal paydays.

DID YOU KNOW?

Due to its weight, the top speed of the the presidential limo, nicknamed “The Beast”, is 60 miles per hour. Furthermore, at its most efficient, it achieves just 9.6 miles per gallon. 

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

House of Commons
 
Legislation
 
Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill - 3rd reading - Chris Bryant
Employment and Workers' Rights Bill - 2nd reading - Stephanie Peacock
Hospital (Parking Charges and Business Rates) Bill - 2nd reading - Mr Peter Bone
House of Lords (Exclusion of Hereditary Peers) Bill - 2nd reading - David Hanson
Private Landlords (Registration) Bill - 2nd reading - Phil Wilson
Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill - 2nd reading - Chris Stephens
Service Animals (Offences) Bill - 2nd reading - Sir Oliver Heald
Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill - 2nd reading - Alison Thewliss
Clean Air Bill - 2nd reading - Geraint Davies
Terms of Withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill - 2nd reading - Geraint Davies
Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill - 2nd reading - Sir Christopher Chope
British Indian Ocean Territory (Citizenship) Bill - 2nd reading - Henry Smith
Wild Animals in Circuses Bill - 2nd reading - Trudy Harrison
 
House of Lords
 
Legislation
 
Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill [HL] - Committee stage - Lord Soley
Bat Habitats Regulation Bill [HL] - Second reading - Lord Cormack
 
Scottish Parliament
 
No business scheduled