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X5 Retail Group NV GDR (Reg S) (FIVE)

Down $33.68
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London mid-morning: Footsie back above 4,000

14 Apr 09

LONDON (ShareCast) - Strength in the banking sector has lifted Footsie back above the 4,000 point mark, after US bank Goldman Sachs announced better-than-expected first quarter earnings and plans to raise $5bn (3.4bn) in a share sale to pay off US government bail-out funds.

Banks Lloyds Banking and Barclays are amongst the early risers on the news, while financials such as Man Group,Legal & General and Standard Life are also doing well.

Royal Bank of Scotland is also higher as the race for its Pakistan business gathers pace with a number of local parties interested. Pakistan's biggest bank MCB confirmed its interest to acquire RBS Pakistan, while Pakistani financial services company Jahangir Siddiqui and Habib Banks are also in the running.

Second-line stocks dominate the corporate news scene. Soft drinks firm Britvic announced the successful refinancing of its committed bank facility, which will see its new six-bank 283m revolving multi-currency facility mature in May 2012. Prior to the commencement of this facility, effective from May 2010, Britvic will have access to increased committed bank facilities of 333m.

JKX Oil and Gas is to buy a 25% interest in the Veszto exploration licence held by Hungarian Horizon Energy. Oil and gas explorer JKX is paying for the stake by contributing its share of the drilling costs on the first well and by paying some of the previously incurred exploration costs. JKX expects the cost in the next quarter to be around $3.25m.

Russian grocery chain X5 reported a sharp rise in pro-forma earnings before interest depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) over the fourth quarter as revenues soared. EBITDA was up by 19% from the same period the previous year to $225m on sales that climbed 41% to $2.4bn.

Dart Group, the aviation and distribution firm, expects full year results to be ahead of current market expectations due to strong trading performance and the strength of the US dollar.

Support services group AssetCo said its full-year results are expected to be at the lower end of market expectations.

Oil and gas explorer and producer Leni Gas & Oil reported a slight dip in production between February and March as it underwent development programmes at its operations in Spain, Hungary and Trinidad.

Stockbroker Jarvis Securities said given the current strong trading it has decided to declare a first interim dividend for 2009 of 3p per share.

John Perriss, the independent non-executive director of The Local Radio Company has recommended shareholders reject the offer from the UKRD Group as it compares unfavourably to the rival offer from Hallwood.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.


Market Data

Currency US Dollars
Price $33.68
Change Today -$0.07
52 Week High $34.26
52 Week Low $33.49
Volume 51,419
Shares Issued 271.57m
Market Cap $9,147m


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