UK PMI Data for February Adds to Case for Another BoE Rate Increase

The strong economic rebound in the U.K. signaled by the purchasing managers index data in February, coupled with severe inflation, is likely to tick the boxes for Bank of England policymakers, ING says. The data hints that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has done very little lasting damage to the U.K.'s economy after only a mild hit in December, and points to intensifying inflationary pressures, the Dutch bank says. "All of this is effectively another green light for a rate hike in March, though we have our doubts that policymakers will go for a sharper, 50 basis-point increase at that meeting," ING says. ING expects the BoE to increase rates in both March and May, and perhaps another rise later this year.

Companies News: 

Allied Minds Names Founder as Consultant for Shareholder Cash Returns

Allied Minds PLC said Monday that it has appointed founder and former executive chairman Mark Pritchard as a consultant to the board as it aims to maximize cash returns to shareholders.


iEnergizer Sees FY 2022 Performance Ahead of Market Views

iEnergizer Ltd. on Monday forecast better-than-expected earnings for the year ending March 31.


Finsbury Food to Increase Stake in Lightbody-Stretz for EUR7.1 Mln

Finsbury Food Group PLC said on Monday that it has agreed to increase its stake in its European distribution business, Lightbody-Stretz Ltd., for a headline consideration of 7.1 million euros ($8.1 million). The acquisition is expected to close later Monday.


Clipper Logistics Agrees to Possible $1.3 Bln Takeover by GXO Logistics

Clipper Logistics PLC said Monday that it has reached an agreement for a possible cash and share offer takeover by GXO Logistics Inc., valuing it at around 942.6 million pounds ($1.3 billion) or 920 pence a share.


Finsbury Food 1H Pretax Profit Fell; Reinstates FY 2021 Dividend

Finsbury Food Group PLC said Monday that its pretax profit fell in the first half of fiscal 2022 after booking higher costs, and that it is reinstating a dividend for fiscal 2021.


Tristel Shares Fall on Lower 1H 2022 Pretax Profit

Shares in Tristel PLC fell after the company said that pretax profit fell for the first half of fiscal 2022 as revenue decreased, and that it anticipated second half revenue will be higher than in the first half.


Bank of Cyprus Swung to Pretax Profit in 2021 After Reduced Credit Losses

Bank of Cyprus Holdings PLC said Monday that it swung to a pretax profit in 2021 on greatly reduced credit losses despite a slip in turnover.


ADVFN 1H 2022 Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Costs

ADVFN PLC said on Monday that pretax profit fell for the first half of fiscal 2022 after booking higher costs, and that it will continue to freshen its offerings to sustain and grow future revenue.

--- Group CEO Philippe Chainieux to Step Down Group PLC said Monday that Chief Executive Officer Philippe Chainieux is stepping down from his role for family reasons and will be replaced on an interim basis by Nicola Thompson with immediate effect.


Immotion 2H Revenue More Than Tripled on Location Entertainment Recovery

Immotion Group PLC said Monday that its second-half revenue more than tripled due to a recovery in its location based entertainment unit, though its home entertainment division experienced some logistical problems.


Wilmington 1H Pretax Profit Rose as Covid-19 Restrictions Ease

Wilmington PLC said Monday that its pretax profit rose significantly ahead of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels in the first half of fiscal 2022, as digitalization accelerates and face-to-face events return.


IG Design CEO Paul Fineman to Step Down in March; Search Started for Replacement

IG Design Group PLC said Monday that Chief Executive Officer Paul Fineman will be stepping down on March 1 for personal reasons, after 14 years in the role.


Fusion Antibodies CEO Richard Jones Resigns

Fusion Antibodies PLC said Monday that Chief Executive Officer Richard Jones has resigned from his role to pursue other opportunities.


Corcel Agrees to Combined Debt, Equity Funding Solution of Up to GBP1 Mln

Corcel PLC said Monday that it has agreed to a partial debt conversion and a new funding package of up to 1 million pounds ($1.4 million), and that it will use funds for working capital purposes and to support is battery metals-led strategy.


Concurrent Technologies Appoints Kim Garrod CFO; Current CFO Resigns

Concurrent Technologies PLC said on Monday that Kim Garrod has been appointed as chief financial officer, and that current CFO Jonathan Martin has resigned from the board with immediate effect and will leave the company in due course.


Transport for London Says Funding Discussions With UK Government Extended to Feb. 25 -- Update

Transport for London said Monday that discussions with the U.K.'s Department for Transport in relation to its future funding have been extended to Feb. 25, and that it remains in a position to meet near-term operational and contractual obligations while discussions come to a conclusion.


Polar Capital Global Financials to Raise Further Equity in Share Placing

Polar Capital Global Financials Trust PLC said Monday that it intends to raise an undisclosed sum through a share placing to qualified investors.


Smiths Group Chairman George Buckley to Retire in April

Smiths Group PLC said Monday that Chairman George Buckley will be leaving his role and retiring from the board.

Market Talk: 

AstraZeneca Lifted by Positive Breast Cancer Trial Results

1115 GMT - Positive results for AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo's drug Enhertu in women with HER2-low advanced breast cancer significantly expands the pool of patients eligible for the treatment. Around half of all breast cancers express low levels of a protein called HER2. Currently, those patients are given several lines of chemotherapy, and some are also given hormone therapy, depending on the tumour type. Enhertu was shown to significantly prolong survival versus chemotherapy in patients for whom earlier treatment had failed. Analysts at Jefferies estimate that the success will add around $2.3 billion in peak annual sales to Enhertu, which is already approved for women whose tumors express high levels of HER2. AstraZeneca shares are up 1.9% at GBP89.70.


LNG Supply-Demand Gap Will Emerge in Mid-2020s, Shell Forecasts

1053 GMT - The global liquefied natural gas market is expected to remain tight in the near term, with a supply-demand gap forecast to emerge in the middle of the current decade, Shell says in its 2022 LNG outlook. This forecast highlights the need for more investment to increase supply and meet rising LNG demand, especially in Asia, the energy group says. In 2021, China increased its LNG imports by 12 million metric tons and signed long-term contracts for more than 20 million tons a year, Shell says. Global LNG consumption is expected to reach 900 million tons a year by 2040, up 90% from 2021 levels.


Rare Earth Prices Soar, Spurred by EVs and Wind Power Demand

1024 GMT - Prices for rare earth magnet materials continue to rise on the back of burgeoning demand from electric vehicles and wind power generation, Pensana says. The Shanghai Metals Market neodymium and praseodymium oxide prices have continued their strong rise since the beginning of the year, reaching a high of $170,000 a metric ton this week, with many tipping that the metal will soon breach the $200,000-a-ton mark, the rare earth exploration and development company says. "The rapidly growing demand from the electric vehicle and offshore wind turbine sectors is unsupported by current production levels," it says. Pensana is developing a magnet metal processing facility in the Humber Freeport, England.


Synairgen Covid Treatment Has Potential Despite Missed Trial Goals

1012 GMT - Synairgen shares are down 80% after its SNG001 inhaled coronavirus treatment missed its preliminary and key secondary endpoints, but Finncap says the drug still has potential. The U.K. drug-discovery company's treatment has shown statistically significant trends toward reducing severe disease and death in the key secondary endpoints, the U.K. brokerage notes. "Rather than launching under an [emergency use authorization] in the next three months, as would have been possible if the Phase 3 data readout had been positive, the potential for SNG001 to be used as a drug to reduce mortality and potentially for use in future pandemics has not changed in our opinion," FinnCap says, placing Synairgen's stock's target price under review.


BOE Seen Raising Rates Further After UK PMI Data

1014 GMT - Another interest rate rise by the Bank of England in March looks increasingly inevitable, IHS Markit says in its U.K. purchasing managers' index survey compiled with CIPS. With the PMI's gauge of output growth accelerating markedly in February and cost pressures intensifying, the BOE is likely to raise rates further, IHS Markit economist Chris Williamson says in the survey. However, "downside risks" to the demand outlook have increased due to the rising cost of living, higher energy prices and increased uncertainty caused by the escalating crisis in Ukraine, he says. GBP/USD and EUR/GBP are both little changed after the data at 1.3633 and 0.8335, respectively.


Morses Club Shares Plummet After Profit Warning, CEO Departure

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02-21-22 0635ET