It was Chinese stocks that led the way with sharp valuation falls earlier: the Hang Seng was down more than -0.66% while the Shanghai Composite fell more than -1%: regulator anxiety about the valuation of some stocks fed share price falls. Ningbo Veken Elite Group plunged more than -10.13% as did Shede Spirits Co.
Things looked better out of Seoul with the Kospi up more than +0.90% thanks to some stronger chip sentiment from Samsung, up +0.86%. Some breaking news from Asia which came in later in the trading day: Ford’s China boss, Jason Luo, quit after just five months in his new role. In Indonesia, Google is investing substantial funds behind Indonesia’s ride-hailing internet operator Go-Jek.
Overnight the pound was down -0.09% to 1.4135 while -0.05% lower against the euro at 1.1378. Brexit-related news this week will likely surface as Theresa May continues to face fresh calls for her to improve her performance plus a Brussels EU27 meeting today; Brexit 'vassal state' accusations continue to fly in Westminster. PMI manufacturing numbers emerge meanwhile on Thursday.
- UK FTSE 100 7,665.54 +0.65%
- DAX 13,340.17 +0.31%
- CAC 40 5,529.15 +0.87%
- Euro Stoxx 600 400.57 +0.50%
- Dow 26,616.71 +0.85%
- S&P 500 2,872.87 +1.18%
- Nasdaq 7,505.77 +1.28%
- Nikkei 225 23,629.34 -0.01%
- Gold 1,351.80 -0.45%
- Oil WTI 66.28 +0.21%
Carillion pension outrage climbs
Carillion continued to pay out rising dividends to shareholders and handsome management salaries while running down its pension fund contributions. That's the view of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Between 2011 and 2013 Carillion paid out more than £70m in dividends yet simeltaneously also protested it had to keep a tight rein on pension contributions due to cashflow worries. It’s thought Carillion’s pension deficit could be as high as £990m.
“This culminated in negotiating deficit contributions away entirely last autumn to enable more borrowing, “ said the Commons Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field. “Remarkably, this was endorsed by the trustees and the Pensions Regulator.” The Financial Reporting Council is to now scrutinise KPMG’s audit of Carillion's accounts.
John Laing takes £3m hit from Carillion collapse
John Laing Infrastructure Fund says Carillion's implosion will cost it £3m. JLIF says it has no projects currently in construction where Carillion is the contractor.
"JLIF owns one project where Carillion is still liable for any construction defects found on the project, with the construction period having completed over 10 years ago."
Some argue that the vote to leave the EU in 2016 has helped drive down margins in the industry. The top 10 UK contractors "made a combined loss of £53m and the average profit margin was -0.5% in 2016/17, despite four consecutive years of industry growth," the FT said recently.