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Close Brothers loan book grows in Q1, Playtech still in talks with TTB Partner regarding possible offer

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 20 May 2022

Close Brothers loan book grows in Q1, Playtech still in talks with TTB Partner regarding possible offer

(Sharecast News) - London pre-open

The FTSE 100 was being called to open 73.7% ahead of the bell on Friday after closing 236.94 points lower at 31,253.13 on Thursday.
Stocks to watch

Merchant banking group Close Brothers said on Friday that it had "performed well" in the third quarter of its trading year and that despite a backdrop of rising inflation and heightened uncertainty, it remained confident that its long-term track record of growth and profitability would be continued.

Close Brothers reported loan book growth of 1.8% in its banking division to £8.8m, driven by continued good new business volumes in the commercial and motor finance streams. Year-to-date net interest margins remained broadly flat at 7.8%.

Gambling firm Playtech said on Friday that talks with TTB Partner were still ongoing and that "progress continues to be made" but also added that it was "conscious" that TTB had been considering its possible offer for Playtech for 15 weeks now.

An independent committee formed by Playtech said it was still exploring options for maximising shareholder value, and highlighted that the group's strong performance had continued through April and into May.

Newspaper round-up

The cost of decommissioning the UK's seven ageing nuclear power stations has nearly doubled to £23.5bn and is likely to rise further, the public accounts committee has said. The soaring costs of safely decommissioning the advanced gas-cooled reactors, including Dungeness B, Hunstanton B and Hinkley B, are being loaded on to the taxpayer, their report said. - Guardian

Canada says it will ban Huawei and ZTE from the country's 5G network, a move that puts it in line with intelligence-sharing allies, but risks further chilling relations with China. The federal government made the announcement on Thursday afternoon after signalling for months it intended to block China's flagship telecommunications companies from accessing 5G networks in Canada. - Guardian

Property mogul Nick Candy is considering a bid for struggling online retailer THG, which said on Thursday night that it has rejected a £2.0bn offer from a separate group of investors. Shares in THG had earlier closed at 116.0p, down more than 80% since last September after Matt Moulding's company failed to reassure City investors over the value of its IT platform Ingenuity. - Telegraph

Billions could be wiped off the valuation of Klarna, the "buy now, pay later" fintech business, amid regulatory scrutiny, increased competition and a broader sell-off of technology shares. One of Europe's most valuable private technology companies, Klarna is thought to be seeking to raise up to $1.0bn at a valuation of just over $30.0bn - a drop of 30% compared with its previous financing round. Klarna, which claims 16.0m users in Britain, has been hit by concerns about a regulatory clampdown and more competition, including from traditional rivals such as banks. - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks closed lower again on Thursday after both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 booked their biggest single-day losses in almost two years in the previous session.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.75% at 31,253.13, while the S&P 500 lost 0.58% to 3,900.79 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.26% weaker at 11,388.50.



Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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