House Of Fraser calls in administrators as Mike Ashley swoops, UK GDP figures due this morning
09:29, 10th August 2018

Below is a selection of the morning's key market news, earning reports & trending news - see more here.

  • Retailer House of Fraser is expected to appoint administrators. In a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange the company said talks with investors & creditors had “not concluded in a solvent solution”.

    House of Fraser employs 17,500 people, including 11,500 concession staff. The company said: "Significant progress has been made towards completing a sale of the group's business and assets. The proposed administrators are expected to continue to progress those discussions with a view to concluding a transaction shortly after their appointment.”

    A report this morning from Sky News says that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley is close to agreeing a deal to buy the company. Mark Kleinman tweeted: "Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is close to striking a deal to buy House of Fraser. I understand that the Newcastle United FC owner could wrap up an agreement with administrators EY as soon as this morning, although deal has yet to be signed."

    The report said that Mike Ashley was close to an agreement to buy the chain from EY, who were appointed as House of Fraser’s administrator this morning. The deal is expected to be announced today, but could still fall through or be trumped by another party.

  • The Office for National Statistics publishes its UK Q2 GDP figures this morning at 9.30am. After growth slowed to 0.2% for the first quarter of the year, it is expected that this will increase to 0.4% for the second quarter.

    Barclays said: “We expect GDP to print +0.4% q/q in Q2 as the economy recovers from Q1 disruptions and benefits from temporary positive factors.” UK manufacturing figures are also due out, with output expected to increase by 0.3%m/m while rising 1.0% y/y in June.

    UPDATE: UK Economy Grows by 0.4%

    The UK economy grew by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2018. This is up from 0.2% in the first quarter of the year. This uptick was in line with expectations in the City.

    Despite this, the UK manufacturing sector is now in recession after two quarters in a row, the industrial sector shrinking by 0.8% between April - June.

  • This morning Nationwide (NSB)  announced that its pre-tax profit fell 13% in the first quarter of 2018 due to low interest rates & “intense competition”. Pre-tax profits fell to £281m compared to £322m last year.

    Chief Executive Joe Garner said: “Our outlook is unchanged from the full year, and we expect the economy to grow at a modest pace over the next 12 months. The housing market looks set to remain relatively subdued with house prices broadly flat in 2018. Against this background, we also expect intense competition to persist in our core markets.”

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