Market finally reacting in a rational manner
I don’t want to tempt fate but it seems that we are slowly returning to a market where the macro environment holds court and the political posturing we have seen in the past few months is relegated to the side show it is. The taper on/off debate and speculation will continue to have its influence on the markets but with the positive jobs figure on Friday we have finally seen a move away from the knee jerk reaction of a subsequent sell-off and rather a more introspective reaction reflecting the continued positive macro-economic news we have seen over the past months. Surely the idea of the Fed introducing a cut to its stimulus program is a positive sign for the overall welfare of US and World market…
After years of ceremoniously flicking between Sky sports and ITV to keep up to speed with the Champions League, football fans will be mourning the loss of the competition from 2015………unless they have BT. BT sport has won exclusive rights to broadcast the tournament, a huge blow to SKY and a monumental statement of intent from BT as it tries to grab a foothold in the UK TV market. However, this has come at a cost, a whopping £897m over 3 years which has been questioned by rivals. Both SKY and ITV, who have a number of years of experience to draw on, do not think the price represents value, but perhaps in the context of BT’s plans it may be worth paying up. The market reaction certainly sees this as a huge loss for SKY, with the stock down 9% from the kick off.
One thing is for sure, unless you are happy to pay the extra for a BT channel on your SKY box, there will either be a wave of customers switching allegiance or thousands of UK football fans looking for a new hobby on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
RSA have confirmed this morning that pre-tax profits are likely to be around 70m lower than expectations following fresh concerns at its Irish unit that have prompted the suspension of the regions CEO and an emergency capital injection. The exact nature of the probe is unknown at the moment but centres around the emergence of “adverse bodily injury claims”. This new release comes on top of last weeks 45m-65m impairment forecast from the recent storms that hit the UK and Scandanavia, and has led to an investor exodus with the stock crashing over 12%. Those who have held onto their shares for now will be demanding quick answers from the latest scandal, and if the powers that be weren’t already in panic mode, they certainly are now.
Elsewhere in the world of insurance, Admiral remains on track to hit full year forecasts despite lower revenues as the firm sticks to its strategy of profit over market share. Q3 turnover fell 7% to £528m, but overseas numbers were far more encouraging up 26% to £49m.