LSE and IAG numbers due on busy Friday agenda

There are also results expected from Rolls-Royce, Rightmove, CRH and Foxtons, among others

The London Stock Exchange Group PLC -

This Friday is not scheduled to be one of the quiet ones, with five FTSE 100 companies reporting results and a good handful of others joining the fray. 

Among the blue chip names will be the London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LON:LSE), which alongside its final results could also provide an update on whether it might shorten the LSE trading day from its current 8am-4.30pm.

A consultation was launched on shortening the trading hours in December following calls by industry bodies who said such a change would improve workplace culture and liquidity. 

With the deadline for responses having passed at the end of January, a response could be expected alongside results.

Investors may be more interested on any updates on the group’s US$27bn deal to buy data provider Refinitiv, which was approved by shareholders in November, though any detail is unlikely as the transaction was not expected to close until the second half of 2020.

There is more likely to be some discussion of possible assets the group could sell off to appease anti-trust regulators and drum up the billions needed to fund the merger.

Press reports in December indicated the LSE was not planning to sell its Borsa Italiana subsidiary despite rumoured interest from Euronext, which runs markets in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Lisbon, Dublin, Oslo and Paris.

IAG follows Heathrow news

Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON:IAG) sank to a four-month low a day ahead of the British Airways owner’s annual results. 

The news that sent the airline group even lower than its budget peers was that the Court of Appeal Heathrow had found that Heathrow Airport’s plans for a third runway were unlawful.

This came amid general pressure on the sector due to anticipation of lower demand for global travel given the uncertainty around coronavirus.

In January British Airways joined other airlines in suspending all flights to and from mainland China.

While it will be hard for the Anglo-Iberian group to quantify the expected impact, but there is sure to be one. 

This week, Air France-KLM said that it expects to lose €150-200mln if it is forced to suspend its flights to Asia until April, with analysts at broker Peel Hunt saying they expect a similar impact for IAG.

News has come thick and fast for IAG this year, with Willie Walsh announcing his retirement as chief executive after fifteen years at the helm, then Qatar Airways Group increasing its shareholding to 25.1% from 21.4%.

Analysts at UBS said last month they reckoned IAG was likely to ride out the market turbulence created by the coronavirus, especially compared to Lufthansa and Air France as they have the greatest exposure to China and wider the Asia region.

Significant announcements due on Friday February 28:

FinalsCRH PLC (LON:CRH), International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON:IAG), London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LON:LSE), Rightmove PLC (LON:RMV), Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR.), ConvaTec Group PLC (LON:CTEC), Essentra PLC (LON:ESNT), Jupiter Fund Management PLC (LON:JUP), Foxtons Group PLC (LON:FOXT), Glenveagh Properties PLC (LON:GLV), IMI PLC (LON:IMI), Man Group PLC (LON:EMG)

Economic data: UK consumer confidence, US personal spending, US balance of trade, US consumer sentiment, US Chicago PMI

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