Morning Report: Subdued start for FTSE 100; Centrica cuts dividend

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

A subdued start to the FTSE 100 this morning as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak become even more keenly felt in the UK.

British Gas owner Centrica has cut its dividend and unveiled £400mln in spending cuts to offset the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. Management bonuses have been withdrawn while the sale of Spirit Energy has been put on hold.

British Airways is set to suspend 36,000 staff because of the coronavirus crisis according to reports. Most of its fleet is already grounded.

EasyJet’s (LON:EZJ) main shareholder Sir Stelios has stepped up his campaign to get a huge order with Airbus scrapped. His vehicle EasyGroup has called a meeting to remove one of the directors --  in line with a threat to remove the airline’s non-execs one-by-one over the next seven weeks.

Hays (LON:HAS) is to raise £200mln to shore it up due to a slump in recruitment. Permanent fees have been hit especially hard, the firm says.

Financial regulator, the FCA, meanwhile, has told lenders to offer a three-month payment freeze on loans and credit cards where consumers are in financial trouble because of coronavirus.

Some better news, Corero Network Security (LON:CNS) has picked US$2mln worth of orders for its SmartWall DDoS protection product. The order includes a new Juniper customer and additional purchases from existing customers.

Tekcapital (LON:TEK) expects its portfolio company Salarius’s MicroSalt to get a boost from the new sodium content thresholds just introduced in Mexico. Talks have already started with snack manufacturers selling into country.

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