Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
#1. BP in costly move to dump Russian holdings
The big news this morning is that BP [LON:BP.] is to exit its Rosneft shareholding. The company has a stake of almost 20% of the Russian state-owned enterprise and the attack on Ukraine has made the partnership untenable. The precise move from here is however difficult but the company’s board representatives have stepped down and a significant non-cash adjusting charge will need to be applied to the accounts. Last year, BP booked dividend income from Rosneft of around $640m and given the surge in energy prices, it seems inevitable that this number would have been even more pronounced in 2022.
#2. McColl’s financing challenges confirmed
Weekend media reports highlighted that convenience store operator McColl’s Retail Group [LON:MCLS] was struggling to fend off insolvency fears. A statement issued to the market this morning provides an update on the situation, noting that the liquidity headroom secured at the end of last year was absorbed as a result of product shortfalls and a decline in footfall in the run up to Christmas. The company notes that two year sales growth of almost 6% has been posted in the 11 weeks to 13th Feb and there’s confidence that a revised banking package can be put in place. Should this fail, then other options are apparently available, although a wholesale offer has been withdrawn.
#3. Full year numbers for BATM show ongoing growth
Full year numbers are out from the networking solutions and medical lab systems specialists BATM [LON:BATM] this morning. Revenues are up across the board on an adjusted basis, although this does strip out some of the upside seen in 2020 from significant orders for ventilators. That said, even the reported results perhaps give cause for optimism, with an operating profit up by 71% and basic earnings per share having risen by almost 50%.
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