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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

London Stock Exchange

Full year numbers are out from the London Stock Exchange [LON:LSEG] this morning, showing a robust performance with most key metrics advancing despite the uncertainty of both COVID-19 and Brexit which have been on the agenda over the last 12 months. Total revenues rose by 3% and the note states that the pandemic highlighted the importance of the venue for issuers to be able to access capital quickly. In 2020, 526 businesses raised over £34 billion in follow on capital, up 113% from 2019 and the highest level in a decade. IPOs were up 27% and fixed income issuance rose by 77%.

Unite Group

Unite Group [LON:UTG], the student accommodation provider, has extended its rental concessions to tenants. Discounts here are now estimated to cost the business £10m, equivalent to 2.5p on a EPS basis, although given this only applies to students who are yet to return to property and with occupancy rates already higher than expected, this will make for a smaller impact than had been estimated previously. Critically the discounts are only available to students who are up to date with rental payments, something that is likely supporting the 95% rent collection rate.

Frasers Group

A short note from retailers Frasers Group [LON:FRAS] in response to Wednesday’s budget. The £2m rates cap on businesses has been deemed worthless as a support package for large retailers, with the company adding that the terms will make it near impossible for them to take on former Debenhams sites, along with forcing a wholesale review of the property portfolio to ensure they remain economic to operate. This might just be sabre rattling, but it makes an important point when selective discounting like this is attempted.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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