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Today’s market overview

Equities have begun with a sharp sell off this morning in reaction to expectations that tapering in the US will begin next month. The fall confirms the belief of the Trader Dominic Picarda that equities are now set into a sustained period of selling.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Flexible office provider Regus (RGU) has issued a strong set of interim results for the period to June in which revenues rose by 22 per cent to £744.7m and underlying operating profits rose by the same margin. We keep our buy recommendation.

Macau Property Opportunities (MPO) has agreed the sale of residential and industrial properties in Zhuhai for $64m. Buy.

Simon Thompson recommendation Raven Russia (RUS) has issued half year results which show underlying earnings after tax almost doubled to $27.8m. The company is now almost fully invested and its industrial warehousing property portfolio is now almost fully let. The company also confirms details of its tender offer to buy back shares which is equivalent to a 2p a share dividend payout. We maintain our buy rating.

Fellow Simon Thompson recommendation Noble Investments (NBL) confirms that it has now received all the monies owed to it by a Qatari collector.

Exillon Energy (EXI) reports on a strong opening half to the year in which it increased its total probable reserves by 96 per cent to 520m barrels, upped production by 35 per cent compared with the first half of last year and boosted cash earnings by 83 per cent to $28.6m. We keep our buy recommendation.

KEY STORIES:

London-focused estate agency Foxtons has announced its intention to float on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in a deal which would raise around £55m.

Distribution specialist Bunzl (BNZL) posted strong first half results showing a 13 per cent rise in revenues and a 12 per cent improvement in pre-tax profits. The company has also made two bolt on acquisitions, one in the UK and one in Mexico.

Oil services specialist Kentz (KENZ) edged revenues up by 2 per cent in the six months to June, pushing reported profits up by 3 per cent to $52.7m. Order intake of $979m, up 11 per cent on last year, has boosted the total backlog to a record $2.8bn.

Fellow oil services specialist Petrofac (PFC) boosted its backlog by 21 per cent to $14.3bn in the opening six months of the year. First half revenues and profits both fell against last year but management is expecting the second half to make up the difference.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

BBA Aviation (BBA) has acquired Maguire Aviation Group, an aviation services business based at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, for $69m. It has also confirmed it is in talks with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise over a possible combination of parts of their respective businesses.

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