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Today’s market overview

London equities are taking a breather today after yesterday’s post-Fed surge, and The Trader Dominic Picarda is looking for further strong direction.


RBS (RBS) has offloaded a further 300 million shares in insurance group Direct Line Insurance (DLG) at 210p a share, banking £630m in the process. This is a continuation of the sale mandated by the European Union under state aid rules. RBS still holds 454.7m shares or 28.5 per cent of Direct Line, which will continue to be an overhang on the shares. We reiterate our sell recommendation on Direct Line.

Insurance specialist Randall & Quilter Holdings (RQIH) has announced a 3.4p a share special dividend for investors in a move which will also result in a reduction in the company’s share capital. We keep our buy rating.

Simon Thompson recommendation Trading Emissions (TRE) has informed investors that its Braziliam subsidiary is facing a possible write down on its investment in biodiesel business Bionasa, which it owns 25 per cent of. The company is experiencing financial difficulties which Trading Emissions is still hoping will be resolved to allow its plant to recommence production, but there is no guarantee this will happen.


Estate agency Foxtons (FOXT) has confirmed the pricing of its initial public offering at 230p a share, which will value the company at £649m. The offering will raise £390m, of which £55m is for the business and £335m for shareholders including BC Partners and directors. Conditional dealings commenced this morning and the shares are trading at 280p.

Tanfield (TAN) has announced the disposal of its powered access division via a ‘staged acquisition’ which will see Xtreme Manufacturing of Nevada take on the working capital requirements and the business placed into a new entity which Tanfield will retain a 49 per cent share of. Dependant on future performance Tanfield will be paid preferred interest which will, over time, reduce its holding to 30 per cent.

Insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) is to acquire the reinsurance business of Towers Watson for $250m and merge it with its own JLT Re reinsurance business.

Recruiter Matchtech (MTEC) is raising £4.1 from a placing of a little more than 1m shares. It has also appointed Brian Wilkinson as its executive chairman.


Skyepharma (SKP) has been awarded approval for two bronchial drugs, Flutiform and Relvar Ellipta, in Japan.

Malaysian mobile messaging business MacroMacc (MACC) started trading on Aim this morning after raising £475,000.