Turquoise colours LSE shares

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The US-based Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation has been chosen to provide clearing and settlement services for the new equities trading platform being planned under Project Turquoise. The move is proof that, slowly but surely, the consortium of investment banks who have grown frustrated with the fees charged by exchanges, is getting its act together. It is no accident that DTCC is user-owned. The banks still have a long way to go. Next, they need a trading platform. Then, they might think about getting a grown-up name. LSE shares are down 1¼ per cent.

EMI has bitten the bullet and suspended its dividend. It has also appointed Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland to advise on the securitisation of its music publishing assets, as we predicted this morning. Perhaps it shows how desperate chief executive Eric Nicoli is. Investors seem relieved, if only because this should cut EMI’s hefty interest costs. The shares are up more than 5 per cent.

What is the Dutch central bank governor, Nout Wellink, up to? Today he has laid into the RBS consortium’s bid for ABN Amro. The Dutch central bank said: “From a prudential point of view, an offer by a consortium would constitute a strong risk-increasing and complicating factor, both in the preparation of the transaction and in its execution and implementation.” Yet only a week ago, before RBS’s interest was clear, Wellink told the FT he would not object to a break-up bid for ABN. Could it be he prefers the cosy deal being stitched up with Barclays over the more aggressive plan being worked on by RBS? By the way, FT Alphaville reports a Dutch paper is suggesting ABN has approached HSBC.

Bodycote has rejected the fourth bid approach in three months from Sulzer, saying the 332p a share on offer “continues to significantly undervalue the group” even though the shares were at 230p before talks began.

Xchanging, the outsourcing company backed by the General Atlantic private equity firm, said it planned to raise up to £206m when it floats later this month, valuing the outsourcing company at up to £533m.

Rumour of the day: Jessops is up 17½ per cent on bid talk. Paul Murphy on FT Alphaville is sceptical.

Dog of the day: Just two weeks after interims, DVD rental group ChoicesUK says profits will be substantially below expectations. It blames the weather – of course. The shares have halved.

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