Charles Pretzlik: FTSE stalls

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Today has got off to a slower start than Lewis Hamilton with the exception of the markets, where the FTSE-100 index, off its lows for the day, is down just over 1 per cent after Wall Street’s drop on Friday.

Today’s note on the banks from Jonathan Pierce at Credit Suisse can’t have helped. He has cut earnings expectations for 2008 by 18 per cent.

None of this has stopped a handful of eastern European and Turkish companies announcing details for listing shares in London. They include New Russian Generation, an investment company; Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, Russia’s largest commercial seaport operator; Digiturk, Turkey’s leading pay-TV company; and Romanian TV provider RCS & RDS.

Otherwise, the corporate news so far is led by a strong trading update from Pearson, publisher of the Financial Times, and British Energy closing two more reactors (knocking 10 per cent off the stock in the process).

Bid watch: We’re keeping close tabs on S&N, following our story this morning about Carlsberg’s rights issue plans, and on Northern Rock. Stand by for an offer for Umbro from Nike, probably tomorrow. Huveaux, publisher of the Dods parliamentary guide and Letts revision aids, has received bid approaches from private equity. Korea National Oil Company is considering bidding for Burren Energy. And shares in Enodis, which has already seen off three bid approaches, are up strongly on rumours of another bid (FT Alphaville says at 260p from Middleby).

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