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Another Gulf investor has taken a significant stake in HSBC. The UAE government’s DIC Asset Management, part of Dubai International Capital, said today it had bought a “substantial” stake in the bank. This comes just after a Saudi billionaire, Maan Abdulwahed al-Sanea, spent about £3bn building up a 3.11 per cent stake in HSBC. Very interesting.

Schroders suffered a further outflow of institutional funds in the first quarter of the year, with a net £2.5bn withdrawn. The news distracted attention from a 30 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £93.2m and the shares fell 13p to £12.82 in morning trading. Interims from Aberdeen Asset Management were largely in line with expectations,although some are disappointed with revenue growth.

We have solid interims from Imperial Tobacco and news that they continue to talk to Altadis but would like more information. ABN Amro has asked the RBS-led consortium for more details of its proposed bid. It’ll be interesting to see if Sir Fred Goodwin tells the Dutch to get lost again, as he did last week.

Punch Taverns’ interims look OK but it has disappointed investors by ruling out becoming a Reit for now. It has about £7bn of property assets.

In the market, Hargreaves Lansdown is raising more in its IPO than it expected. And the Barclay brothers have increased their holding in InterContinental Hotels to 8.2 per cent.

Rumour of the day: FT Alphaville is picking up talk that TCI, the same hedge fund that has such an effect at ABN Amro, is building up or has built a 3 per cent stake at the Pru, another break-up candidate in some people’s eyes.

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