Tougher times for financial community pull at Reuter


The enthusiasm created by this week's Reuters presentation in the US has almost evaporated. The shares fell a further 9p to 475p as Henderson Crosthwaite pulled back its profit expectations.

The increasingly tough conditions being experienced by the financial community are worrying followers of the shares. Cuts are occurring with uncomfortable monotony. Often they involve only a few people but collectively represent a depressing dwindling of the number of bodies needing Reuters information screens.

One industry source is reported in a trade magazine as saying: "The boom of last year has fizzled out since Christmas. Users are much more cautious about costs and it is a longer slog to make the sale; the business is still there but it is taking longer to get it".

The uncertainty surrounding SG Warburg, which has cut staffing levels sharply this year, is another indication of the strain the financial community is experiencing. There are reports that the potential bidder Swiss Bank Corporation will make thousands of job cuts if it wins control.

At last month's shareholders' meeting Reuters admitted growth was slowing and this year's performance would not match 1994's.

Henderson has reduced this year's profit forecast by £20m to £565m and next year's by £35m to £635m.

Its analyst Brian Newman, who spent yesterday playing golf, left his colleagues with the message that trading in the main financial centres had become more difficult and growth in emerging markets, such as China and South America, was slowing . "We believe there is a cyclical element to the order pattern and this is now in a down phase", he said.

On the back of the US presentation and some new calculations from a US investment house Reuters shares rose to 491p.

The rest of the stock market was prepared for the Conservative poll humiliation but bemused by the Chancellor's decision not to cut interest rates.

In the event the FT-SE 100 index retreated 12.6 points to 3,251.7 with most of the interest rate reaction occurring on the foreign exchange market, where sterling fell sharply.

With the inviting May sunshine and the long weekend beckoning, trading was often down to a trickle, with many traders making early departures from the market.

There was, however, some apprehension about Tuesday's trading. Some fear currency turmoil, with the pound in the firing line, on Monday could unsettle overseas share markets. "If that happens we could encounter a big sell- off on Tuesday", one dealer said.

Worries about a difficult Tuesday prompted late selling, with the index giving most of its ground in the past two hours.

Glaxo Wellcome dipped 7p to 732p with a trade of 3.45 million shares undertaken by James Capel at 734p creating interest. There was also a 4.4 million deal in the rump of Wellcome at 1,060p, just 9p below the market price.

The mystery trades were thought to relate to executive options.

Warburg continued to move ahead, gaining 15p to 842p, and Thorn EMI remained unruffled by the Walt Disney denial, climbing 13p to 1,191p. Polypipe, the maker of plastic pipes, entered the takeover arena, gaining 4p to 169p.

WH Smith shaded 3p to 409p with Barclays de Zoete Wedd and UBS saying sell.

Grampian Television "A" shares celebrated enfranchisement proposals with a 9p gain to 315p. An encouraging trading statement lifted Psion, the computer group, 7p to 324p. Sherwood Computers gained 9p to 133p.

Cantab Pharmaceutical jumped 30p to 133p. It reported a first-quarter loss but has appointed Lehman Brothers as its stockbroker and may seek offers.

Optometrics, a Leeds optical systems group, rose 2p to 17p. It has issued £300,000 of convertible loan stock to Mandrina, described as a private investment company, which has also acquired a 9.6 per cent stake at 18p. The loan stock is convertible at 25p after two years.

Etam, the fashion shops chain, held at 210p. Gartmore has cut its stake from 14 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

Farringford, operating a solitary hotel on the Isle of Wight, added 1p to 6.5p, highest for a year. Five years ago the shares touched 146p. There are rumbles the loss-making company, which has been searching for acquisitions for more than two years, is at last about to alight on a target. It is thought to be in the leisure industry. The company has some interesting shareholders including Northern Trust, the private vehicle of Trevor Hemmings, a director of Scottish & Newcastle.

Bolton, a revamped property group, gained 2p to 24p. China Strategic Holdings, run by Oei Hong-leong, a Chinese tycoon, has picked up 3 per cent and is expected to hold nearly 30 per cent once a £4.7m placing and rights issue is completed next week.

On the 4.2 market Memory Corporation, developing a system to revitalise defective chips, topped 200p, with a Scottish institution said to be shopping for shares. They were floated at 45p late last year.


o Frost, the largest independent petrol retailer, is thought to be near to doubling its size. A deal with Elf, the French group, or Texaco of the US, could be on the cards. Frost has 240 outlets and is known to be looking for more. Texaco, supplying 1,200 stations, is reorganising its UK operations and could be prepared to sell unwanted properties to Frost, whose shares were unchanged at 271p.

o Still more companies are arriving on the backwater 4.2 market. Latest are stockbroker Neilson Cobbold and William Nash, a wallpaper and property group dating back to 1817. Neilson, based in Liverpool, is a private client broker that has expanded its operations and has £1.5bbn under management. Nash, with 70 shareholders, made profits of £2.7m last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Jemma Gent: Project Coordinator

£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Jemma Gent: In this role you will report to the Head of...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable