Market Prognosis

A concise summary of the major macro events of the past 24 hours, and selected UK company-specific news.

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March 1, 2023

Goldman targets asset and wealth management

Macro & Overnight

Godman Sachs CEO has signalled a strategic shift from consumer finance to asset and wealth management as its main means to diversify away from volatile investment banking and capital markets activities.

The UK market has a number of potential wealth and asset manager bid candidates for Goldmans to consider.


UK Company News

UK wealth manager Rathbone had FY results. It emphasised that the UK wealth and asset management sector remains fundamentally attractive, underpinned by long-term trends. However, the results were muted by the ongoing investment in digital infrastructure. It is on track to invest £40m in this programme by 2024 when it can target a return to its more usual “higher 20s” operating margin. Perhaps Goldman Sachs might have other ideas?

Astra Zeneca offers a $2.5bn bond with 2028-2033 maturities and coupons of c.4.9%. The raise is for general corporate purposes, which may include the refinancing of existing indebtedness.

Babcock, the defence services supplier, announced that it had completed its disposal programme by selling its aerial emergency businesses (AES) to Ancala Partners for £120m. This is a crucial part of CEO David Lockwood’s drive to strengthen the balance sheet and reduce complexity. 

Purplebricks released a Strategic Review Update and Formal Sale Process. It stated that the Board has several credible expressions of interest it wishes to pursue.

Neil Record, the founder of Record plc, is stepping down as non-executive Chairman.  

Weir Group, a supplier of pumps to the mining industry, reported FY revenue up 21%, having been up 18% at the half year (despite some strong comps in 2H), and orders were up 14% (the same level as the half year). Revenue and profits exceeded consensus expectations with standout free operating cash flow conversion at 87%. 

Consulting engineer Ricardo reported H1 results with order intake up 42% and underlying cash conversion up 97%. The Group is on track to deliver FY expectations, with FY order cover running at 85%. 


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