Market Prognosis

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

November 22, 2023

UK market refinds its purpose

Macro & Overnight

The Open AI Silicon Valley miniseries continued with last night’s episode, which featured the return of previously sacked CEO Sam Altman and a restructured board. The critical difference between Altman and the Board has centred on how quickly to implement new AI products.

They say the world is speeding up. After Steve Jobs was sacked by the Apple Board in 1985, his reappointment took 11 years. Sam Altman’s return will likely happen within the week.

Who knows what twists and turns this gripping soap opera still has in store? But Satya Nadella clarified that things only happen at Open AI with Microsoft’s consent. One commentator dryly noted, “There is nothing as safe as artificial general intelligence without computing power.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Valley, AI hardware winner Nvidia released strong results within guidance. However, the share price had expected more and fell after hours, indicating that the US market is somewhat overbought.

UK Company News

It’s a busier day of results in the UK today amid encouraging signs of increasing capital market activity. 

Aggregates supplier SigmaRoc will acquire US-listed CRH’s European limestone businesses, and CRH will become a significant shareholder. The deal involves a £200m share placing today. 

The smaller UK companies sector has seen several £100m -plus equity raises this week, including from Sirius Real Estate and Videndum. Together, these deals total over £500m – not bad for three days’ work.  

It is good to see the UK stock market fulfilling its principal function of raising capital for companies rather than just serving as a means for companies to retire their equity. 

Prognosticator 

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