FTSE 100 Set to Open Lower After Downbeat Asia Trading

0627 GMT - The FTSE 100 is expected to open eight points lower at 7226, according to CMC Markets, after downbeat trading in Asia. Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan are all lower. "Markets in Asia have got off to a shaky start, with the main attention on this morning's disappointing China 3Q GDP and retail sales and industrial production data for September," CMC analyst Michael Hewson says. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Companies News: 

Playtech Agrees to GBP2.1 Bln Aristocrat Leisure Takeover

Playtech PLC said late Sunday that it has agreed to a 2.1 billion-pound ($2.89 billion) takeover from Australian-listed gaming content and technology company Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. through its subsidiary Aristocrat (UK) Holdings Ltd.


Schroders 3Q Assets Under Management Rose

Schroders PLC said Monday that its assets under management for the third quarter of the year rose when compared with the previous quarter.


AstraZeneca Recommends Shareholders Reject TRC Capital Mini-Tender Bid

AstraZeneca PLC said Monday that it has recommended shareholders reject a mini-tender offer from TRC Capital Investment Corporation for up to two million American Depositary Shares, due to its low bidding price of up to $115.8 million.


Global Ports Investments 3Q Container Throughput Grew 8.4% On-Year

Global Ports Investments PLC said Monday that its container throughput increased in the third quarter, as growth across the wider Russian market remained strong.


UK Takeover Panel Extends Stagecoach, National Express Bid Deadline

Stagecoach Group PLC said Monday that the U.K. Takeover Panel has agreed to extend the deadline for peer National Express Group PLC to either make an offer for it or walk away until Nov. 16.


Supreme PLC 1H Performance Was Strong, Expects to Meet Full-Year Views

Supreme PLC said Monday that its performance in the first half of fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30, was robust and that it is confident in achieving full-year expectations.


Thungela Cuts Guidance Blaming South Africa Rail Infrastructure

Thungela Resources Ltd. cut its guidance for 2021 on Monday, saying that the condition of the rail infrastructure in South Africa is impairing its ability to export the coal it produces in the country.


Cloudcoco Group Expects to Beat FY 2020 Revenue, Trading Ebitda

Cloudcoco Group PLC said Monday that it expects fiscal 2021 revenue and trading Ebitda to beat the previous year's figures, with a further strong progress in fiscal 2022.


Ixico Says FY 2021 Revenue, Ebitda Beat Market Views; FY 2022 Profitability to Fall

Ixico PLC said Monday that revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for its fiscal 2021 are expected to be ahead of market expectations, but that it also expects to have lower profitability in 2022 due to high levels of investment.


Distil Swung to 1H Loss on Lower Revenue, Supply-Chain Issues Continue

Distil PLC on Monday reported a swing to a pretax loss in the first half of the year as revenue fell, and said that its production costs are likely to continue to increase due to global supply-chain strains.


Benchmark Holdings' FY Earnings Seen Significantly Ahead of Market Views

Benchmark Holdings PLC said Monday that its full-year results are expected to be significantly ahead of market expectations thanks to continued growth across its businesses.


Gusbourne to Raise up to GBP4.5 Mln in Placing, Subscription and Open Offer

Gusbourne PLC said Monday it plans to raise up to 4.5 million pounds ($6.2 million) before expenses through a placing and subscription, and an open offer.

Market Talk: 

Rio Tinto a Cash Flow, Not Growth, Story for 2021

0531 GMT - Rio Tinto should return to growth in 2022, with a 5% increase in copper-equivalent production forecast by Goldman Sachs underpinned by a rebound in iron-ore production and higher copper output. However, "management has lots to do over the next 1-2 years to turn the operational and execution performance around, especially lifting system capacity in the Pilbara and ramping up the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine in Mongolia," says GS. In 2021, Rio Tinto's output is likely to fall 4%, GS estimates. "Rio is not a growth story over the next 6 months. It is a FCF [free cash flow] story," the bank says. The miner is expected to update investors on its growth projects on Wednesday. (rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com; @RhiannonHoyle)


Rio Tinto Guidance Downgrades Might Not be Done

0202 GMT - Rio Tinto isn't immune from further guidance downgrades this year, Morgans says, as shortages of energy, labor and equipment parts bite. Morgans says delays at the miner's iron-ore projects in Australia are hardly a surprise. Rio Tinto has been candid about operational challenges in the Pilbara iron-ore business this year in part because it can't get enough workers, the broker says. It is "not cause for long-term concern, but there is further risk in 4Q21 that in a worst case [Rio Tinto investors] could see a third 2021 downgrade," Morgans says. (rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com; @RhiannonHoyle)


Rio Tinto Should Be on Prowl for Copper Acquisition

0154 GMT - Rio Tinto should be hunting more aggressively for a copper acquisition to rebalance its iron-ore focused portfolio, Morgans reckons. However, the broker acknowledges that may be unlikely to happen given the miner's current focus on improving its operational performance and social license. "Rio's dependence on Escondida for copper exposure is causing it considerable pain as the giant copper mine continues to suffer sustained Covid impact," Morgans says. The rising profitability of Rio Tinto's aluminum business is a real positive, though, says the broker, which is looking for any sign the miner might sell higher-cost assets while they are profitable. (rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com; @RhiannonHoyle)


Contact: London NewsPlus, paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2021 03:15 ET (07:15 GMT)

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