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FT Opening Quote

David Cameron has promised a Remain dividend, Elementis has warned on profits. Hornby needs Airfixing. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here.

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David Cameron has promised a Remain dividend, Elementis has warned on profits. Hornby needs Airfixing. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here.


David Cameron has promised a “Remain dividend” if Britons vote to stay in the EU. In an interview with the FT, he said businesses and “job creators” would “pile back into the economy”. It’s welcome to hear a positive message from the Remain camp, whose tendency to accentuate the negative resulted in the derogatory nickname Project Fear.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan squared the account last night by accusing Brexiters of mounting a Project Hate over immigration. The only missing constituency now is Project Crikey I’ll Be Glad When This Ghastly Referendum Is Over, to which OQ firmly belongs.

As to the Remain dividend, it’s likely sterling and equities would rally if the UK opts to stay in. Risks are heavily stacked on the downside, according to a currencies expert OQ talked to yesterday, not least because a recent surge in the pound has squeezed a lot of short money out of the market.

Brer Corporate Financier informs us that over £10bn of initial public offerings would be transacted largely through London (though not all would be London listings) in the next twelve months, if Remain wins. Floats would be much weaker if a Leave vote destabilised markets.

Screaming Pope

The prime minister tells the FT he has no regrets about calling the Brexit vote. Impressive how cheerily politicians can make such statements when inwardly they must feel like one of painter Francis Bacon’s screaming popes.

You know how model trains go round and round in circles? Hornby, which numbers the toys among its products, has published yet another turnaround plan. This focuses on cutting costs and maintaining brands. The group will raise £8m from a placing and is renegotiating banking facilities. Last year’s operating loss was £13.1m.

Speciality chemicals group Elementis has warned on profits. Earnings per share for the current financial year are expected to be lower than forecasts due to the weakness of Eastern European currencies against the dollar. Debenhams, in contrast, expects full year profits to meet City targets. Like-for-like sales fell an atrophied 0.2 per cent in the 15 weeks to June 11 and rose a skinny 1.2 per cent over 41 weeks. The energy regulator Ofgem is consulting on remedies offered by SSE after an investigation identified competition concerns over the way the energy group connected up development sites

Thought you could escape Brexit amid the corporate news? You can run, but you can’t hide. Reuters reports Jaguar Land Rover has estimated annual profits could fall by £1bn by the end of the decade if the UK leaves the EU.

Beyond the Square Mile

Asian markets trimmed early declines and were fighting to continue the positive momentum of this week’s global stock market rally, with the pound remaining buoyant a day out from the UK’s referendum on EU membership.

In the US, Tesla shares sunk nearly 13 per cent in extended trading after it made an offer to acquire SolarCity, the solar panel maker that is chaired by Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk and counts him as its largest shareholder. FedEx also saw shares fall – just over 1 per cent – on a quarterly loss, and Adobe’s fell as well – down over 4 per cent – on a disappointing sales outlook. Overall, the S&P 500 rose 0.27 per cent to 2,088.90, a second straight day of gains.


Today looks set to be an uncomfortable one for senior Volkswagen executives. At the automotive group’s annual meeting in Hannover, its managers will feel the full force of shareholder ire over the “dieselgate” saga, excessive pay (executive remuneration of €63m compares unfavourably with total payouts to shareholders of €68m) and corporate governance structures that date back to the 1960s.

In the US, at 1500 BST, May existing home sales are expected to show a small increase to a 5.52m unit seasonally adjusted annual rate from a previous 5.45m unit pace. At the same time, Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary policy will switch from the Senate to the House Financial Services Committee.

Markets at 0755 BST

Asian markets
Nikkei 225 down -103.39 (-0.64%) at 16,066
Topix down -9.29 (-0.72%) at 1,285
Hang Seng up +128.82 (+0.62%) at 20,797

US markets
S&P 500 up +5.65 (+0.27%) at 2,089
DJIA up +24.86 (+0.14%) at 17,830
Nasdaq unchanged 0.00 (0.00%) at 4,844

European markets
Eurofirst 300 up +9.08 (+0.68%) at 1,336
FTSE100 up +22.55 (+0.36%) at 6,227
CAC 40 unchanged 0.00 (0.00%) at 4,367
Dax unchanged 0.00 (0.00%) at 10,016

€/$ 1.13 (1.12)
$/¥ 104.45 (104.75)
£/$ 1.47 (1.46)
€/£ 0.7669 (0.7673)

Commodities ($)
Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.31 at 50.93
Light Crude (Nymex) up +0.48 at 50.33
100 Oz Gold (Comex) down -3.50 at 1,267
Copper (Comex) unchanged 0.00 at 2.12

10-year government bond yields (%)
US 1.70%
UK 1.30%
Germany 0.06%

CDS (closing levels)
Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe -0.4bps at 29.24bp
Markit iTraxx Europe +0.85bps at 78.78bp
Markit iTraxx Xover +1.58bps at 340.87bp
Markit CDX IG -1.73bps at 78.48bp

Sources: FT, Bloomberg, Markit

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Chris Nuttall
Award-winning journalist with more than 35 years' experience in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the internet at local, national and international levels. At the BBC for 17 years and has spent the past 15 with the Financial Times. Served as a foreign correspondent in Sri Lanka, Washington and Turkey as well as in a roving role for the BBC. Turned a late 1980s geeky interest into a professional focus on the internet and technology and was founding World Editor of the BBC News website and the BBC 's first Internet Correspondent.

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