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Home Banking FTSE Review: ‘London for sale’ and cost-of-living crisis among trends within the changes

FTSE Review: ‘London for sale’ and cost-of-living crisis among trends within the changes

by admin
Susannah Streeter

The FTSE All Share Index Quarterly Review is based on closing prices on Tuesday 30th August and is due to be announced on Wednesday 31st August by FTSE Russell, with changes effective after the close on Friday 16th September.

  • HomeServe looks set to vault into the FTSE 100 temporarily, replacing cyber firm Avast after its takeover goes through – but the home repairs company will also soon be taken private.
  • Asset manager Abrdn, Hikma Pharma and Howdens Joinery are contenders for FTSE 100 demotion.
  • Frasers Group, F&C Investment Trust and wound care specialist Convatec group look set to join FTSE 100.
  • Film industry player Videndum, Puretech HealthNextEnergy Solar and BlueField Solar look set to be promoted from the FTSE Small Cap to the FTSE 250.
  • Door manufacturer Tyman, and lender Provident Financialare among the companies which are likely to leave the FTSE 250.
  • Struggling furniture maker Made.com looks set to leave the FTSE All Share.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

‘’Cheap UK assets, volatility in financial markets, renewed enthusiasm for renewables, and the cost-of-living crisis are all factors behind the expected moves in the latest FTSE quarterly review. HomeServe is set to jump back into the FTSE 100 earlier than the official reshuffle as it is set to leap into the place vacated by Avast, due to its takeover by US cyber giant NortonLifeLock. But its extra time in the top-flight is expected to be limited for HomeServe as it in turn awaits takeover by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management.

As suitors continue to circle UK assets, amid a weak pound and worries about the health of the economy, the risk is that more listed companies will be erased from indices. The cost-of-living crisis also looms large in this reshuffle with Howdens Joinery, door and window firm Tyman and furniture maker Made.com looking set for relegation from their positions. This is partly due to worries that increasingly squeezed household budgets will slow the pace of purchases and renovations. Although Frasers Group’s resilience this year could see it propelled into the FTSE 100, it could be a short-lived stint as fresh rounds of belt tightening amid the energy crisis are likely to weigh heavily on retail sales.

NextEnergy Solar and BlueField Solar have seen their net asset values jump amid the surge in energy prices and renewed appetite for ESG investments. A surge in demand for digital content across the world looks set to propel historic film industry player Videndum into the FTSE 250, as its solutions for the video and broadcast industry prove popular.’’

AVAST set to leave FTSE 100 while HomeServe is set to join temporarily

“The London market may be showing signs of some short-term resilience but private equity firms are set to keep circling around the bargain bin, picking up firms discarded by investors. After the Competition and Markets Authority provisionally approved the takeover deal of cyber security firm AVAST by US giant NortonLifeLock, the deal is expected to go through assuming final approval is given on 12 September, which will see Avast removed from the index.

HomeServe, the Walsall based British multinational home emergency repairs and improvements business will temporarily move back into the FTSE 100. But it will be scratched from the index once its takeover by Brookfield Asset Management goes through in the next few months. These exits from the London market are unlikely to be the last, given how much interest there has been in UK assets from overseas buyers. The risk to capital markets is that competition and innovation could suffer if corporate concentration continues to rise. Retail investors who are unable to access private markets may also lose out because they won’t be able to share in the returns of as many companies in the economy, with some of the better opportunities going private.”

Abrdn – set to be relegated from the FTSE 100

‘’Huge geopolitical uncertainty, sky high inflation and worries about economic growth have been challenging for the asset management sector, and Abrdn’s weaker performance in this environment looks set to propel it out of the big league. Operating profits came in lower than expected as fund flows reduced further. But this isn’t just a recent problem, assets have been walking out the door for years. It’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) options currently lag peers, and demand for ESG investments is on the rise, which puts it in a tricky position.

It’s been trying to keep revenue moving in the right direction through acquisitions. It now owns Interactive Investor, which should provide a relatively stable source of assets for the group given its one of the UK’s biggest direct-to-consumer investment platforms. The majority of the funds abrdn manages have been able to deliver investment returns ahead of their benchmark – which is a key requirement if fund investors are to be tempted back.”

Hikma Pharma – set to be relegated from the FTSE 100

“Pharmaceutical company Hikma Pharma is in the drop zone after growth ground to a halt and its chief executive headed for the door. Amid the pile up of disappointing news was the slashing of guidance for revenues and margins in its key genetics medicines division. However, there were still a few rosier developments, with forecasts increased for its branded products and the injectables part of the business is still expected to follow the slightly higher trajectory laid out in April. But weakness may continue until a long-term replacement is found for Siggi Olafsson given that the executive chair and former CEO Said Darwazah, has only stepped into the breach temporarily.”

Howdens – potential demotion from the FTSE 100

“There were high hopes that the shift in consumer behaviour brought about by the pandemic would be long term and the focus on doing up homes would continue as people continued to race for more space amid new hybrid ways of working. But worries are rising that amid the cost-of-living crisis consumers will put off launching fresh new renovation schemes unless absolutely necessary and that’s led to falls in Howden’s valuation, making it a potential contender for demotion from the FTSE 100, after only joining the index earlier in the spring.

The red-hot housing market is also seeing tentative signs of cooling off with rates set to continue to rise amid painful inflation. However, Britain’s housing stock is ageing and that should provide some resilience particularly with the fresh focus on energy efficiency which could provide added impetus for renovations.’’

Frasers Group- set to enter the FTSE 100

“Frasers’ growth this year is largely down to the re-opening of shops after last year’s lockdowns. It’s attempting to cement this progress with its so called “elevation strategy” with a plan for new freehold flagship stores and a strategy of displaying products in a digitally integrated, environment. That should allow the group to improve its relationship with key brands like Nike and Adidas, securing the newest products. But lots of stores still need upgrading if the format is going to contribute over the longer term.

Frasers is up against a very challenging backdrop of the structural decline in bricks-and-mortar shopping, particularly as the group’s relying on a resurgence in high street activity for its multi-brand high street powerhouse plan to pay off. The cost-of-living crisis is another concern. Frasers has some protection in the form of low-cost Sports Direct and it’s also pushing into luxury with its Flannels acquisition, which is an area of retail that should be relatively insulated. However, with inflation still climbing and energy bills set to be even more painful it’s a key risk to the group’s forecast.”

Convatec – set to enter the FTSE 100

“Medical company Convatec specialises in wound and skin care and demand for its products is expected to increase amid a rising number of surgical procedures globally and new initiatives for treatment. It’s battled cost inflation but its profit’s performance has still be pretty hardy, despite the headwinds. As populations age around the world, the ailments of the elderly such as leg ulcers are expected to provide brisk business for the company. Its product range extends to continence and critical care products, which are also expected to increase in demand as demographics change and medical professionals update care requirements.’’

F&C Investment Trust – potential promotion to the FTSE 100

“Although the F&C Investment Trust hasn’t escaped the recent market volatility, it’s resilience with its share price up 10% over the past six months makes it another contender for entry into the FTSE 100. The Trust aims to secure long-term growth in capital and income from an international diversified portfolio of listed equities, as well as unlisted securities and private equity.”

Videndum – set for promotion to the FTSE 250

“Videndum looks set for promotion out of the FTSE All Share after its range of products aimed at the broadcast, cinematic and video industry proved increasingly popular for the growing content creation market. Its share price surged after half yearly results showed revenues were up 23% on last year, and pre-tax profits grew by 9%.

To attract new clients, more companies are focusing on developing and implementing digital strategies, a trend which is forecast to propel the rapid expansion of the content creation market over the next few years. Vloggers and social media influencers have taken the video content market by storm, and Videndum’s film accessories like green screens, camera stabilisers, autocues and lighting kits are in demand, as are its cloud based live streaming solutions. The company which has been a player behind the scenes in the film business for 113 years, now looks set to be propelled into the limelight of a FTSE 250 position.”

PureTech health – set to enter the FTSE 250

“The reshuffle could prove to be a revolving door for Biotech company PureTech Health as it’s in position to head back into the FTSE 250 after exiting the index at the last review. It had been a casualty of investors’ increasingly cautious approach to risk. The nature of the product pipeline makes the results quite volatile, and sentiment has rebounded highlighting how the broad spectrum of drugs should help offer longer term resilience.”

Next Energy Solar and BlueField Solar– contenders for the FTSE 250

“Despite the volatility facing the financial markets, there is still strength in the appetite for renewable energy stocks, with NextEnergy Solar Fund and BlueField Solar set to enter the FTSE 250. Next Energy Solar is a specialised solar and energy storage climate impact fund which has been boosted after its sustainability credentials were recognised under new European regulations known as the EU taxonomy. It has also managed to do a deal for more subsidised solar contracts in the UK, under the government-backed low carbon contracts company and it’s reported a rise in its net asset value amid an increase in power forecasts assumptions. BlueField Solar has also seen its net asset value rise and the Guernsey-based investment company has also won fresh contracts in the UK, with a 15-year duration, for sites in Northamptonshire, Hampshire and Norfolk.”

Tyman – set to leave the FTSE 250

‘’Tyman the door and window manufacturer could be heading for the exit just months after it entered the FTSE 250. It had benefited from a robust demand for repairs, renovations and new build homes in its key markets, but there are concerns that demand could shift down a gear as interest rates continue to rise and the housing market cools. There are also worries about consumer confidence and a dwindling appetite for non-essential spending. A house makeover might be nice to have, but with budgets set for an even bigger squeeze, investors are concerned that Tyman could see a sharp slowdown in revenues.’’

Provident Financial – set to exit the FTSE 250

“Provident Financial looks set to be heading out of the FTSE 250 after worries about the cost-of-living crisis rise and it was forced to wind down its doorstep lending unit following a surge of complaints. Although the costs of the winding down have fallen, and business remained relatively robust in its credit card arm, concerns are growing across the sector about future potential spike in bad loans as consumer struggle to make payments amid soaring prices.”

Made.com – set to leave the FTSE All Share

“Bigger ticket items like furniture are much harder to shift as many consumers who are facing squeezed budgets are tightening the purse strings. A plush new sofa may be nice to have but it’s far from essential expenditure, when grocery bills are rising so fast. Retailer Made.com is now considering an equity raise to strengthen its balance sheet amid volatile trading conditions. It had already highlighted that it was hard to attract new customers while hanging onto decent margins and expected gross sales to fall from between 15% and 30% this year. With the extent of its slide in fortunes becoming clear, its share price fell by around 10% in early trade, and it’s down 94% year to date. It’s now set to drop out of the FTSE All Share, given it’s no longer judged to be one of the 600 biggest companies listed on the LSE.”

Other movements expected in the upcoming reshuffle:

XP Power, Greencore and Chrysalis Investments look set to be relegated from the FTSE 250. It’s likely there will be two new entries into the FTSE All Share: Industrials REIT and Warehouse REIT, while UAE based Lamprell  also looks set to be removed from the FTSE All Share.

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