Updates from Babcock and SSE
Overnight, the Nikkei soared +2.69% to 12,321 while the Hang Seng dipped -0.10%.
We commence with a trading statement from Babcock. The engineering support services group says it traded well throughout 2012/13. Full year numbers will be in line with previous expectations and should show strong progress on the previous year, it claims.
Market conditions remain positive and the order book has remained stable at around £12 billion. Discussions with the Ministry of Defence relating to the Maritime Support Delivery Framework (MSDF) contract are continuing positively says the company.
"The scale of our order book continues to provide excellent visibility of future revenue streams across the Group. This position is further strengthened by the medium to long-term growth opportunities which continue to flow into tracking and then into the bid pipeline."
Next, a thumping £10.5m Ofgem fine for energy supplier SSE. Ofgem claim the fine is the biggest it has ever issued and reflects serious mis-selling - telephone, door-to-door and in-store - sales processes.
Some customers were told by SSE sales staff they would save cash when they got switched to a pricier tariff. "Ofgem found failings at all stages of SSE's sales processes, from the opening lines on the doorstep, in-store or over the phone through to the confirmation process which follows a sale," the regulator said.
There may be more fines on the way: Ofgem has admitted there are a rash of other ongoing investigations into mis-selling UK practices, some dating back two years.
Lastly, Interserve says it has exchanged contracts to develop the Haymarket area of Edinburgh into a mixed-use site to incorporate commercial offices, retail units, leisure use, hotel accommodation and underground parking.
Interserve will initially invest £10.5m in the project with the follow on construction works to a value of £150 million being undertaken by Interserve Construction.
Around 250 Interserve employees, says the company, will work on the project - employed either directly by the company, or by its local supply chain and specialist sub-contractors.