Updates from Aggreko, Segro and BP
Overnight, the Nikkei 225 was down -0.64% to 13,462 points with the Hong Kong Hang Seng drifting a tad lower, down -0.01%.
We commence with an interim update from power provider Aggreko. Trading in the first quarter is in line with expectations with underlying Group revenues growing +8% in the three months to 31 March 2013 the company claims.
The Americas region grew revenues +9% on an underlying basis; Asia, Pacific and Australia (APAC) were +1% ahead on last year on an underlying basis and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew +13% claims Aggreko.
"We now expect to spend around £130 million," said the company, "in the first half on fleet capital expenditure, and around £260 million for the year as a whole, although as always we will increase or decrease our rate of investment depending on market conditions."
Next, industrial property investor Segro and a Warsaw acquisition. Segro has picked up Zeran Park II in Warsaw for €43.2 million (£36.9 million) from AREA Property Partners and Apollo-Rida Poland.
Zeran Park II, developed between 2005 and 2011, comprises modern warehouses used for urban distribution and a small office totalling 49,900 sq m of lettable space the company says, located next to the Trasa Torunska ring road, 10 km from Warsaw city centre.
The acquisition falls in line with Segro's objective, it claims, "to strengthen our presence in and around selected major conurbations by recycling capital out of non-core assets and taking advantage of attractive acquisition and development opportunities."
Finally, BP boss Bob Dudley is reported to have claimed that shale gas could ease pressure on Britain's gas prices. It's also a strong suggestion of future BP - currently not active in UK shale gas exploration - shale gas ambitions on home turf.
"When used responsibly and carefully, we think this could potentially provide great economic benefits for the UK," the Telegraph guotes Dudley, "where natural gas prices are quite high - probably three or four times higher than they are in the United States."
The BP boss was speaking at the company's annual general meeting. BP has previously played down the impact of shale gas in the UK. The AGM, additionally, saw unhappiness from shareholders about Dudley's £3.9m 2012 pay package.