Updates from BG Group and Balfour Beatty

The FTSE 100 saw a 30 point drop yesterday when most markets rose. The Big Board ended Thursday at 6,542.4. Resolution saw the biggest plunge, down 5.04% to 318.10p with Hammerson also under pressure, down 3.63% to 545p. SSE however was the day's biggest climber, up 3.34% to 1486p.

The Dow Jones, aided by a fresh bout of positive US economic data, ended 0.67% up at 16,331. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
A quiet day on the corporate numbers front. BG Group has commenced its redundancy program. It's thought more than several hundred jobs could go at BG's Reading HQ. BG says they are not commenting directly on the issue.

On-going Egyptian concerns - Egypt is responsible for around 20% of BG's production - have not helped the company. A considerable tranche of jobs will likely go in Australia. Earlier in the year BG said production for 2014 and 2015 would come under pressure.

In the third quarter of 2013 BG profits slumped 4% to £686m. US output is also under pressure with output likely to fall by at least 20%.

Next, Balfour Beatty has announced the award of a £214 million contract in downtown Dubai for Emaar Properties PJSC, its Dubai based joint venture Dutco Balfour Beatty. The contract is for expansion works to the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall.

The extension will allow the Mall to increase annual capacity to more than 100 million visitors. Dutco Balfour Beatty will provide access bridges, parking facilities, and coordination with new and existing tenants.

"The Middle East," says Balfour Beatty CEO Andrew McNaughton," is a growth region for the Group and we are very pleased to continue our partnership with Emaar Properties on the development of downtown Dubai which builds on the original construction of the Dubai Mall."

Lastly, some upset for the City of London. Last night Labour candidate William Campbell-Taylor won the City of London's Portsoken Ward by-election – the first time a Labour councillor will enter the City's Guildhall.

Portsoken Ward, located near Aldgate, is one of the poorest wards in the country; it's one of four mainly residential City electoral districts dominated by two housing estates managed by the City of London and the Guinness Trust.

"We want to use the ancient institutions of the City for the Common Good," said Campbell-Taylor on his win.

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