Updates from Tesco, Shire and Close Bros

Adrian Holliday
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 recovered a measure of lost weight on Friday, up 114 points to 6,310.2. After recent heavy falls, Tullow Oil surged more than 8% to 524p with Petrofac up 7.34% to 1060p. In contrast Rolls-Royce Holdings plummeted 11.54% to 832p on a new profits warning; its shares are down more than 30% year-to-date.

The Dow Jones also gained on Friday - breaking a six-day downturn - climbing 263 points to 16,380.4 after a highly volatile week. Better US construction numbers helped.

Firstly, Tesco. Its investigation into its £250m accounting black hole suggests a small number of staff deliberately misled auditors in order to put a gloss on its numbers. Tesco will publish its delayed half-year numbers later this week.

It's thought the profit manipulation behaviour at the retailer may have started more than 12 months ago. If so, that could lead to Tesco overhauling profits guidance on previous years.

Several staff have been suspended so far. Tesco shares have tumbled by around 50% since the start of the year. Recently, credit rating agency Moody's predicted discounters Aldi and Lidl could grab a UK 10% market share within two years.

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Tesco's $400 Million Mistake Hits London As Miners Drag It Further Down
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Next, interim chief financial officer James Bowling is to step down at Shire to move to Severn Trent plc. Shire shares plummeted last week as AbbVie reconsidered its takeover offer.

AbbVie is meeting today to formally reconsider its £32bn July recommendation to shareholders. Shire is now thought to be considering other acquisitions and will report its own third quarter results at the end of the week.

"James," says Flemming Ornskov, Shire's Chief Executive Officer, "has helped build and lead a high-quality finance team at Shire. We are very grateful to him for his interim leadership over the past seven months."

Finally, Close Brothers Group says it has sold Close Brothers Seydler Bank AG, its securities business in Germany, to Oddo & Cie for €46 million (£36 million), subject to regulatory approval in Germany.

The proceeds will be reinvested in Close Brothers' lending, wealth management and securities trading in the UK. The group expects to record an exceptional profit on disposal of approximately £10 million.

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