Yes, in the least shocking news from today it has been confirmed that all round show-off George Clooney is still in fact, far, far better than you. He’s also probably even richer than you today than he was yesterday and this is because he’s just sold his tequila company to Diageo for $1bn. Well for an initial $700m with performance related add-ons that could take the deal to a billion over the next 10 years, not bad for an actor, and an actor who went through a far more elaborate and illegal process to steal a snippet of that from the Belaggio casino in Ocean’s Eleven. The tequila company Casamigos was set up with two of his pals (also probably better than you), on a whim after buying Mexican property and just wondering how to add to the experience. We’ve all been there, buy some international real estate, take on board the culture, design your own local favourite and sell for a billion a few years later, simple. What makes it worse is they initially cured the drink for themselves but then ordered so much they had to get a licence for it, and well, you know the rest. Diageo shares closed the day 1.62% lower.
Markets generally slipped lower this morning, with oil related shares weighing the FTSE 100 down. At the open oil sat below $45 p/bbl, one of the main reasons for Wednesday’s negative US session. Despite this technology stocks held resilient and caused the NASDAQ to outperform closing 0.74% higher whilst the Dow dropped 0.27%. The S&P evened out to close more or less flat.
The FTSE saw Provident Financial shares at the top today, nothing more than a reaction to the huge drop the shares suffered yesterday after a profit warning. Healthcare stocks did their best to hold the FTSE as Shire eventually topped the index. Precious metal companies Fresnillo and Randgold as investors sought for safe havens. Hawkish comments from the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane also meant the pound held firm and this continuing FX uncertainty played on companies particularly sensitive to FX fluctuations. The FTSE eventually closed 0.11% lower, as we write oil is making a slender recovery and sits at $45.59 p/bbl.
Qatar Airways looks to acquire 10% of American Airlines, with the regulatory filing showing Qatar looks to purchase at least £638m of American Airline’s shares. This sent the US airline’s shares up over 3% in the early US session. This follows a similar move by Qatar Airways in 2015 where they purchased 10% of IAG (British Airways owner). Shortly after they upped this to 20% to become the airline’s largest shareholder.