Investors Dump Micro Focus as Miners Weigh on FTSE 100

Monday, March 19: UK indices started the week in the red, as miners weighed the FTSE 100(-1.69%) lower and the broader FTSE 350 index was dragged lower by Micro Focus.

Micro Focus(-46.35%) proved to be the largest faller on the FTSE 350 following a trading update containing a profit warnings and a change of management. CEO Chris Hsu stepped down with immediate effect, as it was reported that full year revenue is expected to decline further that initially anticipated since reporting interim results in January. Micro Focus now expects pro forma constant-currency revenues to fall between 6% and 9%, compared to a 2-4% fall originally set out in January. Current Chief Operating Officer Stephen Murdoch will take the hot seat. A small silver lining for investors was a cost recovery programme running ahead of schedule.

Retail property Investor Hammerson(+26.29%) proved to be the largest gainer on the FTSE 350 after rebutting an “unsolicited and entirely opportunistic” takeover approach. Chairman David Tyler described the offer as a calculated attempt to exploit the disconnect between recent share price performance and the inherent value of a property portfolio delivering record results. France’s Klepierre SA offer valued Hammerson at 615p, a 41% premium to Friday’s closing price of 437.00p with a mix of cash and shares. The takeover proposal valued Hammerson at £4.88bn.

Across Europe, indices were lower at the close with the FTSE 100 -1.69%, the DAX 30 -1.39% and the CAC 40 -1.13%.

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