The FTSE 100 is up 0.86% to 7,583 points following strong market performances in Wall Street and Asia. There is some trepidation over President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal although so far these have not translated into market ructions.

UK challenger ban Virgin Money (VM.) gains 9.8% to 343p as it confirms it has received an offer of acquisition by peer CYBG (CYBG).  The proposal means that each Virgin Money share holder would receive 1.1297 shares in CYBG for each Virgin share. CYBG is up 4% to 330.6p on the same news.

Pharma company Shire (SHP) gains 3.2% to £39.77 on confirmation that it has reached an agreement on terms of Japanese company Takeda’s acquisition of the UK company. Under the terms of the acquisition, each Shire shareholder will receive $30.33 in cash and either 0.839 Takeda shares or 1,678 of the company’s American Depository Receipts.

Insurance giant Hiscox (HSX) is down 4.6% to £14.39 after management says that growth in ‘big-ticket business’ will be more measured throughout the year. The company did manage to grow gross written premiums by 20.4% in the first quarter of the year to $1.16bn. It added that price declines in reinsurance last year had subsided with the company’s US portfolio seeing a 9% price rise on average.

Engineering company RHI Magnesita (RHIM) is up 4.2% to £47.40 on release of its first quarter results. The company’s steel division has outperformed robust steel production while its industrial unit is performing stronger than last year with high margin order intakes so far. The company says it continues to be well financed with ‘high liquidity and a robust balance sheet’,

Nano materials producer Nanoco (NANO) ticks up 5.3% to 46.85p on news it is receiving a £1.8m payment from its undisclosed US partner after completing an important milestone in their agreement announced in February. The total value of milestones in the programme has reached £2.6m to date.

AIM listed pharma company Faron Pharmaceuticals (FARN:AIM) crashes 77.2% to 165p as its treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome Traumakine had similar results to a placebo during trials. Both reported all cause mortality rates at day 28 and day 90, with no difference in the number of ventilator free days.

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Issue Date: 08 May 2018