Shares in NatWest rose 1% on Monday after the British bank agreed to buy back almost £1.26bn ($1.57bn) of its shares from the UK government.
The government’s shareholding will now fall to 38.6% from 42%, down from a peak of 84%.
“The Treasury is aiming to return NatWest to private ownership by 2025-2026 while attempting to achieve the best value for the taxpayer,” Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said.
Scholar also noted that shares in NatWest have struggled this year, caught up in the banking sector turmoil with the collapse of Silicon Vally Bank and the rescue deal for Credit Suisse (CS).
“However, with shares up almost 15% year-on-year to Friday’s close, the government clearly decided that now is a good moment to sell some shares,” she added.
The British government became a majority shareholder in NatWest, formerly known as RBS, in November 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, when the bank was on the brink of collapse.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said that without the government’s interventions in the financial sector the cost of the 2008 financial crisis would have been far greater.
Ireland’s low-cost airline Ryanair reported a full-year-profit of €1.43bn (£1.24bn) in the 12 months to end of March, closing in on its €1.45bn record in 2018 as it recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Over the last year we have seen a very strong post-COVID traffic recovery," Ryanair chief executive, Michael O'Leary, said. "People have been locked up for two years and wanted to go back to travelling."
The company said it flew 168.6 million passengers, up 74% to an all-time high, breaking its pre-pandemic record of 149 million. Meanwhile, the airline said it is aiming to get to 225 million passengers by 2026.
Read more: Ryanair profit soars on higher air fares
Scholar said: “Ryanair is expecting a strong summer for bookings but thinks winter could be more challenging with consumer spending under strain. European short-haul summer capacity is expected to hit 90-95% of pre-COVID levels with CEO Michael O’Leary commenting that there is no sign, yet that inflation is hitting demand, even though its airfares are up 10% on pre-COVID levels.”
Shares in Ryanair are up around 30% so far this year, recovering from the lows in the final quarter of last year, as investors anticipate that inflation will finally start to cool and interest rates are nearing the peak.
Micron Technology (MU)
Shares in US memory chipmaker Micron Technology were on a downward trajectory on Monday, losing nearly 4%, after China’s cyberspace regulator said that its products failed to pass a cybersecurity review in the country and told users to stop buying its products.
Beijing’s warning will further stoke tensions with the US over technology and security as the US, Europe and Japan continue to reduce Chinese access to advanced chipmaking and other technology.
In a statement, the US Commerce Department said Beijing’s conclusion had “no basis in fact” and Washington will continue to try and limit industry disruptions with its allies.
Read more: Stocks that are trending today
However, US president Joe Biden voiced optimism about the China relationship on Sunday at the end of the G7 summit in Japan. He said he expected ties between the two countries to start to thaw very shortly.
Meanwhile, shares in Micron’s biggest industry rivals, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS), gained in Seoul, while Chinese chip stocks, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (0981.HK) and Hua Hong Semiconductor (1347.HK), climbed more than 3% in Hong Kong.
Adani Enterprises (ADANIENT.NS)
Shares in Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of Adani Group, jumped nearly 20% on Monday after a committee appointed by India’s top court cleared the conglomerate of any regulatory failure, as alleged by US short seller Hindenburg Research.
In its 173-page report, the committee said that based on the data from the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, it saw “no evident pattern of manipulation” in the steep stock price rise in billionaire Gautam Adani’s companies that can be attributed to “any single entity or group of connected entities.”
Meanwhile, 10 Adani stocks added more than $10bn to their market value in Monday’s session, poised to be the biggest increase since Hindenburg’s scathing report in January,” Bloomberg reported.
Adani Green Energy (ADANIGREEN.NS), Adani Transmission (ADANITRANS.NS), Adani Total Gas (ATGL.NS), and Adani Power (ADANIPOWER.NS) rose by 5%, while Adani Wilmar (AWL.NS) surged 10%. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (ADANIPORTS.NS) also rose by as much as 9.5%.