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What to Watch: Eddie Stobart future, Aramco's huge IPO, UK house prices

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
An Eddie Stobart truck beside the Gloucester and Sharpness canal in the UK. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Eddie Stobart faces crunch vote on future

Votes on the proposals to save Eddie Stobart, which include a £75m bailout offer from private equity firm DBay, are currently being counted.

Former Eddie Stobart CEO Andrew Tinkler, put forward an £80m equity raise to save the troubled trucking firm.

He said on Friday that he was “hopeful” that shareholders would back the bailout proposals.

The former Stobart Group boss told the Press Association that he wants to bring “stability” back to the business and secure the future of its 6,500 staff.

The company is currently teetering on the brink of collapse just months before its 50th birthday, primarily as a result of a mounting debt pile.

The Warrington-based shipping firm, which counts Amazon and Tesco among its customers, lost at least £12m in the first half of the financial year.

Saudi Aramco stock market listing to be the biggest in history

The planned stock market listing by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil firm will the biggest ever initial public offering (IPO), new figures from the company suggest.

Aramco has confirmed its shares will be sold at $8.53 (£6.49) each, the top of a range it had previously highlighted.

It means the company could raise $25.6bn, topping the previous record $25bn listing by Alibaba five years ago.

It would give Aramco itself a $1.7 trillion valuation, leapfrogging Apple to become the highest valued company in the world, according to Reuters.

Aramco has not yet confirmed when shares will begin trading on a Saudi exchange, but sources have previously told Reuters of an 11 December date.

Aramco told Yahoo Finance UK earlier this year it “does not comment on rumour or speculation.”

UK house price growth hits nine-month high ahead of general election

The UK property market showed signs of recovery in November, with house prices growing by the most in nine months, according to a new index.

Average house prices climbed by 1% last month compared to October, the highest month-on-month growth since February. The average price of a house in the UK is now £234,625.

After two consecutive months of declines, the increase will be seen as welcome news for property owners ahead of next week’s general election.

House prices were 2.1% higher than they were in November 2018, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

Halifax said on Friday that the figures were further evidence of the “resilience” of the UK property market.

European stocks in the green

European markets climbed on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) was up by more than 0.3%.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was up 0.6% in London. Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) was up by more than 0.1%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) is up 0.4%.

Sterling reversed some of its gains from earlier in the week, falling more than 0.1% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) to $1.31. Sterling was also down 0.1% against the euro to around €1.18 (GBPEUR=X).

What to expect in the US

Futures are pointing to a higher open for US stocks.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) are up 0.22%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) are up 0.23% and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) are up 0.33%.