|Bid||190.12 x 0|
|Ask||190.22 x 0|
|Day's range||189.24 - 193.40|
|52-week range||157.67 - 260.40|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||0.61|
|PE ratio (TTM)||7.89|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.15 (8.06%)|
|1y target est||284.59|
Investing for income? You'll want to see these 2020 dividend forecasts for BT Group (LON: BT.A), RBS (LON: RBS), and Royal Mail (LON: RMG).
BT's fixed-line network arm Openreach has started an evaluation process seeking a third strategic vendor alongside telecoms gear makers Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] for the rollout, Richard Knowles, an Openreach spokesman, told Reuters. The development comes as the United States has been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to 5G networks and alleged that Huawei's equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied.
BT's fixed-line network arm Openreach has started an evaluation process seeking a third strategic vendor alongside telecoms gear makers Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for the rollout, Richard Knowles, an Openreach spokesman, told Reuters. The development comes as the United States has been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to 5G networks and alleged that Huawei's equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. The Energy sector is also expected to be under pressure with oil prices retreating due to the trade tensions. While we wait to see if there will be any surprise in the list of companies Labour will seek to nationalise should it win the Dec 12 election, Royal Mail and Severn Trent, already targeted, both published trading updates.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. BRING ON THE "LABOUR NATIONALISATION HIT LIST"! Labour will unveil its manifesto this morning at 11h00 GMT in Birmingham.
Britain's BT has told a company promoting digital skills it would continue working with it if it dropped Prince Andrew as a patron. The British royal has been engulfed in a growing scandal since he gave a TV interview on Saturday to discuss his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a U.S. prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Andrew denied an allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by Epstein but said he did not regret the friendship.
Has the strong performance last month carried over into November for the top three stocks? Jonathan Smith reveals all.
Falling revenue and the possibility of a dividend cut are just some of the reasons Edward Sheldon is avoiding BT Group plc (LON: BT.A) shares.
It’s not just shareholders of BT (LON: BT.A) that are affected - companies like Virgin Media will also have to watch out!
Does Jeremy Corbyn's plan to nationalise part of BT (LON: BT-A) mean we should avoid the shares? Here's what I think.
British utilities are becoming increasingly popular with bond investors who believe their debt may benefit if a Labour government comes to power in December's general election and takes them into public ownership. Labour's finance spokesman John McDonnell last week detailed the party's plans to nationalise parts of BT to provide free broadband for all if it wins the election. Most opinion polls show the ruling Conservative Party with a clear lead ahead of the Dec. 12 poll, suggesting a left-wing government under Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he was putting on hold further cuts in corporation tax and told voters he would use the money for spending on health and other priorities. "We are postponing further cuts in corporation tax," Johnson told business leaders at a conference organised by the Confederation of British Industry, an employers' group. Britain's main corporation tax is among the lowest among the world's industrialised economies but the government had been due to cut it to 17% next year from 19% now.
There is a threat to British business from both the left and the right of politics, the country's biggest business lobby group the CBI warned on Monday, a month before voters head to the polls to elect a new government.
BT's low P/E ratio and 8% dividend yield look pretty appealing. But is it a share that carries too much risk? Royston Wild takes a look.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Jeremy Corbyn has been trying to shift his Labour Party’s election campaign off the thorny issue of Brexit and onto his radical plans to shake up the U.K. economy. He finally achieved it on Friday, drowning out Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own media blitz in the process.The promise to provide universal free fiber broadband by nationalizing BT Group Plc’s Openreach unit dominated broadcasts and sent telecommunications shares plunging. It’s a continuation of Labour’s plan to take control of key utilities, with taxes from large multinational companies -- in this case the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. -- helping to foot the bill.“This is core infrastructure for the 21st century,” Corbyn said at a campaign event in Lancaster. “It’s too important to be left to the corporations.”It is the biggest new pledge of the campaign so far from Labour, with Corbyn comparing his proposed new British Broadband company to the establishment of the U.K.’s revered National Health Service. It also overshadowed Johnson’s own events, which included the launch of his campaign bus, a pledge to reopen railway lines closed since the 1960s and two interviews with the BBC.Johnson denounced Labour’s broadband plan as a “crazed communist scheme,” but the danger for the prime minister is that the proposal will cut through with the voters. Lack of broadband coverage, particularly in rural areas, is a popular complaint and the U.K. lags far behind economic rivals including South Korea, Japan and Spain.The ruling Conservative Party’s own plan is to incentivize private companies to extend their networks -- a revamp of a government program that has been criticized for failing to reach communities across the country.Battle Lines Are Drawn in Boris Johnson’s Big Election GambleLabour’s plan sent shock-waves through financial markets, especially after the party’s economy spokesman, John McDonnell, acknowledged it might need the broadband assets of other providers -- including Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media -- to make it work.“We’ll come to an agreement with them, and it will either be via an agreement on access arrangements, or working alongside us, or if necessary, yes, they can then come within the ambit of British Broadband itself,” McDonnell told the BBC on Friday. If no agreement could be reached, the government would pay compensation subject to “commercial negotiation,” he said.BT shares fell as much as 3.7% and TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc slipped 2.8% after it paused talks to sell its own fiber project, FibreNation Ltd., following Labour’s announcement.But there were other factors in play, including a record payment by BT to retain Champions League soccer rights. BT shares recouped most of their loss later as analysts played down Labour’s chances of winning the majority it would need to carry out its plan.There was also criticism of Labour’s plan to tax multinational companies based on the size of their U.K. activities. Technology companies often book their U.K. sales through countries such as Ireland or the Netherlands, making taxation based on sales difficult to enforce. Companies could take jobs to other countries to avoid the U.K. tax, analysts said.Nicky Morgan, the Conservative cabinet minister with responsibility for digital services, dismissed Corbyn’s plan in a statement as a “fantasy” that “would cost hardworking taxpayers tens of billions” of pounds.Still, Corbyn is unlikely to lose much sleep over the criticism at this stage of the campaign. Free broadband access and making big tech firms pay more tax have popular appeal, and trailing the Tories by double digits in many opinion polls, he needs some bold moves to cut through.In 2017, his promises to re-nationalize rail, water and mail services proved popular with voters and contributed to then Prime Minister Theresa May losing her parliamentary majority. Corbyn will be hoping for even better this time.\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Thomas Pfeiffer and Giles Turner.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Ritchie in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Labour Party’s plans to nationalize BT Group Plc’s broadband network and provide free service for all may force its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to perform a delicate balancing act with European Union rules -- and maybe even with his Brexit campaign pledges.Some analysts responding to Friday’s announcement said the proposal raises legal issues. EU state aid rules aim to stop European governments subsidizing a company at the expense of rivals across the bloc. They prevent states propping up failing firms, paying too much for a troubled company or avoiding taxes or charges that others have to pay.However, the rules don’t automatically rule out nationalization, said James Webber, competition lawyer at Shearman & Sterling in London.“There may be a debate about their other proposal to also provide free broadband, especially when there is already a competitive market for this,” he said. “But even here EU law offers significantly more room than many people think.”The purchase price of an asset is a key issue in questions about the legality of state aid. The rules forbid governments from overpaying for businesses, because that could unfairly bolster their competitive position, said Mohammed Khalil, senior consultant on state aid at economics consultancy Oxera. As far as state aid rules go, underpaying is fine, he said.So Corbyn wouldn’t be able to fast-track nationalization by splashing out for Openreach, which Jefferies analysts estimate is worth 13.5 billion pounds ($17.4 billion).Human RightsHowever, a Labour government couldn’t low-ball BT shareholders either: the bloc’s human rights directives, currently mirrored in U.K. law as well as investor protection treaties Britain has signed with other countries, would force the government to pay market rates, said Chris Watson, head of the telecom, media and communication practice at CMS. Otherwise, it risks being accused of unfair confiscation, he said.The Labour Party said the cost of nationalizing Openreach will be 20 billion pounds, and that investors would receive U.K. government bonds as payment for their shares.Even if Corbyn managed to find an acceptable price and nationalize Openreach into a new service, which Labour is calling British Broadband, his EU legal minefields wouldn’t be clear.Providing free broadband and undercutting offerings from competitors such as Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media would disadvantage investors who have bought into Openreach’s rivals on the expectation that they’d make a profit. It’s hard for BT’s rivals to do that if they face a competitor who doesn’t charge a price.This could generate legal challenges from stakeholders in the private firms, who may claim that the government is favoring one business in an industry at the expense of others, something that would violate EU state aid rules, said Caroline Ramsay, expert in public procurement and state aid law at TLT LLP.“When you go and nationalize an organization that’s already competing in a competitive market -- and it is -- that can create a risk of challenge,” she said. “However the state decides to keep British Broadband going, it’s probably not going to be on a commercial basis. That then means that they could be a beneficiary of state aid.”Hard BrexitWouldn’t nationalization of Openreach be easier if Britain were no longer a member of the EU? That would give a Labour-led government more flexibility on the price it pays for the asset, and help it worry less about the knock-on impact to competitors like Virgin Media or TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc.But Labour’s campaign platform states a preference for a post-Brexit relationship aligned on EU rules. A post-Brexit nationalization plan would likely still need to account for the bloc’s state aid and human rights rules.Corbyn could avoid this by changing tack and arguing for a hard Brexit. If so, he would have to give up his central promise for a softer, worker-friendly divorce than what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proposing.Even with a Brexit deal that devolved antitrust oversight to the U.K., “the Competition and Markets Authority would to some extent be tied by same rules as the European Commission imposes today,” said Oxera’s Khalil. “So it’s only in a very hard, rigid, Brexit no-deal that it may be easier to have more control over your industrial policy.”John McDonnell, who is vying to become the next Chancellor of the Exchequer after the Dec. 12 general election, said the party has taken advice from lawyers to ensure its broadband plan fits within European Union state aid rules in case the U.K. is still in the bloc when the plans are carried out.And, when faced with these arguments on state aid, Labour could point to one of Britain’s most revered institutions: the National Health Service.“The state offers the National Health Service free of charge at the point of consumption, there are private health providers, and I don’t see anyone saying the NHS is therefore illegal,” said Watson. “So it’s not clear to me on what basis offering a basic broadband service for free would be illegal.”\--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni and Aoife White.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jennifer Ryan, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain's opposition Labour Party says if it wins the Dec. 12 election it will nationalise BT's broadband network and provide free internet for all within a decade, a radical election pledge to roll back decades of private ownership. The UK's biggest broadband and mobile phone provider was the flagship of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's policy of selling state-owned assets, a political revolution that she said would improve efficiency and "spread the nation's wealth among as many people as possible".
(Bloomberg) -- Prince Andrew’s interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is dominating the news, but British politicians are avoiding the subject. From a political perspective the most interesting news is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that every Conservative candidate has promised to back his Brexit deal.The Conservatives are also giving an outline of their plans for a post-Brexit immigration system, and Labour is talking about the National Health Service.For more on the U.K. election, click on ELECKey Developments:Conservatives drop fixed immigration targetLabour signs off its election manifestoLabour promises free dental care for allRaab Says No-Deal Brexit is Not Remotely Likely (10 a.m.)Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was questioned about the plan for the future trade agreement with the EU on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. While he admitted that it will necessarily be a compromise, he said there’s an opportunity to reach a “win-win” which is “great for the U.K. but also good for our European friends.”Asked if the U.K. could leave the EU without a deal, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “no, it’s not what we want to do.” He clarified, “I don’t think it’s remotely likely.”Labour Promises Free Dental Care for All (9 a.m.)Labour is continuing its approach of eye-catching offers for voters. After free broadband on Friday, Sunday’s was free dental care. Health spokesman Jon Ashworth told Sky News that people unable to afford to visit dentists were treating themselves using kits from budget shops.Conservatives Drop Fixed Immigration Target (8:45 a.m.)Security Minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News that after Brexit the Conservatives want to treat migrants from the European Union the same way as those from the rest of the world. He promised a five-year wait before people can claim welfare payments. But he backed away from the promise the Conservatives have been making -- and failing to keep -- for a decade, to reduce net immigration below 100,000 a year.“We’ll not set arbitrary targets,” he said. “I’m not getting into those kind of issues that we’ve had before. We will reduce immigration because when we leave the EU we will pass an immigration act that brings in a points-based system.”All Conservative Candidates Pledge to Back Brexit Deal (Overnight)If Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins a majority on Dec. 12, his chances of swiftly passing his Brexit deal are increased by his announcement that all his candidates have promised to back it. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said: “All 635 Conservative candidates standing at this election -- every single one of them -- has pledged to me that if elected they will vote in Parliament to pass my Brexit deal so we can end the uncertainty and finally leave the EU. I am offering a pact with the people: if you vote Conservative you can be 100% sure a majority Conservative government will unblock Parliament and get Brexit done.”It’s a significant pledge because the biggest obstacle to getting Brexit deals through Parliament has been the inability of Conservatives to agree about what kind of Brexit they want. But what it probably doesn’t cover is the next stage of Brexit, which is likely to revive arguments about how close the U.K. wants to be to the EU.Labour Agrees on Election Manifesto (Overnight)The opposition Labour Party signed off its policy platform for the election. It won’t be unveiled until Thursday, but some leaks include:A “Right to Food Act” introducing price controls, according to the MailA windfall tax on oil companies, according to the MailAn expansion of the sugar tax, according to the MailDropping a plan to allow private tenants to buy their homes, according to the FTEarlier:Corbyn Seeks to Use Britain’s NHS as Election BattlegroundPrince Andrew Bombs in BBC Interview, Raising More QuestionsTo contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at email@example.com;Lucy Meakin in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at email@example.com, James Amott, Sara MarleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain's anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats could support a minority Labour or Conservative Party government on an issue-by-issue basis if a Dec. 12 election does not produce a clear winner, the party's finance spokesman Ed Davey said on Friday. "If either of them form a minority government, as is possible, we will vote issue by issue... that will force any government to come to the centre to be more moderate," Davey told an audience in Leeds, northern England. Davey said the party would not vote to make Conservative leader Boris Johnson nor Labour's Jeremy Corbyn prime minister.
Sterling rose to a 10-day high against the U.S. dollar on Friday as Brexit Party candidates stood down from over 40 seats not held by the Conservative Party, which traders saw as a move that would help the Conservatives gain a majority in the upcoming UK elections. The pound has been rising in the past week as polls suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative party could win a majority at the Dec. 12 election, which is seen as increasing the chances of the UK leaving the European Union with a deal on Jan. 31. The Brexit party has stood down from 43 non-Conservative seats, 11 of which are held by the main opposition Labour Party and 17 of which saw the Conservative Party finish in second place in the 2017, according to a Telegraph reporter.