Formula One IPO approved
The stock exchange has approved a plan by Formula One to raise as much as US$3 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), three people with knowledge of the matter said. The people asked not to be identified because the information is private. Formula One’s IPO would be the nation’s largest since February last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, helping it challenge Hong Kong in attracting listings by brand-name companies. However, the owner of the Formula One racing series would have to overcome a stock selloff that has pushed the MSCI World Index down 9 percent this month amid concerns that Greece could exit the eurozone.
Graff roadshow starts
High-end London-based jeweler Graff Diamonds yesterday launched a roadshow for its reported US$1 billion IPO in the territory. Graff Diamonds founder and chairman Laurence Graff and chief executive officer Francois Graff met potential investors at a hotel, but did not speak to reporters. In a filing with the stock exchange, the company said it made US$623.5 million in retail sales last year compared with US$454.3 million the year before. The roadshow is scheduled to run until May 31 when the IPO will be priced.
City jobs see pay freeze
Pay was frozen in more than nine out of 10 types of investment banking jobs in the City of London financial district over the past year, according to research published yesterday by financial services recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. The research, which looked at 142 different investment banking functions, showed there was no increase in the average basic salary in 92 percent of jobs in the year to the end of March. Astbury Marsden’s chief operating officer Mark Cameron said that although institutions had not been formally implementing pay freezes, a surplus of quality candidates and concerns over the eurozone crisis had created that effect.
Ryanair posts record profit
Irish no-frills airline Ryanair yesterday posted record annual profit on higher passenger numbers and ticket prices, but warned that recession in Europe would weaken future earnings. Profit after tax was 503 million euros (US$643 million) in the 12 months to March 31, up 25 percent compared on the previous financial year, the company said in a results statement. Ryanair yesterday added that revenues increased by 19 percent to 4.33 billion euros from last year to this year.