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MARKET REPORT: Global stocks crash over banking meltdown fears

Shares hit: Asia-focused insurance giant Prudential has revealed it has around £800,000 of exposure to Silicon Valley Bank against a total debt portfolio of £19bn

MARKET REPORT: Prudential insists its ties to SVB are ‘minimal’, but global stock market rout sends shares into the red

Insurance giant Prudential has insisted its links to the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse were minimal, but its shares have been hammered as it has been caught up in the global stock market rout.

The Asia-focused firm revealed it had around £800,000 of exposure to SVB against a total debt portfolio of £19bn.

“Our exposure to SVB is de minimis,” said Pru chief financial officer James Turner. “We are very conservative in our balance sheet positioning.”

Shares hit: Asia-focused insurance giant Prudential has revealed it has around £800,000 of exposure to Silicon Valley Bank against a total debt portfolio of £19bn

Shares hit: Asia-focused insurance giant Prudential has revealed it has around £800,000 of exposure to Silicon Valley Bank against a total debt portfolio of £19bn

But shares fell 12.4%, or 147p, to 1036p on another brutal day in financial markets.

The crisis came despite the Pru reporting an 8% rise in profits for 2022 to £2.8bn.

He also said business in the first two months of 2023 had been boosted by the lifting of Covid restrictions in China, allowing mainland visitors to travel to Hong Kong and purchase insurance again.

Prudential is listed in London but now focuses solely on Asia and Africa, having sold its US and UK subsidiaries. Its entire management team moved from London to Hong Kong.

However, chief executive Anil Wadhwani said the insurer had no immediate plans to change domicile to the UK.

Sophie Lund-Yates, senior equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said it was a “strong” first set of results under the new chief executive, but added that Prudential “didn’t do enough to offset broader market concerns.”

Those concerns, centered on the banking sector following the collapse of SVB and in particular the health of Credit Suisse, saw the FTSE 100 index fall 3.8%, or 292.66 points, to 7344, 45, while the FTSE 250 fell 2.6% cent, or 503.81 points, to 18,625.85.

Stock Watch – Trainline

Online rail ticketing firm Trainline said annual ticket sales were below expectations as strikes left it hitting up to £6million a day.

But the group’s overall net ticket sales jumped 72% to a record £4.3billion in the year to February 28 as travel recovered from the pandemic.

An increase in demand for international travel has boosted revenues, with overseas ticket sales up 95% in three years.

Ticket sales to UK consumers were up 37% from 2019-20.

It rose 1.4%, or 3.6p to 255.3p.

Only six blue chip stocks were up in London.

But all was not catastrophic. Bloomsbury cheered after its revenue and profits soared on the back of bumper sales of its fantasy novels and academic digital assets.

The Harry Potter publisher said it should have generated over £260m in revenue and around £30m in profit for the year to February 28.

That would be higher than the £242.6m in revenue and £26.9m in profit analysts expected. The shares climbed 6.4%, or 27p, to 447p.

Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton said: “Throughout a year characterized by rising inflation and cost of living pressure, it’s worth noting that reading remains hugely popular in the around the world, with books seen by many readers as an affordable pastime.”

Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo, which has more than 95% of its 10,000 employees in central Ukraine, said access to the Black Sea remained crucial after its revenue halved in 2022 and pellet production has dropped by almost 50%.

The shares plunged 7.1%, or 9.3p, to 122p.

The mood was little brighter within the IG Group after the brokerage firm saw the number of its active clients fall by 5% to 335,400 in the three months to February 28 compared to the same period. one year ago.

He said the market was calmer, especially in December.

The company’s shares slid 9.9%, or 76.5p, to 695.5p.

Burberry has poached a replacement for outgoing chief financial officer Julie Brown from supercar maker McLaren.

The luxury fashion house said Kate Ferry will succeed Brown as chief financial officer in September.

The 50-year-old former retail analyst held senior roles at Dixons Carphone and Talk Talk before joining the McLaren Group as chief financial officer two years ago.

Burberry shares fell 3.6%, or 84p, to 2,249p.

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