Belfast Telegraph

Abramovich gets promoted to stock market's top division

The Week Ahead

By Toby Green

There may be a scarcity of updates this week, but it will be notable for three companies.

Evraz, Polymetal and CRH all made their debut on the top-tier index yesterday, so punters will be eager to find out how the new boys adjust to life as a blue chip stock.

All three groups gaining entry as part of the latest indices reshuffle have done so at the first possible opportunity, having switched their main listings to London over the past few months.

The move certainly gives the FTSE 100 a Russian flavour, with the steelmaker Evraz and the gold digger Polymetal the first from the country to be traded on the benchmark index.

Part of the appeal of the move will be the lack of volatility compared to trading in Russia. Polymetal has certainly seen an immediate benefit, with its share price climbing roughly 9%.

Evraz has stayed steady, although the group, backed by Roman Abramovich, has already fallen foul of the Footsie rule book - or at least the rule book after it was rewritten last week.

The FTSE Group's decision to raise the minimum free float for a company trading on its indices to 25% from 15% means Evraz, with a free float of 24.8%, narrowly falls short, although it has promised to increase the level.

CRH, meanwhile, has edged back since it changed its listing in the City from secondary to primary a fortnight ago. The Irish building materials group wasn't helped on Friday by UBS removing its 'buy' recommendation, with the broker saying the rise in its share price before the switch meant there was little potential for further rises ahead.

The world's largest cruise company sails into view today as Carnival releases its fourth quarter results. The tourist industry has been a rather cloudy place as of late thanks to the woes of Thomas Cook, yet despite saying she is "cautious" over the sector, the Share Centre's Sheridan Admans still expects the group to meet expectations.

Today also sees National Express unveil its pre-close trading statement, and according to UBS the transport group's rail operations will continue to be the best source of growth. The broker believes passenger revenues will have risen as much as 6%, while news on September's acquisition of Petermann Partners for $200m.

TODAY: CBI industrial order expectations; Public sector net borrowing; US building permits; US housing starts.

WEDNESDAY: Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee minutes; US crude oil inventories; US existing home sales.

THURSDAY: Current account figures; GDP; US GDP; US unemployment claims.

FRIDAY: BBA mortgage approvals; US durable goods orders; US new home sales; US PCE price index; US personal spending.