Chinese AI start-up Megvii files for HK IPO of at least US$500m

Beijing-based Megvii, widely known for facial recognition platform Face++, may raise as much as US$1 billion in the IPO, said one of the people, who …

Hong Kong

CHINESE AI firm Megvii Technology Ltd, backed by Alibaba, has filed in Hong Kong to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) targeting proceeds of at least US$500 million, two people said, just as the city faces political unrest and its first recession in a decade.

Beijing-based Megvii, widely known for facial recognition platform Face++, may raise as much as US$1 billion in the IPO, said one of the people, who expects the share sale in the fourth quarter of the year.

The filing comes as companies postpone or slow down listing plans in a recession-bound city blighted with nearly three months of anti-government protests, and where the benchmark Hang Seng share price index fell to seven-month lows this month.

Reuters reported last week that China’s biggest e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, had delayed its up to US$15 billion Hong Kong listing.

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Megvii has decided to press ahead with its IPO plans because it has little business in Hong Kong and expects the unrest to ease later this year, said a third person.

Megvii declined to comment. The people who had direct knowledge of the matter declined to be identified as the information was not public yet.

Megvii, founded in 2011 by chief executive officer Yin Qi and two friends from Tsinghua University, would become the first Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) firm to go public in Hong Kong.

Its filing comes amid government plans for China to become an international leader in AI, a technology that is becoming increasingly central in various sectors.

Once the preserve of researchers, AI has grabbed the attention of businesses as varied as healthcare and financial services looking to use algorithms to comb through troves of data to recognise patterns and solve problems.

In May, Megvii raised US$750 million from investors including Bank of China Group Investment Ltd (BOCGI) Ltd and Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd at a valuation of slightly over US$4 billion.

The company, also backed by Ant Financial, provides facial recognition and other AI technology to governments and companies including Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo Group Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

It booked a loss of 3.35 billion yuan (S$650 million) on revenue of 1.43 billion yuan last year, widening the loss from 759 million yuan a year earlier. Its adjusted operating profit, which excludes one-off items such as share-based compensation payments, reached 75.7 million yuan last year, showed its draft prospectus.

It will use IPO proceeds primarily for research and development, marketing and sales plus global expansion and strategic investments opportunities, the prospectus showed.

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are joint sponsors of the IPO. REUTERS

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Megvii, the Chinese startup unicorn known for facial recognition tech, files to go public in Hong Kong

Megvii Technology, the Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup known in particular for its facial recognition brand Face++, has filed for a public …

Megvii Technology, the Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup known in particular for its facial recognition brand Face++, has filed for a public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Its prospectus did not disclose share pricing or when the IPO will take place, but Reuters reports that the company plans to raise between $500 million and $1 billion and list in the fourth quarter of this year. Megvii’s investors include Alibaba, Ant Financial and the Bank of China. Its last funding round was a Series D of $750 million announced in May that reportedly brought its valuation to more than $4 billion.

Founded by three Tsinghua University graduates in 2011, Megvii is among China’s leading AI startups, with its peers (and rivals) including SenseTime and Yitu. Its clients include Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo, China Mobile and Chinese government entities.

The company’s decision to list in Hong Kong comes against the backdrop of an economic recession and political unrest, including pro-democracy demonstrations, factors that have contributed to a slump in the value of the benchmark Hang Seng index. Last month, Alibaba reportedly decided to postpone its Hong Kong listing until the political and economic environment becomes more favorable.

Megvii’s prospectus discloses both rapid growth in revenue and widening losses, which the company attributes to changes in the fair value of its preferred shares and investment in research and development. Its revenue grew from 67.8 million RMB in 2016 to 1.42 billion RMB in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate of about 359%. In the first six months of 2019, it made 948.9 million RMB. Between 2016 and 2018, however, its losses increased from 342.8 million RMB to 3.35 billion RMB, and in the first half of this year, Megvii has already lost 5.2 billion RMB.

Investment risks listed by Megvii include high R&D costs, the U.S.-China trade war and negative publicity over facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch published a report that linked Face++ to a mobile app used by Chinese police and officials for mass surveillance of Uighurs in Xinjiang, but it later added a correction that said Megvii’s technology had not been used in the app. Megvii’s prospectus alluded to the report, saying that in spite of the correction, the report “still caused significant damages to our reputation which are difficult to completely mitigate.”

The company also said that despite internal measures to prevent misuse of Megvii’s tech, it cannot assure investors that those measures “will always be effective,” and that AI technology’s risks and challenges include “misuse by third parties for inappropriate purposes, for purposes breaching public confidence or even violate applicable laws and regulations in China and other jurisdictions, bias applications or mass surveillance, that could affect user perception, public opinions and their adoption.”

From a macroeconomic perspective, Megvii’s investment risks include the restrictions and tariffs placed on Chinese exports to the U.S. as part of the ongoing trade war. It also cited reports that Megvii is among the Chinese tech companies the U.S. government may add to trade blacklists. “Although we are not aware of, nor have we received any notification, that we have been added as a target of any such restrictions as of the date this Document, the existence of such media reports itself has already damaged our reputation and diverted our management’s attention,” the prospectus said. “Whether or not we will be included as a target for economic and trade restrictions is beyond our control.”

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Chinese AI start-up Megvii files for Hong Kong IPO of at least $500 million

Beijing-based Megvii, widely known for facial recognition platform Face++, may raise as much as $1 billion in the initial public offering, said one of the …

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese AI firm Megvii Technology Ltd, backed by Alibaba, has filed in Hong Kong to conduct an IPO targeting proceeds of at least $500 million, two people said, just as the city faces political unrest and its first recession in a decade.

Beijing-based Megvii, widely known for facial recognition platform Face++, may raise as much as $1 billion in the initial public offering, said one of the people, who expect the share sale in the fourth quarter of the year.

The filing comes as companies postpone or slow down listing plans in a recession-bound city blighted with nearly three months of anti-government protests, and where the benchmark Hang Seng share price index fell to seven-month lows this month.

Reuters reported last week that China’s biggest e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, had delayed its up to $15 billion Hong Kong listing.

Megvii has decided to press ahead with its IPO plans because it has little business in Hong Kong and expects the unrest to ease later this year, said a third person.

Megvii declined to comment. The people who had direct knowledge of the matter declined to be identified as the information was not public yet.

AI LEADER

Megvii, founded in 2011 by Chief Executive Officer Yin Qi and two friends from Tsinghua University, would become the first Chinese artificial intelligence firm to go public in Hong Kong.

Its filing comes amid government plans for China to become an international leader in AI, a technology that is becoming increasingly central in various sectors.

Once the preserve of researchers, AI has grabbed the attention of businesses as varied as healthcare and financial services looking to use algorithms to comb through troves of data to recognize patterns and solve problems.

In May, Megvii raised $750 million from investors including Bank of China Group Investment Ltd (BOCGI) Ltd and Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd at a valuation of slightly over $4 billion.

The company, also backed by Ant Financial [ANTFIN.UL], provides facial recognition and other AI technology to governments and companies including Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo Group Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL].

It booked a loss of 3.35 billion yuan ($472 million) on revenue of 1.43 billion yuan last year, widening the loss from 759 million yuan a year earlier. Its adjusted operating profit, which excludes one-off items such as share-based compensation payments, reached 75.7 million yuan last year, showed its draft prospectus.

It will use IPO proceeds primarily for research and development, marketing and sales plus global expansion and strategic investments opportunities, the prospectus showed.

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are joint sponsors of the IPO.

Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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Singapore’s EDBI Invests in Cityneon

Moreover, EDBI’s strong knowledge and experience in emerging technologies will bring an important dimension which we can benefit by applying the …

SINGAPORE, Aug. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Cityneon Holdings (“Cityneon”, the “Company”/ collectively with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) is pleased to announce EDBI’s investment in Cityneon.

EDBI joins a formidable base of shareholders, including Hong Kong veteran entrepreneur and investor Mr. Johnson Ko, Executive Chairman & Group CEO of Cityneon, Mr. Ron Tan and CITIC Capital Holdings Limited (“CITIC Capital”), an affiliate of CITIC Group, one of China’s largest multinational conglomerate corporations managing over US$25 billion of assets across the world. This investment by EDBI follows closely after CITIC Capital had invested in new shares in the Group in May 2019.

“Internationalization and having a global perspective are Cityneon’s key growth engines, and EDBI with their extensive network will add significant value to our expansion worldwide. Moreover, EDBI’s strong knowledge and experience in emerging technologies will bring an important dimension which we can benefit by applying the latest innovations to enhance our experience entertainment,” said Ron Tan, Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Group. Mr. Tan added, “Today, approximately 90% of the Group’s profits are derived from outside of Singapore. We intend to step up our pace of expansion.”

Cityneon has built strong international partnerships with large global movie studios, making it a key player in the global arena of experience entertainment. Such studios include renowned names such as The Walt Disney Company, Marvel, Hasbro, Universal Studios, and Lionsgate. The Group is expected to partner with new studios in the coming months for new intellectual properties (“IPs). Through such partnerships, Cityneon is granted rights to curate, create and construct exclusive and iconic experiences for visitors all around the world. To date, the Group has toured their IPs in excess of 39 cities and will be making further inroads to new cities such as:

  • Glasgow, Scotland and Mumbai, India, where the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibitions will open in Q4 2019.
  • Dubai, UAE, where the Transformers experience will open in 2020.
  • China, where the Jurassic World: The Exhibition will be featured in 2020.
  • Hunger Games: The Exhibition at Las Vegas, in partnership with MGM Grand, Las Vegas, which opened in 2nd half of 2019.

In addition to the investment from CITIC Capital and EDBI, the recently concluded syndicated loans led by Cityneon’s financial partners, BNP Paribas, Hang Seng Bank and United Overseas Bank equipped the Group further to embark on its expansion plans.

Cityneon will further expand its headquarters in Singapore by establishing a new creative office here in addition to the creative offices in Los Angeles (USA) and Las Vegas (USA). Cityneon’s Group Chief Creative Officer, Welby Altidor, will also be relocating to Singapore in 2020 to direct the Group’s global creative efforts in experience entertainment.

“The strong management team in Cityneon, which is varied across different cultures and different nationalities, has brought about a synergy giving our business ability to achieve exponential growth. EDBI’s investment in us is a new testimony of faith in this management team of Cityneon,” added Mr. Tan.

“Cityneon is a homegrown company that has successfully transformed itself into an intellectual property focused global leader in immersive experiential entertainment from their traditional businesses. They have demonstrated their ability to create captivating storylines by localizing multiple blockbuster intellectual properties to thrill audiences across many cities. Our investment in Cityneon is aligned with our Strategic Growth Programme to support high growth Singapore-based companies in their expansion plans. We are pleased that the company is building a new creative team in Singapore to develop multi-sensory experiential engagements, while further growing their international businesses in Asia and globally. The company will leverage EDBI’s strong technology network for new innovations including mixed reality and consumer analytics to complement their good mastery of animatronics. We look forward to Cityneon’s contributions to enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a destination for immersive events while strengthening our design capabilities,” said Chu Swee Yeok, Chief Executive Officer and President of EDBI.

EDBI

Investing since 1991, EDBI provides patient capital to globally competitive Singapore-based companies to create successful, sustainable industries and support them in their international expansion under the Strategic Growth Programme. EDBI also invests in select high growth technology sectors ranging from Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Emerging Technology (ET), and Healthcare (HC). As a value creating investor, EDBI assists companies achieve their ambitious goals by leveraging our broad network, resources and expertise.

Cityneon Holdings

With its global reach and international partnerships, Cityneon has the capability to serve its clients anywhere in the world. Cityneon was listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2005, and was privatised on February 2019 by West Knighton Limited, a company wholly owned by Cityneon’s Executive Chairman & Group CEO Ron Tan together with Hong Kong veteran entrepreneur and investor Johnson Ko Chun Shun. Johnson is a capital markets veteran and has held controlling interests and directorships in many listed companies. On 14 May 2019, Cityneon welcomed CITIC Capital as a new shareholder whom holds 10.61% shares in Cityneon. CITIC Capital is part of CITIC Group, one of China’s largest conglomerates, and has over US$25 billion of assets under its management across 100 funds and investment products globally. For more information, please visit www.cityneon.net.

Victory Hill Exhibitions

Victory Hill Exhibitions is a subsidiary of Cityneon Holdings, and is an exhibition production company which strives to create interactive exhibits that attract visitors and have educational value. With 25 years of experience and cooperation with pioneers in technology from around the world, Victory Hill is able to create astounding interactive experiences, and can adapt based on our clients’ needs to satisfy each and every unique need.

SOURCE Cityneon

Related Links

http://www.cityneon.net

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FTSE 100 marches higher, with Wall Street expected to join fun

… (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).
  • FTSE 100 closes higher

  • Sterling’s loss is Footsie’s gain

  • All eyes on Fed minutes

FTSE 100 closed higher midweek as traders awaited the publications minutes from last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting.

Traders hope the tone from the US monetary policy committee meeting will be towards a further easing of interest rates, rather than a tightening of policy, which is making dealers buy up shares.

“In late July, the Fed cut rates, and dealers are banking on dovish language in the report, which might signal further rate cuts this year,” noted David Madden, analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

“Since the rate cut, the global macroeconomic mood has soured – US-China trade tensions, the UK and Germany saw negative growth, and increased unrest in Hong Kong,” he added.

The UK’s premier share index finished up 78.97 points at 7,203.97. Meanwhile, the more UK company focused FTSE 250 added 199.66 points at 19,207.75 as no-deal Brexit fears were apparently pushed aside.

On currency markets, the pound lost 0.22% against the US dollar further supporting the internationally-focused Footsie, while the gold price was near flat at US$1,513 an ounce.

3.25pm: Markets upbeat

US stocks have joined in with global markets’ good mood, with retailers Target Corporation and Lowe’s Co leading the way after they reported earnings.

The Dow Jones climbed 222 points or 0.9% to 26,186, while the S&P 500 index was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%.

With market watchers fretting about a possible recession, the retail pair both reported strong consumer demand.

Target shares surged 19% to an all-time high above $101 after second-quarter results from the discounter topped analyst expectations, with same-store sales growing 3.4% compared to the 2.9% expected.

Home improvement chain Lowe’s jumped 11% to $108.43 as it beat the Street’s estimates on revenue, same-store sales and earnings.

“We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in paint and our pro business to deliver strong second quarter results,” said chief executive Marvin Ellison, who has been at the company just over a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Brexitland, the pound lurched to day’s lows as newswires AFP and Bloomberg reported that the French government is expecting a no-deal Brexit as the “most likely scenario”, which would result in the immediate imposition of controls on the EU’s borders with Britain.

Sterling was down 0.4% against the dollar at 1.2119 and the euro at 1.0920, while the FTSE 100 was up 1.2% to just over 7,207

Boris Johnson’s Paris visit tomorrow heating up:

Emmanuel Macron aide tells AFP no deal ‘is becoming most likely scenario’

The aide insists that Britain will still have to pay £39bn Brexit divorce bill

‘The idea of saying there’s not a deal so I won’t pay does not work’

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) August 21, 2019

2pm: European stocks in the green

There is a focus on Europe today as Boris Johnson heads off to talk Brexit with German premier Angela Merkel, while Germany’s bond sale hits a bum note and Italy reacts to the resignation of prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

After Conte quit and fired off a few epithets at his coalition partners, markets welcomed the populist partnership’s almost-certain end.

Italy’s FTSE MIB is the strongest gainer among the European indices, up 1.9%, while London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.2% at 7,212.

As Germany prepares to welcome the British PM, the country’s central bank created an unwanted record by selling the first ever 30-year government bonds with a zero coupon, which due to the price paid actually will have a negative yield of -0.11%.

READ: Why might investors buy negative yield government bonds?

Merkel meanwhile said in a speech that the talks with Johnson will cover “how we can get the most friction-free British exit from the European Union possible as we must fight for our economic growth”.

Analysts at Monex Europe said: “The chances of a breakthrough seem slim, but given Boris yesterday hinted at Britain being willing to make ‘commitments’, and Merkel said that the Irish backstop could be bypassed by a practical solution, there is at least a glimmer of hope for good news.”

The pound was having none of it, still down 0.3% versus the dollar at 1.2137, with tweeted efforts from the White House not moving the dial either, with the negative German debt further enraging President Trump.

…..We are competing with many countries that have a far lower interest rate, and we should be lower than them. Yesterday, “highest Dollar in U.S.History.” No inflation. Wake up Federal Reserve. Such growth potential, almost like never before!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019

1.45pm: Experian gets acquisition boost

Among the top blue chips today are credit checker Experian PLC (LON:EXPN), up 2% as it acquired Look Who’s Charging (LWC), an Australian outfit providing nifty technology to the banking sector.

This technology helps with “transaction enrichment and categorisation”, which the London-listed company says is designed to “make banking smoother and more straightforward for bank customers”.

Simply put, LWC shows small businesses and consumers who’s who on their bank statements, rather than a random list of numbers.

Capita PLC (LON:CPI) is also up 2% after it was upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Other broker action saw Victrex PLC (LON:VCT) upgraded to ‘equalweight’ by Barclays as analysts see 20% upside risk to consensus estimates on earnings per share, while Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW) was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity.

12.25pm: Wall Street expected to join market march higher

Wall Street is tipped to join in the market merry-making on Wednesday, while the FTSE 100 continues to inch higher.

On futures markets, the Dow Jones is pencilled in for an 0.6% gain to just over 26,000, with the S&P 500 seen adding 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite best of all at 0.8%.

Nerves about a US recession look to have settled a little after last week’s panic, says market analyst Craig Erlam at Oanda.

“Now that everyone is an expert in inverted yield curves and the apocalyptic foresight they contain, there seems to be an odd acceptance of where we’re heading (or is it denial?)”

Another day spent waiting for that special yield curve to invert. #drumsfingers

— Chris Beauchamp (@ChrisB_IG) August 21, 2019

“The Fed will be all too aware of the events of the last week, not just because of its historic significance, but because investors are now relying on them even more heavily to save the day,” Erlam said.

“Markets are effectively pricing in a rate cut every remaining meeting this year. Are investors setting themselves up for disappointment or leaving the Fed with little choice but to follow?

“Clearly Powell can’t afford to get it wrong on Friday because any signal that markets are way off the mark will likely cause further mayhem, not to mention a backlash from the White House.”

While minutes of the most recent Fed meeting are due later today, Erlam said recent events might make them rather outdated.

Back in London, the FTSE is up 80 points or 1.1% at 7,205.28, as the pound softens further, down 0.3% against the greenback at $1.2130.

10.30am: Gains extended as TUI leads the way

London stocks have continued to rally on Wednesday morning, with news of a smaller than expected UK budget surplus unlikely to be providing the catalyst.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that July saw a small surplus of £1.32bn compared to £3.56bn a year earlier.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding banks, is up 60% year over year in the first four months of the fiscal year at £16bn.

“The small surplus in July’s public finances wasn’t enough to make up for the jump in borrowing since the start of the financial year and means that government borrowing still looks like it will overshoot the OBRs forecast,” said Capital Economics.

Economist Tom Pugh said it was likely that government borrowing will continue to overshoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast over the next few months as the government ramps up spending on preparations for a no deal Brexit, while a change in accounting approach will raise the deficit by more than £10bn a year.

Among the biggest share price movers in the upper FTSE echelons, tour operator TUI AG (LON:TUI) was flying highest, up 4% to 791.6p.

Research by UBS showed all the airlines showed more deterioration than expected in their most recent customer review scores, nut with TUI showing the highest score among 20 airlines.

Elsewhere, dollar earners were doing well in general as the pound softened another 0.2% against the dollar to 1.2141, with leaders including Smurfit Kappa Group Plc (LON:SKG), Burberry Group PLC (LON:NRBY) and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR.).

The FTSE 100 was up 75 points or 1.05% to 7,199.81, with only five stocks in the red, with miners BHP Group PLC (LON:BHP) and Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).

8.52am: Stronger start than expected

The FTSE 100 got off to a stronger than expected start, rising 31 points to 7,155.74.

Sentiment for the coming days could be shaped by the US Federal Reserve minutes out after hours London time.

Ahead of their publication trading volumes in the dealing rooms of the Square Mile are likely to remain subdued.

Gold, a haven investment in times of uncertainty, continued to hold firm above US$1,500 an ounce, reflecting the nerves of the market.

The pound was steady at US$1.2153 with forex traders buoyed by comments by German chancellor Angela Merkel stating the EU would look at “sensible” suggestions for solving the UK-Ireland border issue.

Turing to the stock market, construction group Costain (LON:COST) led the All-Share with a 12.6% rise.

This after its profits crumbled. It appears, however, the carnage wasn’t quite as bad as the market had been anticipating.

Nostrum Oil & Gas (LON:NOG) was the day’s big loser as it tanked 20% after Berenberg slashed its target price and downgraded the shares to ‘sell’.

READ: Nostrum gets bloody nose after Berenberg double-downgrade

6.30am: FTSE 100 set to open a “touch higher”

The FTSE 100 is expected to open a touch higher on Wednesday as investors seemed content to stay put while awaiting possible direction from Fed minutes due later.

Spread-betting firm IG expects the FTSE 100 to open about 4 points higher after the index closed 64 points lower at 7,125 on Tuesday.

Fears of a recession have been mixed with hopes of renewed fiscal and economic stimulus by national governments to counter the slowdown, with US President Donald Trump recently floating the idea of tax cuts while the German government is seemingly considering a bond sale.

Traders will also be looking to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s previous policy meeting in June, when it cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, to gauge the possibility of further cuts this year.

This will also be in focus ahead of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole seminar later this week, which will provide further clues on how the central bank plans to boost growth.

The gloomy mood around a recession weighed on US markets overnight, with the Dow Jones ending Tuesday 0.66% lower at 25,962 while the S&P 500 fell 0.79% to 2,900 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.68% to 7,948.

The pessimism continued into the Asian markets on Wednesday, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 down 0.3%, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend slightly and was up 0.11%.

On the currency markets, the pound slipped 0.12% to US$1.2154 against the dollar and was also down 0.05% at €1.0955 against the euro amid ongoing doubts that Boris Johnson will be able to extract any concessions from major EU leaders when he visits Berlin and Paris this week.

Quiet day for company news

Wednesday looks like being another quiet one in the Square Mile, with only a handful of companies known to be releasing news, while there is also some relatively small-time data due.

One of the few set to report is industrial REIT, Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN), which is due to post its half-year numbers.

Significant events expected on Wednesday August 21:

Interims:Charter Court PLC (LON:CCFS), Costain PLC (LON:COST), Empresaria Group plc (LON:EMR), Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN)

Economic data: UK public sector net borrowing, US existing home sales, MBA US mortgage applications, US crude oil inventories

Around the market:

Sterling: US$1.2154, down 0.12%

Brent crude: US$60.35 a barrel, up 0.5%

Gold: US$1,502.47 an ounce, down 0.14%

Bitcoin: US$10,230.4, down 5.3%

Proactive news headlines:

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) has appointed three people with “world-class breadth of expertise” in the fields of ophthalmology and stem cell research to its scientific advisory board.

Brady PLC (LON:BRY) had reported that recurring revenues for the first half of its financial year have been in line with expectations.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) said it will raise £500,000 via a stock placing at 0.1p a share.

Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) expects to improve the economics of its Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper project Indonesia after signing up a well-connected Chinese engineering, procurement and construction management contractor.

Galantas Gold Corp (LON:GAL) confirmed sales of US$460,000 in its second-quarter following the start of shipments from the Omagh mine in Northern Ireland.

City headlines:

Giuseppe Conte has resigned as Italy’s prime minister, deepening the country’s political crisis – Financial Times

A major newspaper closely connected to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised concerns over Oyak’s deal to rescue British Steel from insolvency – Telegraph

British technology start-ups have received a record $6.7 billion in new funding this year, shrugging off concerns over a no-deal Brexit – The Times

Britain will automatically enrol nearly 90,000 companies in a customs system in order to reduce the risk of Brexit disruption, the government said, its latest attempt to show it can leave the European Union without a deal if necessary – Reuters

Mike Ashley has sacked the boss of Jack Wills just weeks after buying the preppy clothing retailer out of administration – Telegraph

The EU turned down Boris Johnson’s latest call to renegotiate the terms for Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc – FT

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