U.S. Markets closed

What to Watch: Ryanair amends buyback, Bitcoin surges, We Buy Any Car takeover

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Ryanair is preparing for a no-deal Brexit. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ryanair amends share buyback deal for no-deal Brexit

Irish airline Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, said on Wednesday that it would amend the terms of its €700m (£625m) share buyback to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

The changes, which will allow it to repurchase shares from UK shareholders by way of block trades, would help ensure that the airline remains a majority EU-owned airline, something it needs to be to comply with the bloc’s rules.

“Ryanair advises that it is amending the terms of the arrangements to allow for shares to be repurchased by way of block trades from EU holders of shares,” the airline said in a statement.

Bitcoin surged 7% as it eyes $13,000

The price of bitcoin continues to climb higher, with the cryptocurrency spiking 7% against the dollar on Wednesday morning.

At 8.45am UK time, bitcoin is up 7.1% against the dollar to $12,583.66 (BTC-USD) and up 7.5% against the pound to £9,967.56. Earlier in the session bitcoin came close to breaking through $13,000.

The price rise extends bitcoin’s recent rally, which has seen it climb over 200% against the dollar so far this year and over 50% this month.

TDR Capital is acquiring the owner of auto website We Buy Any Car

Private equity firm TDR Capital said on Wednesday that it had reached agreement on an acquisition of BCA Marketplace, which values the company behind auto website We Buy Any Car at around £1.9bn.

It comes as BCA Marketplace announced that its revenues jumped 24.5% to £3bn in the year to the end of March, with pre-tax profits climbing 18% to £89.5m.

Shares in BCA Marketplace have been boosted by around 20% since the two companies announced last week that they were in advanced discussions about a possible takeover.

Even then, the 243p per share offer by TDR Capital is a slight premium on Tuesday’s BCA closing price of 235p.

The acquisition comes amid difficult trading conditions for the UK car industry. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warned on Tuesday that a no-deal Brexit could cost car manufacturers £50,000 per minute.

European stocks fell

European stocks looked set to follow their peers in Asia on Wednesday, which broadly fell. The Nikkei 225 (^N225) was down 0.51%, while the SSE Composite (000001.SS) was down by 0.19%. The Hang Seng (^HSI), however, was up by just 0.10%.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell by 0.13% in early trading. Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) declined by 0.2%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was down by 0.15%.

Sterling was down 0.12% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) on Friday, to around $1.267, and down 0.14% against the euro (GBPEUR=X), to around €1.115.

What to expect in the US

Stock futures are pointing to a higher open for the US market.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) are up 0.06%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) are up by marginally by 0.01%, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) are up by 0.11%.

Companies reporting later in the US today include:

  • General Mills (GIS)