LONDON BRIEFING: Cash transfer app Wise confirms direct London listing

(Alliance News) - Money transfer firm Wise on Thursday confirmed plans for a direct listing in ...

Alliance News 17 June, 2021 | 8:29AM
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(Alliance News) - Money transfer firm Wise on Thursday confirmed plans for a direct listing in London, providing a much-needed vote of confidence in the market.

The announcement, combined with a string of smaller plans for initial public offerings revealed early Thursday, came after shares in online furniture retailer fell by as much as 8% on Wednesday before recovering to end down 1.5%, as they began conditional trading on the London Main Market.

Also announcing listings on the Main Market, AIM and AQSE were maternity clothing firm Seraphine, drug maker Poolbeg Pharma, cannabidiol products supplier Voyager Life, and bathroom products retailer Victoria Plumbing.

TransferWise-owner Wise said that it is seeking the first direct listing on the London Stock Exchange.

"In contrast to a traditional initial public offering, a direct listing is a fairer, cheaper and more transparent way for Wise to broaden its ownership, in support of its mission to move money around the world faster, cheaper and more conveniently" Wise explained.

Earlier this week, Sky News reported that the payments app was looking at a value of up to GBP9 billion.

Upon listing, Wise said it would have a dual class share structure with 'A' and 'B' shares, saying this will allow it to "focus on its mission as it transitions into the public markets".

Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, is entitled to elect to receive 100% of his class 'A' share holding in the company with additional corresponding class 'B' shares on a one-for-one basis.

No details around timing or price of a potential listing were provided.

The use of dual class shares was one of the factors cited for the disastrous debut of food delivery firm Deliveroo.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:




FTSE 100: down 0.4% at 7,159.09


Hang Seng: up 0.1% at 28,471.18

Nikkei 225: closed down 0.9% at 29,018.33

DJIA: closed down 265.66 points, or 0.8%, at 34,033.67

S&P 500: closed down 22.89 points, or 0.5%, to 4,223.70

Nasdaq Composite: closed down 33.17 points, or 0.2%, at 14,039.68


EUR: down at USD1.1985 (USD1.2117)

GBP: down at USD1.3985 (USD1.4103)

USD: up at JPY110.70 (JPY109.94)

Gold: down at USD1,809.75 per ounce (USD1,857.40)

Oil (Brent): down at USD74.08 a barrel (USD74.88)

(changes since previous London equities close)




Thursday's Key Economic Events still to come

EU eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers

1100 CEST EU consumer price index

1100 CEST EU construction output

0830 EDT US weekly jobless claims

1030 EDT US EIA weekly natural gas storage report


Vaccines could play a role in opening up international travel for British holidaymakers, under plans being considered by the UK government. Officials are looking at proposals that could allow Britons who have had both coronavirus vaccine doses to avoid having to quarantine when returning from countries on the amber list, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. A government spokeswoman confirmed that work has begun to "consider the role of vaccinations" for inbound travel following the continued success of the jab's rollout. This could mean the return of holidays to popular summer hotspots such as Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, which are all currently on the UK's amber list. People arriving from the limited number of holiday destinations on the green list are not required to self-isolate, while amber arrivals must quarantine at home for 10 days.












Premier Inn chain owner Whitbread said it has seen encouraging signs for trading as the UK emerges from lockdown. Total UK accommodation sales were down 61% in the first quarter, the 13 weeks to May 27, compared to the same period in financial 2020, the 13 weeks to May 30, 2019, with the period being the last similarly timed period before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. Food & Beverage total sales were down 86%, reflecting the UK government's lockdown restrictions that were in place for most of the quarter. Whitbread said total first quarter sales were down 70% from two years earlier and like-for-like sales were down 71%. Whitbread said that, since May 17, trading has been strong, with high levels of demand in tourist locations, driven by the anticipated bounce in leisure demand post reopening, and also by the period including May half-term school holidays. Looking ahead, Whitbread said outlook and guidance is unchanged from what was provided at the full-year results in April, despite the four-week delay in the UK government's Step 4 of lockdown easing, announced on Monday. Whitbread expects leisure demand in coastal and other tourist locations to remain very strong throughout the summer, while the full recovery of leisure demand is dependent on the final release of lockdown, and the return of unrestricted events.


Rio Tinto confirmed Peter Cunningham as chief financial officer, having served as interim CFO since January. Cunningham had been promoted from controller after former CFO Jakob Stausholm was promoted to chief executive officer to replace Jean-Sebastian Jacques.


Australia recommended that AstraZeneca's Covid-19 jab should not be given to people under 60 on Thursday, a fresh blow to the country's glacial vaccine rollout. Health Minister Greg Hunt said concerns over possible links to blood clots meant Pfizer was now "the preferred vaccine" for everyone under 60 years old. Australian authorities had already restricted the AstraZeneca shot to those over 50 in April, after several cases of severe blood clots were possibly linked to it. Thursday's further restriction came after a 52-year-old woman died of blood clotting after receiving the jab.


HSBC Holdings will sell its French retail business to private equity firm Cerebus Capital Management, Bloomberg reported, as the bank continues to pivot towards Asia. A deal has been agreed and is expected to be announced over the coming days, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. It will bring an end to a more than 18-months long process sales process for the HSBC unit, Bloomberg noted. The bank is aiming to cut its gross risk-weighted assets by more than USD100 billion.




Boot maker Dr Martens reported a fall in pretax profit, as it released its first set of earnings since floating in London. For the financial year that ended March 31, revenue was up 15% to GBP773 million from GBP672.2 million the year before, but pretax profit declined 52% to GBP35.7 million from GBP74.8 million. Looking ahead, Dr Martens said the guidance set out at the IPO in February remains unchanged, for both financial 2022 and over the medium-term. In financial 2022 it expects high-teens revenue growth, as it laps the Covid-19 hit experienced in financial 2021. From financial 2023 and over the medium-term Dr Martens anticipates mid-teens revenue growth. In addition, the company said it expects to begin paying a dividend in financial 2022.




Ryanair is reportedly preparing to launch legal action with the owner of Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports against the UK government over its international travel traffic light system. The risk-based system with red, amber and green ratings for different countries, determines the quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements people face when returning to the UK. The legal action to be brought by Ryanair and the Manchester Airport Group will call for more transparency over how Whitehall decides which countries qualify for the green list, the BBC said.


Another Spire Healthcare Group shareholder has objections to Ramsay Health Care's GBP999.6 million takeover offer, Sky News reported on Wednesday. Sky said Toscafund Asset Management, which holds a 5.4% stake in Spire, has urged other investors to reject the 240 pence per share bid for the private healthcare operator. A Toscafund spokesman said it was "clear that the Spire share price would trade comfortably over 240p within the next 12 months". Sky News last week reported that Fidelity International, which holds a stake of around 8.7% in Spire, plans to oppose the takeover bid on the grounds it "materially undervalues" the business.




Credit Suisse Group is readying its first batch of insurance claims related to losses from its supply-chain finance funds linked to collapsed Greensill Capital, the Financial Times reported. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the FT reported the Swiss bank is aiming to recoup billions of dollars. Credit Suisse's recovery team, while largely focused on recouping cash on behalf of investors, has also begun the process of claiming on the related insurance, the FT reported. Credit Suisse is primarily working with Tokyo-based insurance company Tokio Marine Holdings. The FT reported that there are USD2.3 billion of funds linked with three debtors which have so far proved difficult to recoup. The debtors are Sanjeev Gupta-owned industrial firm GFG Alliance, Guatemala-focused miner Bluestone Resources Inc and construction firm Katerra.


Thursday's Shareholder Meetings

Anpario PLC - AGM

BioPharma Credit PLC - AGM

Ceres Power Holdings PLC - AGM

Microsaic Systems PLC - AGM

Mustang Energy PLC - AGM

Quilter PLC - GM re Quilter International sale

Petrofac Ltd - AGM

RBG Holdings PLC - AGM

Shield Therapeutics PLC - AGM

Sumo Group PLC - AGM

Whitbread PLC - AGM


By Tom Waite;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Oxford Instruments PLC 2,410.00 -
Royal Mail PLC 500.43 -
Rio Tinto PLC 6,101.00
Keywords Studios PLC 2,932.00 -

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