LONDON BRIEFING: Sustainability investor i(x) Net Zero plans AIM IPO

(Alliance News) - i(x) Net Zero, an investing company focused on the energy sustainability and ...

Alliance News 3 December, 2021 | 8:09AM
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(Alliance News) - i(x) Net Zero, an investing company focused on the energy sustainability and chaired by a former UK government minister, on Friday unveiled plans to list on AIM.

i(x) Net Zero is eyeing a raise of GBP20.0 million gross, with admission expected in late December. The initial public offering is being led by H&P Advisory Ltd as financial adviser and joint broker and Shore Capital as nominated adviser and joint broker.

i(x) aims to provide investors capital growth with a "positive, scalable, measurable and sustainable impact" on the environment. It has two main focus areas, the first being energy transition, and the second sustainability in the built environment.

So far, i(x) said it has invested in areas such as biofuels, renewable energy and direct air capture. Following admission to AIM, the company plans to use the proceeds of its fundraising to provide development and expansion capital to its investee firms, as well as making new investments.

It counts investors such as Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia and Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis, as well as philanthropist Aileen Getty.

"i(x) Net Zero is seeking admission to AIM to access global growth capital to scale the business further. Admission also offers the ability for individual and institutional investors to deploy capital into a company whose sole mission is to create top-tier returns while addressing humanity's greatest challenges, like climate change, through the companies we are building," said Chief Executive Steve Oyer, a former Lazard Asset Management executive.

i(x) Net Zero is chaired by Nick Hurd, a member of Parliament for 14 years until the end of 2019. Hurd was a UK government minister for 8 of those years, including as minister for Climate Change & Industry, where he was involved in the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

Prior to government, Hurd was an analyst and pension fund manager at Morgan Grenfell Asset Management and the managing director of the Brazilian subsidiary of Flemings Investment Bank.

"Steve Oyer and his team have a proven track record and a strategy to provide investors with the opportunity for long-term capital growth with positive, scalable, measurable and sustainable impact on the environment and on communities," Hurd said. "It is an opportunity to put capital to work to make a real difference."

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

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: up 0.8% at 7,184.71

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Hang Seng: down 0.3% at 23,716.30

Nikkei 225: closed up 1.0% at 28,029.57

S&P/ASX 200: closed up 0.2% at 7,241.20

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DJIA: closed up 617.75 points, or 1.8%, at 34,639.79

S&P 500: closed up 64.06 points, or 1.4%, at 4,577.10

Nasdaq Composite: closed up 127.27 points, or 0.8%, at 15,381.32

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EUR: down at USD1.1289 (USD1.1315)

GBP: down at USD1.3274 (USD1.3317)

USD: up at JPY113.33 (JPY113.03)

Gold: up at USD1,771.23 per ounce (USD1,761.10)

Oil (Brent): up at USD71.12 a barrel (USD69.67)

(changes since previous London equities close)

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ECONOMICS AND GENERAL

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Friday's key economic events still to come

0955 CET Germany services purchasing managers' index

1000 CET EU eurozone services PMI

1100 CET EU retail trade

0930 GMT UK services PMI

1100 GMT Ireland live register

0830 EST US monthly jobs report

0945 EST US services PMI

1000 EST US ISM report on services

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Growth in the service sector of the Chinese economy slowed in November, as a sharp rise in input costs forced service providers to raise their own prices to customers, according to the results of a survey by IHS Markit. The Caixin China general services purchasing managers' index read 52.1 points last month, down from 53.8 in October. The score remained above the neutral 50-point mark for the third month in a row but was the weakest reading of the three, IHS Markit noted. Total new business rose at the slowest rate in three months, with service providers saying that measures imposed by the government in Beijing to control the spread of Covid-19 hurt new order inflow, while foreign demand increased only slightly. As a result, the China general composite PMI slipped to 51.2 points in November from 51.5 in October.

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Japan's service sector surged in November, data from IHS Markit showed, advancing at its sharpest rate in over two years. The au Jibun Bank Japan services PMI increased to 53.0 points in November from 50.7 in October - marking the fastest upturn in 27 months. The services growth follows Wednesday's manufacturing PMI rising to 54.5 points from 53.2 in October. As a result, the au Jibun Bank Japan composite PMI rose to 53.3 in November from 50.7 in October.

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The service sector in Ireland continued to see strong growth in November, but the pace slowed from October amid the highest input price inflation in more than 20 years, according to the results of a survey conducted by IHS Markit. The AIB Ireland services PMI read 59.3 points in November, down from the remarkably high score of 63.4 in October. The reading indicated the slowest increase in output in the service sector since April, and the more than 4-point month-on-month drop in the PMI score was the largest in survey history, IHS Markit said. The AIB Ireland composite PMI similarly fell to 59.3 points in November from 62.5 in October, reflecting both the services reading and the manufacturing one that had been released back on Wednesday. This declined to 59.9 points in November, down from 62.1 in October.

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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DEUTSCHE BANK RAISES BP TO 'BUY' (HOLD) - PRICE TARGET 404 (320) PENCE

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JEFFERIES RAISES SSE TO 'BUY' (HOLD) - PRICE TARGET 1810 (1710) PENCE

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JEFFERIES RAISES AJ BELL TO 'HOLD' (UNDERPERFORM) - PRICE TARGET 400 (370) PENCE

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JPMORGAN RAISES ROTORK TO 'OVERWEIGHT' (NEUTRAL) - PRICE TARGET 395 (335) PENCE

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown has hired Amy Stirling as its next chief financial officer, succeeding Philip Johnson. She is currently CFO of the Virgin Group. She also is a non-executive director at Virgin Money UK, where she is also the representative director of Virgin Enterprises, but will step down come summer. She was previously CFO of TalkTalk Telecom. Stirling will join Hargreaves Lansdown on February 21 and Johnson, while stepping down from the board at the end of January, will remain available to assist with the handover until May 31. Her appointment comes in time for Hargreaves Lansdown's investor day on February 22, when it plans to set out the next phase of its strategy.

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COMPANIES - MAIN MARKET AND AIM

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Wickes lifted its full-year adjusted pretax profit guidance to no less than GBP83 million. The building supplies retailer noted that current analyst profit consensus lies around GBP74 million to GBP75 million. Friday's upgrade comes after a strong performance in the fourth quarter to date. Core sales are lower year-on-year against tough comparatives, but remain materially ahead on a two-year basis, the company noted. Wickes boasted that its business model and strong supplier relationships have led to a better-than-expected margin performance, as it has been able to mitigate inflationary pressures. "Our forward planning and early strategic decisions have resulted in an improved profit performance, and we continue to navigate inflationary pressures and raw material constraints well. Clearly, this remains a time of uncertainty, however our differentiated business model leaves us well-placed to continue to outperform within a large and growing home improvement market," said Chief Executive David Wood.

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COMPANIES - GLOBAL

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Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it will start the process of delisting its shares from the New York stock exchange and prepare a Hong Kong listing, shortly after US regulators adopted a rule that would allow them to remove foreign firms. Didi's move comes in the wake of a sweeping Chinese regulatory crackdown in the past year that has clipped the wings of major internet firms wielding huge influence on consumers' lives – including Alibaba and Tencent – and just months after its mammoth New York debut. "After careful consideration, [Didi] will start the process of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange from today, and start preparations for listing in Hong Kong," the company said in a statement on social media. The ride-hailing firm's IPO in June was quickly overshadowed by an investigation by China's internet watchdog on the grounds of cybersecurity – just days after the listing and sending the shares plunging.

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Embattled Chinese developer Kaisa is facing a default after saying it had failed in a bid for a debt swap that would buy it crucial time, warning there was "no guarantee" it would be able to meet its payment obligations. The company is one of several real estate firms that have plunged into crisis over the past year after China embarked on a regulatory drive to curb speculation and leverage, cutting off a crucial avenue for accessing cash. The highest profile of them is China Evergrande, which is drowning in a sea of debt worth USD300 billion, and is struggling to meet its own obligations.

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Friday's shareholder meetings

Bluefield Solar Income Fund Ltd - AGM

Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd - AGM

Fidelity Asian Values PLC - AGM

Ruffer Investment Co Ltd - AGM

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By Tom Waite; thomaslwaite@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
AJ Bell PLC 339.80 GBX -2.47 -
BP PLC 382.25 GBX -1.77
SSE PLC 1,561.50 GBX -1.51
Rotork PLC 335.60 GBX -2.89 -

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