The main talking point in the market this week is the announcement that Vodafone is to sell its 45 per cent stake in US wireless corporation Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for £84bn.
The consideration comprises £38bn in cash and another £38.9bn in shares of Verizon. At completion, Vodafone shareholders are set to receive all the Verizon shares and £15.42bn of cash, equivalent to 112p per share – 71 per cent of the net proceeds.
Awash with cash, the board of Vodafone has stated it will embark on a new organic investment programme, Project Spring, through additional investments of £6bn over the next three financial years, with a view to accelerating the existing strategy of taking even greater advantage of the growing global demand for high-speed data.
In economic news, investment intentions at UK manufacturers have soared to a six-year high over the last three months, a survey shows. The increase in investment plans was mainly from small and medium enterprises but spanned almost all sectors.
Manufacturers’ willingness to invest during the month was the second highest in the quarterly survey’s history. A balance of 24 per cent of companies said they were planning to increase capital investment in the year ahead – up from a balance of 7 per cent the previous quarter.
The investment plans reflected an expected surge in activity with output balances in the survey reaching their highest for three years.
The survey mirrored other analysts findings that showed output rising strongly with healthy growth in exports. It was stated however that manufacturing still needed Government support for the resurgence to take root.
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