FCA requests all companies to delay results

Governing financial body in the UK asks companies not to publish results as the FTSE100 falls 5%

Article updated: 23 March 2020 10:00am Author: Helal Miah

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  • The FTSE100 is down another 5%, reflecting the increased pressure of a shutdown of the economic system around the world
  • Royal Dutch Shell dramatically cutback on capital expenditure plans
  • FCA has requested that all listed companies observe a two week moratorium on the publication of full year results amid the chaos
  • Rather than trying to stock pick which could go disastrously, I believe that buying funds, investment trusts or ETF index trackers will be the better way for now

The statistics over the weekend from Italy and Spain were grim at best and we now are seeing comments in the UK as to why we have not treated the situation here with the same severity. However, the financial markets have not been as complacent and this morning have opened down heavily again. The FTSE100 is down another 5%, reflecting the increased pressure of a shutdown of the economic system around the world. This morning we have seen Royal Dutch Shell dramatically cutback on capital expenditure plans and share buybacks, and ITV cutting spending too as it becomes difficult to film. Primark shut down all it stores and does not have the fallback of an online offering. As a sign of the times, the FCA has requested that all listed companies observe a two week moratorium on the publication of full year results amid the chaos, meaning no further updates from the likes of AB Foods and the impact on their Primark division.

No further corporate updates naturally makes my job a little more difficult in trying to decipher a company’s wellbeing, but the pure fact that this is happening is a reflection of the unprecedented times we are facing. While there is no one on the streets, well known investment mantras suggest “buying when there is blood on the streets” or be “greedy when everyone else is fearful”. These investment ideologies will certainly have made good returns from past events and I don’t think it’s any different now. While it seemed last week that the market was attempting to find bottom, it was always going to depend on the data coming through and this suggests that lockdowns will be needed in more countries. The markets could go lower and those investors with cash on the sidelines are best advised to drip feed into the market. However, rather than trying to stock pick which could go disastrously, I believe that buying funds, investment trusts or ETF index trackers will be the better way for now.


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Helal Miah

Investment Research Analyst

After graduating with an economics degree from University College London, Helal started his career within private banking at Smith & Williamson Investment Management and later held analyst and fund manager roles with the Industrial Bank of Japan, Schroders and Mitsubishi Corporation. He is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.