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Business News Roundup: FTSE 100, Aviva plc, Ryanair to act on hidden charges, Associated British Food acquisition.


The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) is 0.05 pct down at 5,689.59 in line with a poor Asian session that saw stocks and oil retreated for a second day while the euro headed for its worst week this year after interest rate cuts in Europe and China failed to assure investors the moves will be enough to boost economic growth.

The main economic event of today in the US which is the release of the non-farm payrolls data.

Aviva plc (LON:AV) shares are outperforming the rest of the market on news that the company intends to sell part of Delta Lloyd.

Following its news yesterday of a change in strategy and the disposal of up to 25m shares in Delta Lloyd, it has now announced that due to favourable investor demand, it is increasing the size of the disposal to 37m shares.

This accelerated book build will end this morning and Aviva has also committed to a longer lock-up period than previously stated.

Ryanair to act on hidden charges


Ryanair, under threat of High Court action from the Office of Fair Trading, has agreed to act over its hidden credit card charges. The budget airline, under threat of High Court action from the Office of Fair Trading, has agreed to act over its hidden credit card charges — one of the biggest running sores among the numerous complaints levelled against it.

The budget airline has promised to withdraw the charges for online transactions, which are added as a final insult on top of taxes, flight fees and the added costs of baggage, insurance, seat reservations and priority boarding.

The move has prompted the OFT to issue a blanket industry ruling that all debit card charges, even if they are dressed up as administration or handling fees, will have to be disclosed upfront by airlines operating out of the UK, The Times reports.

WPP listing announcement


WPP announced "an application has been made to the UK Listing Authority and to the LSE for 1,595,151 ordinary shares of ten pence each in the capital of the Company to be admitted to the Official List maintained by the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange."

Associated British Food acquisition


Associated British Foods announced the acquisition by Westmill Foods of Elephant Atta and smaller related ethnic flour brands from Premier Foods.

"Premier Foods will continue to mill and package the flour with the brands being managed independently from Westmill Foods until regulatory approval is obtained. The cash consideration for the acquisition is £34M."



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