Manchester United PLC (NYSE:MANU) shares open 3 pct lower as speculators bet financial performance will falter on Ferguson departure

MANU stock is 3 pct in the red at 18.18 in early trade in New York.





Spreadex - the spread betting company - report that they have witnessed frenzied activity from their clients in both their financial and sports markets in the wake of the announcement.

Shavaz Dhalla, Financial Trader at Spreadex, says:

"With David Moyes the favourite to take over from Ferguson, clients have been taking a bearish view on the news, shorting the stock on the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the US market open at 2.30pm.

"Since floating in August last year at $14, the share price has risen to highs of above $19 after United charged to the Premier League title and investors took comfort that the £24m signing of Robin van Persie had proved good business rather than a risk for an ageing, injury-prone player.

"However, Spreadex clients were this morning taking a view the stock would open below the $18.80 level on the open.

"In terms of who will replace Ferguson, Moyes has shortened from even money to 1/4 to be next permanent manager in our fixed odds prices with Jose Mourinho drifting from 6/4 to 15/4.

"We are quoting the length of reign of next United boss as between 32 and 36 months – a far cry from Ferguson’s current 318 month spell in charge.

"As for who will win the Premier League next season, we have United 13/8, Man City 15/8, Chelsea 7/2, Arsenal 16/1, Spurs 25/1, Liverpool 25/1."

Manchester United need continuity says HR guru

Birgit Schyns, Professor in Organisational Behaviour at Durham University Business School and expert in leadership in football management, comments on the changes at MANU:

"Manchester United does not need radical change. They need continuity. It is a model that has worked well for them, and indeed generally works for football clubs, contrary to the current practice of hiring and firing.

"However, football management is an undefined role and over time managers gain more influence and experience in their clubs with often broad briefs. The club is unlikely to immediately trust someone new with all the tasks Ferguson has performed for the club. They might need more internal changes and review other structures to cope successfully with the managerial change."

Financial advisers report growing confidence in global economy

The confidence of financial advisers in the global economy increased for the third quarter in a row to an average of 6 out of 10 during Q1 2013, according to the international adviser confidence barometer conducted by Skandia.

This rise in confidence (from 5.8 at the end 2012) has been reflected across the majority of regions surveyed.

In particular financial advisers operating in the UAE are highly optimistic, reporting a score of 7.1 out of ten. This is a significant increase on the level reported in Q4 2012 of 6 out of 10.

In contrast to the generally positive outlook Singaporean advisers were the only region to report a decrease in confidence towards the global economy, from 6 out of 10 at Q4 to 5.7 now.

This is particularly surprising as they have shifted from being the most confident at the last survey (joint with the UAE) to the least this time.

Buy Standard Chartered urge brokers

Investec recommended a ‘buy’ rating on Standard Chartered today saying a weakness in the company’s stock should be seen as an opportunity.

"To start with the positives, fiscal year 2013 consensus of $8.2bn [versus $6.9bn in 2012] is reaffirmed, albeit this will implicitly be driven by a slower level of revenue growth, supported by tightly controlled costs, with upward normalisation of impairments confined to the consumer bank," the broker said.

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