What to watch: JD Sports mulls options for Go Outdoors, stocks slip, and Wirecard woes continue

Oscar Williams-GrutSenior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Yahoo Finance UK
GO Outdoors store in Nottingham, England. Photo: PA
GO Outdoors store in Nottingham, England. Photo: PA

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

JD Sports mulls options for Go Outdoors

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JD Sports (JD.L) has confirmed it is considering all options for its camping gear stores Go Outdoors, after reports that bosses were poised to call in administrators.

The company said that while administrators have not yet been appointed, it has filed a notice to the court. Sky News first reported Go Outside was on the brink of falling into administration on Saturday.

“The group can confirm that it has considered a number of strategic options for Go and that Go’s directors have lodged the notice in court,” JD Sports said.

“This notice creates an immediate moratorium around the company and its property which lasts for 10 business days.

“During this moratorium, Go’s creditors cannot take legal action or continue with any existing legal proceedings against the company without the court’s permission.”

Shares in JD fell 2.4%.

Stocks slip on second wave fears

Stocks fell on Monday morning in Europe, as new COVID-19 cases continued to flare.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE), DAX (^GDAXI), and CAC 40 (^FCHI) all dropped over 1% at the open. The worst hit was the CAC 40 in Paris, which was off around 1.5%.

Analysts pointed to concerns about the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Equity markets are under some pressure as fear of a second wave of COVID-19 propagates, led by Midwestern state (Florida is the retired Midwest) and South America,” said Sebastien Galy, a senior macro analyst at Norwegian bank Nordea.

Global confirmed cases look set to soon pass 9 million, while deaths stand at 468,331 according to John Hopkins University.

Germany is dealing with a fresh spike in new cases, linked to an outbreak in a major meat processing factory. China also continues to tackle an outbreak in Beijing. Schools have been closed in the Chinese capital and people have been asked to work from home.

Wirecard woes continue

Wirecard’s (WDI.DE) vertiginous stock slide resumed on Monday morning, as the company admitted the missing €1.9bn (£1.7bn, $2.1bn) at the heart of its accounting scandal probably doesn’t exist.

“There is a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of €1.9bn do not exist,” the German tech company said in a statement on Monday.

It comes after banks in the Philippines said documents produced by Wirecard appeared to be false. Over the weekend, the Philippines central bank also denied the money ever entered its financial system. Wirecard had claimed the €1.9bn was held in a trust account in the country.

Wirecard said it was unsure whether its third party acquirers — international partners who handle card transactions on its behalf — had actually conducted the business they said they did.

Wirecard withdrew its preliminary 2019 results, first quarter 2020 results, and forecasts. The company said previous years’ accounts may also be affected.

The stock dropped 43% in Frankfurt.

London fintech Checkout.com hits $5.5bn valuation

Checkout.com said on Monday that it had raised an additional $150m (£121m) in funding, almost tripling the valuation of the London-based payments startup to $5.5bn.

The startup, which processes payments for behemoths like Adidas, Virgin Active, Deliveroo, and EasyGroup, said that the investment will bring the cash on its balance sheet to over $300m.

The round of funding was led by New York technology-focused hedge fund Coatue. Existing investors Insight Partners, DST Global, Blossom Capital, and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund also participated.

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