Cost of dying falls in Brexit Britain

Shares in Britain’s biggest listed funeral services company, Dignity, lost almost half their value on Friday as it warned families were becoming increasingly “cost-conscious.” (Reuters)
Updated 19 January 2018
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Cost of dying falls in Brexit Britain

LONDON: From the cost of carpets to coffins, Brexit Britain is spooking consumers.

Shares in Britain’s biggest listed funeral services company, Dignity, lost almost half their value on Friday as it warned families were becoming increasingly “cost-conscious.”

But it is not all bad news for the beleaguered British consumer.

The uncertainty created by the country’s exit from Europe is at least making the cost of exiting this world for the next, more affordable.

Dignity is slashing the cost of its basic funeral by 25 percent with immediate effect while it is also planning a price freeze for its traditional funerals in most locations, its said on Friday.

Carpetright shareholders were in similarly funereal mood as they too watched about half the value of their shares wiped as the London market opened.

A slew of profit warnings from the British High Street, and now it seems, also the crematorium, reflect growing caution among British consumers over the direction of the economy as the country prepares to leave the EU.

Dignity warned its 2018 results would be substantially below market expectations as it cut some of its prices. That sent its stock tumbling by about 49 percent by 9:30 a.m. in London.

Meanwhile Carpetright’s profit warning wiped about £54 million ($75 million) from its market capitalization.

“The number of customer transactions since Christmas was sharply down, which we believe is indicative of reduced consumer confidence,” said Carpetright CEO Wilf Walsh.

Both Carpetright and Dignity are the latest in a long line of retailers that have warned on profits in recent weeks — leading to heavily discounting.

That trend has now extended to the cost of a funeral which Dignity said would be reduced with immediate effect to £1,995 (plus disbursements) in England and Wales.


Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

Updated 21 May 2018
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Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

DUBAI: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, said on Monday it had signed a four-year loan deal for $480 million.
DAE, a government-controlled company set up in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based AWAS last year.
The acquisition tripled the Dubai aircraft leasing and maintenance company’s portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth more than $14 billion.
The $480 million loan, which includes both conventional and Islamic finance tranches, has a so-called “accordion facility” allowing it to be increased to up to $800 million.
With the loan, the company’s unsecured revolving credit facilities increase to between $1.125 billion and $1.445 billion, depending on final size of the latest deal, Firoz Tararpore, DAE’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“On a pro forma basis as of December 2017, if this facility is fully drawn and if the proceeds are used to pay down secured indebtedness, DAE’s percentage of unsecured debt would increase from 26 percent to a range of 31-34 percent.”
Last year, the company issued $2.3 billion in senior bonds split across three tranches last year, partly to finance the AWAS acquisition.
Tarapore said in an interview last week that DAE was in talks to buy a near-record total of 400 jetliners from Airbus and Boeing in an order that could be worth more than $40 billion at list prices.
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait coordinated the latest loan deal and was also the lead arranger and joint bookrunner together with First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Noor Bank joined the deal as lead arranger.