Standard Life (SL) is the main talking point today as they have announced the disposal of their Canadian business for £2.2 billion. On the back of this they are proposing to return £1.75 billion or around 73 pence per share depending on the number of shares in issue when it is paid. This is the second special dividend they have announced as they restructure their business to be more of a global investments solution business. Lots more detail about that and other aspects of the deal which you can read by clicking the link above if it of interest to you. The market seems to like it having marked the shares up nearly 10% first thing.
Meanwhile Centrica (CNA) have quantified the financial effects of the extended shutdown for the nuclear power stations announced today that they have a share in. In their brief statement they say this will mean a further 0.3 to 0.6 pence hit to their earnings in addition to the 0.3 pence they originally forecast back in August. This represents a downgrade 1.4% to 2.8% and adds to the downward trend in earnings which has been in place this year. Thus the shares continue to languish towards the low end of their recent range and offer a yield of around 5.4%. However, with the low cover, on going downgrades and the current regulatory review of the industry they don't seem that attractive right now.