FTSE 100 down on China news, but West12 development gets boost
London's premier stock exchange took a tumble this morning (March 5th) following news from China that its gross domestic product (GDP) expectations have been slashed.

As of 08:41 GMT, the FTSE 100 had dropped by 0.29 per cent on Friday's close, shedding more than 17 points.

Many of its stocks felt the force of China reducing its GDP forecast for 2012 to 7.5 per cent, after the country's economy grew by 9.2 per cent in 2011.

China is a key player in the stock markets and news perceived as negative from the nation can impact other economies.

However, despite Land Securities shedding 0.65 per cent, it certainly was not in the list of the biggest fallers of the morning. The top three firms to lose the most value were Essar Energy (4.13 per cent), Weir Group (3.39 per cent) and IMI (2.93 per cent).

Perhaps Land Securities' recent news about its West12 development helped shield it from more serious losses. The Shepherd's Bush shopping centre is to undergo a revamp, including a new façade and an ibis hotel, which is part of the Accor family.

The hotel will consist of four storeys, provide 128 beds and will be housed in a block of former London offices.

Brands that currently have units in West12 include Carphone Warehouse, Argos and HSBC, while Esquires Coffee and Foxtons have also announced they will take up space. Foxtons will secure 3,500 sq ft, one of the larger units.

Commenting on the news, Andrew Rawlings, portfolio manager for West12 at Land Securities, said: "This major revamp is an exciting time for West12 as it continues to establish its attractive proposition as a venue in its own right. We're clearly seeing that active asset management is paying dividend. We've worked closely with Accor and new and existing retailers, which are also investing in the transformation with brand new fit-outs. The centre will take a giant leap forward in the summer."

The shopping and leisure complex is 291,000 sq ft and is anchored by Morrisons. There is also a Fitness First, a Vue cinema, seven leisure units and 38 retail hubs.

Posted by David Hudek

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