Home Money BUSINESS LIVE: Barclays overhaul; IHG’s profits top $1bn; CMA baby formula probe

BUSINESS LIVE: Barclays overhaul; IHG’s profits top $1bn; CMA baby formula probe

by Elijah
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BUSINESS LIVE: Barclays overhaul; IHG's profits top $1bn; CMA baby formula probe

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am Companies with trading reports and updates today include Barclays, IHG, Plus500 and Nightcap. Read the Business Live blog from Tuesday 20 February below.

> If you are using our app or a third-party site, click here to read Business Live

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Bahrain competes for the top position as the most liberal economy in the Middle East

The roar of Formula One car engines will be heard at the twentieth Bahrain Grand Prix in less than a fortnight.

When F1 arrived in 2004, the Gulf country was catapulted into the public consciousness and the event sparked a series of attempts to imitate its sporting success.

Aldi unleashes a price war with a new round of sales on fruit and vegetables

Aldi has increased pressure on its rivals with another round of price cuts on fruit and vegetables.

The German discount supermarket yesterday pledged to “lower prices more than ever” in 2024. Shoppers have flocked to discounters Aldi and Lidl.

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IHG reveals payouts to shareholders as profits surpass $1 billion

Holiday Inn owner IHG said on Tuesday it expected to return more than $1 billion to shareholders in 2024, after posting better-than-expected annual room revenue and adjusted operating profit that topped $1 billion per year. first time.

CEO Elie Maalouf also outlined its strategy, saying the company is targeting high single-digit growth in rate revenue by increasing revenue per room and number of hotels annually on average in the medium to long term.

The owner of the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe hotel chains increased its final dividend by 10 percent to 104 cents and launched a new $800 million share buyback program.

“The travel industry has attractive long-term demand drivers, and the strength of our brand portfolio and business platform will continue to drive our RevPAR and system size growth,” Maalouf said.

Competition watchdog launches investigation into baby formulas

Britain’s competition watchdog is set to investigate the country’s infant formula market after prices soared 25 percent in the past two years.

The rising cost of baby milk formula has been in the spotlight during Britain’s inflation-driven cost of living crisis, with media reports saying some struggling parents have diluted it to feed their children.

Nestlé and Danone are among the companies supplying baby formula in Britain through brands such as SMA Nutrition and Cow & Gate.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it would launch a market study, meaning it has the power to force suppliers to provide information on pricing and other issues, rather than relying on voluntary submissions.

The regulator said it would aim to publish its final report in September 2024, adding that it would consider whether there are problems in the baby formula market and, if so, what actions should be taken to address them.

CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said the cost of infant milk remained at “historically high levels” even after prices fell over the past three months.

“We are concerned that parents do not always have adequate information to make informed decisions and that providers do not have strong incentives to offer infant formula at competitive prices,” he added.

The Bank of England is crushing the economy, says former chief economist Andy Haldane

The Bank of England risks “crushing” the economy if it fails to cut interest rates quickly enough, its former chief economist has warned.

Andy Haldane said keeping rates too high for too long could prolong the recession and hurt the economy.

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the credibility of the central bank in the process.

Barclays boss reveals major reform and extraordinary payments for shareholders

Barclays boss CS Venkatakrishnan has revealed a major restructuring of the lender’s operations, which will include cost-cutting and asset sales, in an effort to improve the group’s performance and lift its share price.

The lender also posted a 6 percent drop in annual profits, in line with expectations, as it prepared excellent buyback plans for investors.

Barclays will reorganize its business divisions, return £10 billion to shareholders between 2024 and 2026 and restructure its payments business, Venkatakrishnan said alongside the bank’s annual results for 2023.

The lender’s first strategy update in almost a decade marks a turning point for the chief executive known internally as Venkat, as he tries to improve returns after a period of management turmoil, self-inflicted wounds and disappointing results.

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