Home Money LIVE BUSINESS: Acquisition of Co-op Bank agreed; Abrdán boss to leave; April failed in retail sales

LIVE BUSINESS: Acquisition of Co-op Bank agreed; Abrdán boss to leave; April failed in retail sales

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 LIVE BUSINESS: Acquisition of Co-op Bank agreed; Abrdán boss to leave; April failed in retail sales

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am Companies with reports and trading updates today include Coventry Building Society, Co-Op Bank, Abrdn John Wood Group and GSK. Read the Business Live blog from Friday 24 May below.

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

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Bunq Bank seeks to relaunch in Britain: can it compete?

‘The banking scene in the Netherlands has always been a bit like Broadway. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” Bunq CEO Ali Niknam told This is Money.

While Amsterdam’s DeLaMar theater may not be Broadway, its latest upgrade, Bunq25, has around 450 customers, investors and interested parties in attendance waiting to check out its new features, so that’s certainly what Bunq is going for.

GSK welcomes US court ruling on Zantac

‘GSK welcomes today’s jury verdict in the Valadez case in Illinois state court that ruled in favor of GSK in the first Zantac case to go to trial. This result is consistent with the scientific consensus that there is no consistent or reliable evidence that ranitidine increases the risk of any type of cancer, supported by 16 epidemiological studies analyzing human data on ranitidine use. GSK will continue to vigorously defend itself against all other claims.

‘Prior to this verdict, the court rejected the plaintiff’s ability to seek punitive damages.

‘Separately, the company welcomed the recent court ruling dismissing the upcoming Zantac (Williams) trial that was due to begin on May 23, 2024. In the Williams case, the Illinois state court dismissed the case before trial on the basis that GSK was not the brand name manufacturer of OTC Zantac at the time the plaintiff allegedly used it and should not be liable for any subsequent use of OTC Zantac.’

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“The British consumer is not out of the woods”

Charlie Huggins, Wealth Club Quality Stock Portfolio Manager:

‘Retail sales volumes were much worse than expected in April. Wet, dull weather appears to be the main culprit behind shoppers sheltering in place rather than venturing out to the High Street.

‘However, I am not sure that the finger can be pointed exclusively at the weather gods. Although online sales held up better than those in stores, they still fell 1.2%. And there were declines in almost every category, including food and fuel.

‘While we must be careful not to over-interpret these climate-affected figures, they do indicate that the UK consumer is not out of the woods. Inflation may have moderated, but prices for most goods and services are still much higher than they were a couple of years ago. “This continues to instill a sense of caution in consumer behavior.”

“With the impending general election likely to increase uncertainty, retailers could face a tough few months.”

April failed in retail sales

UK retail sales fell more than any economist predicted last month as wet weather kept shoppers away from clothing retailers and sports stores, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.

Sales volumes fell 2.3 percent in April alone after a 0.2 percent cet drop in March, which was revised down from a flat reading.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a fall of about 0.4 percent for the month.

“Sales volumes fell in most sectors, with retailers of clothing, sports equipment, games and toy stores and furniture stores performing poorly as bad weather reduced traffic,” the ONS said.

The statistics agency hoped to have adjusted the figures to the dates of the Easter holidays.

The earlier date of Easter this year meant that spending in the run-up to the holiday took place in March rather than April, affecting British Retail Consortium data published earlier this month.

Tesla’s main investor Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust backs Musk’s £44bn pay package

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust will back Elon Musk’s £44bn pay package next month.

Tom Slater, who manages the £14.1bn trust, said he believes compensation should be paid after it was agreed in 2018.

As one of Tesla’s oldest investors, it’s a vote of confidence for Musk as he faces possible backlash at the car company’s annual meeting on June 13.

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Abrdn boss to leave

The chief executive of asset manager Abrdn Stephen Bird is to resign, the group has told shareholders.

His departure, which comes after four years in the role, will see finance chief Jason Windsor take over on an interim basis.

Following a major strategic repositioning of the company, the board and Bird agreed that it is time for the executive to “hand over the reins to the team he has assembled over the past four years to drive the business,” Abrdn said in a statement. .

The Edinburgh-based company appointed Windsor as chief financial officer last July.

Bird, a former Citigroup executive who took over as chief executive in 2020, has sought to drive change by cutting jobs, reducing his range of funds and expanding into mass-market investing, following the platform’s acquisition in line of interactive inverters in 2022.

Acquisition of Co-op Bank by Coventry Building Society agreed

Coventry Building Society will acquire Co-operative Bank for £780m in cash, the pair said in a joint statement on Friday, as the lender prepares to return to mutual status.

The latest attempted partnership between UK lenders competing for market share is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025, according to the statement.

And the building society ultimately concluded that its members will not be able to vote on the deal.

It said: ‘The CBS board has carefully considered whether a member vote is required.

‘Having regard to the requirements of the Building Societies Act 1986 and, following thorough and detailed assessments and professional advice, the Board has conclusively determined that a member vote is not required.

“In making this decision, the CBS Board of Directors relied on member surveys and focus groups that clearly outlined its priorities such as maintaining our value proposition and quality of service.”

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