Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland [LON:RBS] has published full year results this morning, showing further progress for the bank which remains largely owned by the UK taxpayer. Pre-tax operating profits have come in at £4.2 billion, giving a Return on Tangible Equity of 9.4%, a figure which the bank expects to be able to maintain or improve on in the coming years. A dividend of 3p plus a special dividend of 5p are proposed, whilst the announcement also contains news that the parent company will be rebranded as NatWest Group plc later in the year. The long road to recovery appears to be continuing.
Full year results from SEGRO [LON:SGRO], which has seen operating profits rise by more than 10%, solid growth in the company’s Net Asset Value and a 10% increase in the dividend payout, too. The company seems to be holding its ground in the ‘right place, right time’ category with trends in urbanisation and retail habits outweighing the political and economic uncertainty which has been weighing of late. However with shares already at 12 year highs, will support from here be harder to find?
A short note from Frasers Group [LON:FRAS], the new name for Sports Direct, stating it has thrown its weight behind the British Retail Consortium’s led campaign for urgent action over business rates. The company notes that the current adjustment strategy sees rates only being cut incrementally each year, leaving some of its stores still making payments which are significantly higher than they should be. With many UK high streets very much on their last legs, change here can’t come fast enough – any hopes in next month’s budget could be good news for listed retailers.
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