The high street bank posted full year results this morning. Profits were down, whilst loan defaults were up and are expected to continue growing as the current economic cycle maps out. However, news of a dividend hike, a fresh £1 billion share buy back and promises to return £10 billion to shareholders over the next three years was sufficient leave investors seeing the glass as being half full – despite the evident weakness this news reflects in the health of the UK economy. This is backed off by structural reform in a bid to reduce costs with shares were trading as much as 6% higher in early trade before easing slightly by mid-morning.

Horizonte Minerals

The AIM-listed miner Horizonte published a note after the market closed last night regarding costings for its wholly owned Araguaia Nickel project. With estimates for the cost to completion having jumped 87%, management have advised that additional interim funding will now be required and with investors evidently fearing the dilution risk here, many have been quick to look for an exit this morning. Shares are currently trading down more than 60%.

Intercontinental Hotels Group

The global hotel operator of brands such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental published full year results this morning. Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) is now back above pre-pandemic levels and management note that momentum here remains strong, with global revenue on the books as of Jan 1st 2024 up 16% on the figure realised a year earlier. It’s also worth noting that it’s the higher end hotel brands that are performing better in terms of revenue growth, suggesting a willingness amongst consumers to spend. In keeping with other blue chips reporting right now, a share buyback of $800m has been announced, along with a 10% hike in the final dividend. Shares were around 2.5% higher in early trade before giving back a little of those gains.

Headlines we expect on Wednesday:

HSBC Holdings final results

This time last year Reported pre-tax profits $17.5bn, credit losses 36 bps, net interest margin 1.48%

BAE Systems final results

This time last year Order backlog £58.9bn, EPS 55.5p, Operating profit £2,384m