30/10/13 Market Movements
Markets closed up, 2.97 points at 6,777.7 yesterday.
Barclays and Standard Life both released their interim management statements yesterday.
Barclays reported that the business cost to income ratio hit 77% , in addition investment banking revenue fell by close to £900m. These cost controls have been concerning to some shareholders however, the bank is making significant improvements in its cash positions. The retail and corporate business have performed well. Many of the costs Barclays has incurred are part of the “Transform” project and therefore to some extent have been expected by some investors. The shares are still below their previous highs in May and we would expect the bank to benefit from improved economic conditions. The shares price rose yesterday by 0.98%.
Standard Life released a good set of results yesterday where the business continued to make good progress in all areas. Assets under Advice increased by 9% and the business saw strong inflows in to its investment arm. However, the results have fallen short of some investor expectations and the share price fell by 3.98% yesterday. We believe that Standard Life is a robust business which will continue to expand its product range geographically and its well positioned to cope with changes in legislation. The business has a strong balance sheet and has had progressive dividend policy.