Standard Life Aberdeen declares dividend, profits after tax improve for M&G
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 32 points lower on Tuesday, having closed up 1.34% on Monday at 6,719.13.
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Asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen declared a dividend as it reported lower annual profits and revenues. The company on Tuesday reported adjusted operating profit of £219m, down from £301m a year earlier and adjusted profit before tax of £487m from £584m as fee-based revenue declined to £1.42bn from £1.63bn, largely reflecting the impact of 2019 outflows. A 7.3p-a-share final dividend was declared bringing the total to 14.6p a share. “Our rebranding activity is underway to bring the business under one unifying brand, with further details to come later in the year,” the company said.
M&G reported adjusted operating profit before tax of £788m in its full-year results on Tuesday, down from £1.15bn year-on-year, and reflecting the first full year of listed infrastructure costs. The FTSE 250 company said IFRS profit after tax rose to £1.14bn for 2020, from £1.07bn in 2019, as its total capital generation slipped to £995m from £1.51bn. Its shareholder Solvency II coverage ratio strengthened to 182% from 176%, reaching its highest level since its demerger from Prudential, as it declared an ordinary dividend of 12.23p per share, in line with its policy of a “stable or increasing” distribution.
The prospects for a consumer spending boom after lockdown have been downplayed by a senior Treasury official, amid warnings that wealthier families have saved more than low-paid workers during the pandemic. Charlie Bean, a former Bank of England deputy governor who sits on the government’s budget responsibility committee, said it would take several years for households to spend £180bn in extra savings accumulated mainly by retirees and higher-paid workers during the crisis.- Guardian
Property prices in Yorkshire and the north-west could rise by almost 30% over the next five years, more than double the rate of growth in London, a leading property firm has predicted. Researchers at Savills had expected house prices to remain flat in 2021 across the UK, but measures to support the market including last week’s budget announcements, combined with the easing of lockdown measures, have led them to revisit their forecasts. - Guardian
The City of London has given the green light to more than 2m sq ft of new office space already this year, paving the way for a building boom despite the impact of Covid-19 on the Square Mile. Many large financial companies have signalled a move away from five-day weeks in the office, with several big names planning to move to smaller premises. Nonetheless, in the first two months of 2021 the City of London Corporation's planning committee has approved the creation of nearly 80pc of the total office space that it approved last year (2.6m sq ft). - Telegraph
Major banks that reserved spots at international schools in Frankfurt have not taken them up after a post-Brexit exodus from the City failed to materialise. Senior staff at three international schools in Frankfurt told Financial News they had not experienced a Brexit-related influx despite a surge of enquiries leading up to Brexit as lenders prepared to move London bankers to the continent. - Telegraph
New investors have poured £272 million into Starling, paving the way for a flotation of the digital bank created four years ago. The bank also made its valuation public for the first time, saying that it had been priced at £1.1 billion by investors, putting it into the sought-after category of so-called unicorns — startup or early stage businesses worth more than $1 billion. - The Times
Wall Street stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday after the US Senate passed Joe Biden's $1.9trn Covid relief bill over the weekend.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.97% at 31,802.44, while the S&P 500 was 0.54% weaker at 3,821.35 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 2.41% lower at 12,609.16.
The Dow Jones closed 306.14 points higher on Monday, extending gains recorded on Friday thanks to some solid non-farm payrolls data.
Optimism surrounding the passing of Biden's stimulus package was initially offset by higher bond yields prior to the open, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hovering at just above 1.60% at the close of trading.
The Democrat-led House of Representatives was pegged to ink the bill later in the week, with the President expected to sign it into law before unemployment aid programs expire on 14 March.