1. BoE raises interest rate for first time in ten years
The Bank of England has raised the interest rate in the UK from 0.5% to 0.25%, on Thursday. The hike is the first raise in a decade and reversing action taken following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
There are two more quarter-point increases in interest rates expected within the next three years, bringing it up to 1%.
Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, said it was time “to ease our foot off the accelerator”
2. Apple shares reach record high
Apple has had a huge fourth quarter that has sent the stock soaring to almost $1 trillion, with its market cap briefly hit ting $900 billion.
Revenue rose 12% to $52.6bn (£40.3bn) while net income increased to $10.7bn from $9bn the previous year.
With the release of the tech company’s latest iPhone, iPhone X, Apple is hoping to hit the $1 trillion mark.
3. Arqiva ditches IPO
Arqiva, the TV transmitter firm, will no longer continue its £6bn float on the London Stock Exchange, after citing uncertain market conditions.
The IPO, which was set to be the biggest of 2017, had been decided after a sale of the business fell through.
The company said: “The board of Arqiva Group Limited and its shareholders have decided that pursuing a listing in this period of IPO market uncertainty is not in the interests of [the group] and its stakeholders, and will revisit the listing once IPO market conditions improve.”
Owned by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, Macquarie and a few Australian institutional investors, Arqiva wanted to raise £1.5bn from the float in order to pay off debts, which would have valued it at £6 billion.
4. Starbucks downgraded by S&P 500
The mega coffee-chain has been downgraded by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch after unveiling plans to return $15 billion to shareholders over the next few years, planning to fund the payments with debt and operating cash flows.
S&P downgraded the company’s corporate credit rating to “A-” with a stable outlook and said: “The downgrade reflects the somewhat more aggressive leverage that we expect Starbucks to maintain in light of its announced intention to return about $15 billion to shareholders over the next three years. The payouts will be partly debt financed, which we expect will result in adjusted debt to EBITDA increasing to 1.8x-1.9x from about 1.3x.”
5. TP Icap finance director quits
TP Icap has seen the unexpected departure of its finance director after only one and a half years in the job.
The bonds and derivates broker announced that Andrew Baddeley will leave his role at the end of the year and is stepping down from the board immediately.
Baddeley will stay on to help facilitate a smooth transition as a replacement is sought.