BUSINESS LIVE: Interest rate hike looms; Shell initiates $8.5bn buyback programme; BT Group reveals Eurosport tie-up
The Bank of England looks set to hike interest rates for the second time in two months this afternoon in efforts to combat soaring inflation, which is currently at a 30-year high.
Interest rates are predicted to rise from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent, while the BoE is also expected to signal further unwinding of its pandemic stimulus and a gradual reversal of its huge bond-buying programme.
Shell has boosted its dividend and share repurchases after its fourth quarter profits soared to $6.4billion at the end of last year, thanks to higher oil and gas prices.
The group expects to increase its dividend by 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 and it will buy back $8.5billion worth of shares in the first half of 2022, including $5.5billion from the sale of its Permian shale assets in the US.
BT Group has entered exclusive discussions with Discovery to create a joint venture with BT Sport and Eurosport, giving customers of the former access to Discovery’s sport and entertainment content, including the discovery+ app.
The group saw revenue fall by 2 per cent in the final nine months of 2021 to £15.68billion, with declines in global and enterprise partly offset by growth in Openreach.
The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5% this afternoon