Famous five of business this week (July 26-30)

Monday – July 26

  1. Activision Blizzard Inc. (LON: 0H8X) (NASDAQ: ATVI)

Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard is a developer and provider of interactive gaming and entertainment solutions. The gaming giant was hit with several sexual harassment allegations and discriminatory behaviour based on gender in its workplace. The State of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing has thus sued the company.

Post Activision’s denial of such allegations, more than 2,000 employees in an open letter have called on the company leaders to take accountability. Blizzard promised to remove “inappropriate references” from the MMO World of Warcraft without providing any specifications. The filing of the lawsuit and the employee’s response could be a historic event in the video gaming industry that has struggled with the ill-treatment of minority and female employees.

Tuesday – July 27

2. Barclays Plc (LON: BARC)

Barclays Plc is a global provider of financial services. It is engaged in offering wholesale and commercial banking. The group recorded a return on tangible equity (RoTE) of 16.4 per cent for H1 2021. 

The investment banking firm announced a half-year dividend per share of 2.0p payable on 17 September 2021 and plans to initiate a share buyback of up to £500 million slated to commence in Q3 2021. This will be in addition to the £700 million share buyback completed in April earlier this year. The move was buoyed by the above expectation in profits for the H1 2021, as the investment banking segment remained strong, and the loans scenario recovered.

Wednesday - July 28

3. Tracsis Plc (LON: TRCS)

Tracsis is an IT company that provides hardware, software, data analytics/GIS and services for the traffic data, rail, and transport sectors. On 28 July 2021, Tracsis secured a new contract for its RailHub software product suite in the UK. RailHub digital platform was developed by OnTrac, a Tracsis subsidiary, which enables railway workers to plan and safely deliver work on the railways by offering them visual information.

The contract from UK railways will increase RailHub's user base by double to over 30,000 individuals. The large enterprise licencing deal will further support growth in the company’s Rail Technology & Services and Data Analytics/GIS and aid post COVID recovery in its Traffic Data and Events business units.

Thursday- July 29

4. Banco Santander SA (LON: BNC)

Banco Santander SA is a Spain-based multinational retail and commercial bank. The company aims to raise more than €120 billion in green financing initiatives during the 2019-2025 period. The massive surge in demand for housing in the UK and used cars in the US aided Santander Bank’s growth in profits in H1 2021.

Banco Santander, in its half-yearly results, announced profits for the H1 2021 of €4.20 billion (up by 153 per cent), excluding restructuring costs from Q1 2021. The group’s total income was €22.7 billion in H1 2021, up year-on-year by 8 per cent, buoyed mainly by volume growth across all regions. During the period, 52 per cent of sales of the company emanated from digital channels as compared to 44 per cent for the same period in 2020, as the number of customers using digital and mobile channels grew over five million year-on-year.

Friday- July 30

5. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON: IAG)

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) is one of the largest airline groups in the world and boasts a fleet of 533 aircraft.

The group announced building up its flight schedules due to the easing of international air travel restrictions. IAG revealed that it would operate at around 45 per cent passenger capacity between July and September on 2019 levels and intends to ramp up to 75 per cent capacity by 2021-end. The company hopes for an optimistic H2 2021 after recording a loss of €2,035 million for H1 2021, an increase from €4,052 million in H1 2020. The passenger capacity of Q2 was 21.9 per cent of the 2019 level, adversely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions and quarantine requirements. The company announced to ramp up its passenger capacity plans for Q3 to around 45 per cent of 2019 levels. 

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