Week ahead

Scale-up advice and borrowing costs on agenda

Shane Corstorphine
Shane Corstorphine: speaking at Invest2Scale event

A group of international investors will share their insights on how Scottish companies can maximise their ambitions at the first of two scale-up events this week.

Invest2Scale is a joint initiative by MBM Commercial, CT, Eden Scott, and Angel Capital Scotland (formerly LINC Scotland).

It will showcase the fintech and space sectors, and feature a session on hiring for scale while there is a ‘conversation’ with former Skyscanner executive Shane Corstorphine.

Among the investors attending the event at the Virgin Hotel, Edinburgh, on Tuesday are Rose Vitale, the founder of FundHER World Capital; Aman Verjee from the Silicon Valley firm Practical Venture Capital; Jane Ge, climate policy expert and managing partner of Vectors Capital; and Tibor Luka, the CEO and founder of Geneva-based Bluecap.

The four guests will also take part in a week-long visit across Scotland with other global investors as part of the International Scottish Investment Delegation. The mission is a collaboration involving Scottish Development International (SDI), the Scottish Government, Techscaler and Sustainable Alpha.

A second scale-up event takes place on Friday. The Hunter Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish National Investment Bank, will host its inaugural ‘Founders Conference – Scaling Up Scotland’ at Gleneagles Hotel.

It features a line-up of speakers including Matthew Moulding of Manchester-based ecommerce company THG and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, co-founder of Vaccitech.

Tech specialists get a dose of advice and support at the Digital DNA conference and Censis Summit as part of Scottish International Week, while the Scottish Tourism Alliance brings together industry delegates on Tuesday.

It is a busy week for company result and updates, dominated by Shell, BP, HSBC, Next, BT, Aston Martin, Weir Group and Sainsbury’s, while on Thursday the Bank of England is widely expected to leave interest rates on hold at 5.25%.

Like the US Federal Reserve, which also announces its next move this week, the Bank of England is talking ‘higher for longer’ but markets currently expect one more hike at the most before a first cut in late 2024.

Shell is once more the biggest stock in the FTSE 100 by market capitalisation, not least because its shares trade at a new all-time high. This surge back to the top spot rests on two trends, according to analysts at AJ Bell – chief executive Wael Sawan’s aim to maximise the value of existing assets, and a surge in the oil price.

Oil had already turned higher before the war in Gaza, as markets began to wrestle with the concept that the renewables transition could take longer than expected or hoped,” says the analyst team.

Analysts expect BP to report underlying net profits of $4 billion, down from $8.2 billion a year earlier, although attention is likely to focus on the strategic direction after the abrupt resignation of Bernard Looney as chief executive last month.

City analysts expect Sainsbury’s to have continued to trade well during the first half after a solid start to the year

For next year the supermarket chain expects underlying profit before tax to be between £640 million and £700m.

Analysts say BT should deliver another rise in revenue when it announces its interim results. The telecoms business is forecast to report revenue up by 1.6% to £5.2bn in the second quarter, supported by price increases at Openreach, its broadband infrastructure business

Market diary

Monday 30 October

  • Trading statements or quarterly results from HSBC, Pearson, Glencore and Computacenter
  • UK mortgage approvals

Tuesday 31 October

  • Trading statements or quarterly results from BP, Coca-Cola HBC, Spectris and Elementis
  • BRC UK shop price index
  • Chinese purchasing managers’ indices for manufacturing and services industries
  • EU inflation

Wednesday 1 November

  • Trading statements or quarterly results from GSK, Next, Weir, Smurfit Kappa and Aston Martin Lagonda
  • Purchasing managers index for manufacturing industries

Thursday 2 November

  • First-half results from BTSainsbury, Shell and Trainline
  • Trading statements or quarterly results from Smith & Nephew, Entain, Haleon, Howden Joinery, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, OSB, TI Fluid Systems and Derwent London

Friday 3 November

  • US non-farm payrolls, unemployment rate and wage growth

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