Home Estate Planning Week ahead: BP’s strategy under new chief, UBS’ Credit Suisse integration update

Week ahead: BP’s strategy under new chief, UBS’ Credit Suisse integration update

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Markets are bracing for full-year results from BP and UBS this week, while a slew of economic data will shed light on the performance of the West’s services sector.

The oil and gas giant’s fourth-quarter earnings, due to be revealed on Tuesday, are expected to take a hit from falling gas prices and higher costs tied to the Red Sea crisis; triggered by Houthi rebel attacks on commercial shipping.

Investors will look to see if new permanent chief executive Murray Auchincloss signals any change from his predecessor Bernard Looney’s strategy. The company is under pressure from activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners to scale back its green pledges.

Switzerland-based bank UBS is due to report its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday. The lender acquired troubled domestic rival Credit Suisse last year and is battling high costs as it winds down the latter’s unprofitable businesses while fully integrating its key Swiss banking unit by the end of 2026.

UBS is expected to lay out its integration strategy in more detail this week, with investors keen to see an improvement in the group’s profitability compared with the previous quarter.

Monday will see the West’s services sector in the spotlight with PMI numbers from Germany, Europe and the US.

The figures will give insight into inflationary pressures within the sector, the likelihood of near-term interest rate cuts and how supply chains are being impacted by the situation in the Red Sea.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will meet on Tuesday, with policymakers expected to hold interest rates at 4.35 per cent after last raising them in November. It, alongside other central banks, has flagged services inflation as a continued concern.

Central banks in Thailand and India will also meet this week. Policymakers in Thailand are under political pressure from the country’s prime minister to lower rates, while Indian rate-setters are expected to make cuts.

Key economic figures are expected from Asia ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, including inflation data from mainland China on Wednesday.

Other features in the corporate news diary this week include telecoms giant Vodafone’s third-quarter results on Monday and ice cream and deodorant maker Unilever’s fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

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