BUSINESS LIVE: Kingfisher poaches British Land CFO; Hikma buys Xellia assets; AstraZeneca gains US approval

Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Kingfisher, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, and Shawbrook Bank. Read the Monday 17 June Business Live blog below.

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Pubs vanishing faster than expected as drinkers tighten their belts

The number of pubs disappearing from communities across England and Wales jumped a third over the first months of 2024 amid pressure on punters’ budgets, according to figures.

Official Government statistics have revealed 239 pubs were demolished or converted for other uses over the three months to March 31.

Founder of Melrose to list new firm on London’s junior stock market

The founder of aerospace technology group Melrose Industries is set to list a new firm on London’s junior stock market.

Former boss Simon Peckham is leading plans to launch Rosebank Industries on the AIM sub-market for smaller firms. And there are talks to raise more than £40m from institutional investors.

Interest rate cut hopes scuppered by election

Hopes of a pre-election rate cut are set to be dashed this week as economists warn that lower borrowing costs later this summer are ‘not a done deal’ either.

The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates at 5.25 per cent when its Monetary Policy Committee meets on 20 June.

Green shoots for manufacturing as output grows

British manufacturers’ confidence is at its highest level in a decade as businesses hail ‘concrete signs’ of an economic turnaround.

A closely watched survey of firms has revealed a rebound in companies’ hopes about their growth prospects.