Barclays calms investors with solid update

Barclays soothed anxious shareholders yesterday, signalling that it expected to nudge underlying annual profits higher to a record £7.1 billion, in spite of its investment banking writedowns.

Relieved dealers marked the bank’s shares 5 per cent higher to 524p, boosting its market value by £1.8 billion. Britain’s third-largest bank reported progress in most areas outside investment banking.

Bad debts on unsecured credit shrank and they were negligible on mortgages, the bank said. Profits so far this year in credit cards, business banking, international banking and asset management were all up in the first nine months, compared with the same period in 2006.

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