>> Barclays bid to slim down it's operations, hitting profits. The British lender posting half yearly pre-tax profit of 2 billion pounds. That's versus 2.6 billion a year ago. Reuters banking correspondent Lawrence White says the cost of selling and shrinking the bank's unwanted assets has taken its toll.>> The decline is largely driven by a 1.9 billion loss in the business that Barkley's calls non-core, which is basically the house for everything that it doesn't want anymore.
As it sells those assets in a very difficult market environment, it's having to accept low prices, so this is really the shrinking pains if you're having to reduce the banks.>> Barclays booking a 372 million pounds loss with French retail banking business. Other assets out for sale include most of the banks stake in it's Africa unit.
And it's Barclay called consumer payments business in Spain and Portugal. Even so, shares traded higher on Friday, investors still happy with the performance of the group's core businesses.>> Beyond those headline numbers, the actual underlying business of Barclays focused on the UK bank, and a UK to US corporate investment bank, performed reasonably well against a tough market backdrop.
The investment bank saw a 9.5% return on equity, which is actually pretty good by modern standards.>> The CEO also playing down fears over Brexit blues. Jess Daily telling investors he doesn't expect a UK recession and is sticking to full year forecasts, but his optimism will face another test next week if the Bank of England decides to cut interest rates as expected.