Share price up after rumours RBS' Sir Philip Hampton "will be named GSK chairman before the weekend"

Emma Haslett
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Hampton will have to give up his job as RBS chairman to take on the role at GSK (Source: Getty)

Shares in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline rose slightly in late afternoon trading after it emerged Sir Philip Hampton is likely to be named as its new chairman.

Shares climbed 0.2 per cent to 1,425p, having spent the afternoon around the 1,418p mark.

GSK is likely to announce Hampton's move in the next two days - such a large job would be mean he eventually has to give up his role as RBS chairman. However, it is thought Hampton would join GSK's board as non-executive director towards the end of the year, taking over from current chairman Sir Christopher Gent in early summer.

The news comes just days after GSK was fined £300m by Chinese authorities for bribery. The company has had a challenging few months in the country, with several senior executives being accused of bribery.

Shares in the company have fallen 11.3 per cent over the past year: alongside its problems in China, in July it issued a profit warning after its respiratory arm struggled to maintain its dominance in the market.

Hampton is no stranger to fire-fighting: he was parachuted into RBS alongside former chief executive Stephen Hester in 2009 to help turn around the bank.

Since then, it has radically restructured, shrinking the size of its investment arm in favour of a greater focus on retail banking. Although the bank, which is 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has yet to be re-privatised, earlier this year it posted results showing pre-tax profits are likely to double to £2.65bn in the first half of the year.

In a statement, GSK remained tight-lipped, saying merely that "succession planning for the chairman is well underway".

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