BIG SPENDERS BOOST MASTERCARD

MASTERCARD’S fourth-quarter profit rose more than expected, as consumers around the world spent more money using credit and debit cards. The world’s second-largest credit and debit card network, headed by Ajay Banga (above), reported a quarterly profit of $415m (£257m), or $3.16 per share, compared with $294m, or $2.24 per share, a year earlier.