Safeway's share rating was improved from 'reduce' to 'neutral' today (8 September) following the departure of Allan Leighton from his post as CEO for Wal-Mart Stores in Europe.

Sara Carter, Merrill analyst, explained: "We think leaving Allan Leighton leaving is a bit of a blow for Asda, and we think that Safeway will be a beneficiary. (So) it's not advisable to stick with a 'reduce' recommendation."