Business and City in Brief

MERGER 'COULD COST VOLVO 10,000 JOBS'

The Renault-Volvo merger could result in up to 10,000 job losses in Sweden as assembly work and component contracts are switched to lower-cost sites in France and elsewhere, according to a report by British academics.

The team, led by Karel Williams of the University of Manchester and Colin Haslam from the University of East London, argues that Swedish workers are most vulnerable because of their higher wages, shorter working hours and better social benefits.

GAS BREAK-UP BACKED

Eight in ten consumers believe that abolishing British Gas's monopoly in domestic supplies would bring lower prices, according to a survey carried out by ICM for independent gas supply companies.

HOUSING UPTURN

A slow upturn in the housing market is spreading from the South of the country, with home-owners more confident of trading up and repossessions down, according to a survey by National Westminster Bank.

PATENT CHALLENGE

Medeva, the troubled drugs group, faces a challenge over its hepatitis B vaccine, Hepa-Gene- 3, in a case that opens in the High Court today. Biogen, a US group claims Hepa-Gene-3 infringes the patent on its own hepatitis B vaccine, which is licensed to SmithKline Beecham and Merck.

NORTH WEST CONTRACT

North West Water is sharing in a pounds 285m contract to upgrade water and sewerage services in Mexico City. Later stages of the project may be worth a further pounds 100m.

TODAY: 4.10.93

UK credit business (Aug); monetary statistics - including bank and building society balance sheets, bank and building society sterling, lending and M4 quarterly sectoral analysis (Aug) and M0 figures (Sep); bill turnover statistics (Aug); sterling commercial paper (Aug); money market statistics (Aug); London sterling certificates of deposit (Aug); US construction spending (Aug).

Interims: Bilton, Bisichi Mining, BLP Group, Capital & Regional Properties, Eidos, Jove Investment Trust, London & Associated Investment Trust, North British Canadian Investment Company, QS Holdings.

TOMORROW:: 5.10.93

UK official reserves (Sep); housing starts and completions (Aug); house renovations (Q2).

Interims: Baillie Gifford Technology, Doeflex, Fine Decor, Johnston Group, Silentnight Holdings, Walker Greenbank.

Finals: Amstrad, A Beckman, James Halstead, Raine, Barry Wehmiller.

WEDNESDAY: 6.10.93

UK Overseas travel and tourism (July); advance energy statistics (June-Aug).

Interims: Abbott Mead Vickers, Bank of Scotland, Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mining, David Brown, Durban Roodepoort Deep, East Rand Property Mines, Grampian Holdings, Harmony Gold Mining, Hewden Stuart, Kleinwort Endowment Pol, Austin Reed, Time Products.

Finals: Ex-Lands, Manchester United, Paramount.

THURSDAY: 7.10.93

Details of UK employment, unemployment, earnings, prices and other indicators; cyclical indicators for the UK economy (Aug - first estimate).

Interims: Abbeycrest, Anglo American Investment Trust, Beradin Holdings, Campari International, Clarke Nickolls & Coombs, Etam, Higgs & Hill, T J Hughes, Lamont Holdings, London & Overseas Freighter, MR Data Management, Padan Senang, Singapore Rubber. Finals: Burn Stewart Distillers, Galliford, Lloyds Chemists, Merivale Moore, Prestwick Holdings.

FRIDAY: 8.10.93

US non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate (Sep).

Interims: A Cohen & Co, Hi- Tec Sports.

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