Business Information Service: This week

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The Independent Online
MONDAY: Half-year pre-tax profits from Abbey National are forecast to slide 10 per cent to pounds 277m for the period to June, hit by an expected surge in Abbey's provision charge from pounds 58m to pounds 130m.

The benefits of cost-cutting measures carried out during 1991 are expected to help push BBA Group's pre- tax profits ahead to pounds 31m ( pounds 26.1m) in the half year to June.

Interim pre-tax profits from Transport Development are expected to fall to pounds 15m ( pounds 16.5m) for the six months to June, reflecting weakened road transport business in the UK and abroad.

The first firm indication of how both the US and UK economies performed in July will be revealed by the respective purchasing managers indices.

The US NAPM index is expected to register a rise from 52.8 per cent in June to 53.7 per cent, suggesting that economic activity increased slightly.

The UK purchasing managers index stood at 50.2 per cent in June, and a fall to below 50 per cent would indicate a further decline in activity.

TUESDAY: National Westminster is forecast to increase pre-tax profits from pounds 101m to pounds 180m in the half year to June as provisions are trimmed and its subsidiaries reverse losses.

UK official reserves for July are expected to show an underlying fall of around dollars 100m ( pounds 52m).

In the US, the July index of leading indicators is expected to show a fall of 0.2 per cent, following the 0.6 per cent rise in June.

WEDNESDAY: Despite a weak international car market, pre-tax profits from GKN, the automotive components and defence equipment engineer, are expected to rise 25 per cent to pounds 60m for the six months to June, helped by lower exceptional costs.

Smith and Nephew, the healthcare and toiletries group, is expected to report higher pre-tax profits of pounds 414m ( pounds 384.3m) in the half year to 30 June.

Six-month results from Standard Chartered are forecast at pounds 78m, down 6 per cent in the period to June.

Interim pre-tax profits from TI Group, the electronics and engineering concern, are expected to show a slight fall from pounds 54.2m to pounds 53m in the six months to June.

Market attention will be firmly focused on Washington, where Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady are both due to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on progress on the savings and loans industry bail-out. The Congressional budget office releases its baseline budget estimates for 1992-93, and the Federal Reserve releases its Tan Book summarising the regional economic conditions

THURSDAY: A sizeable property exposure is likely to increase provisions at Barclays Bank where pre-tax profits are forecast to fall from pounds 378m to pounds 150m for the six months to June.

Nine months pre-tax profits from BOC Group are expected to show a 9 per cent improvement to pounds 250m for the period to June.

British Petroleum is anticipated to reveal heavy provisions for cost cutting. On a replacement cost basis income is forecast to fall from pounds 313m to pounds 60m, and from pounds 243m to pounds 240m on a historical cost basis.

FRIDAY: The week ends with the latest US employment figures. For July, analysts expect non-farm payrolls to have recovered most of the June losses, rising by 109,000 against the 117,000 fall. Manufacturing payrolls are thought to have risen by 10,000 compared with a fall of 58,000 in June, while the unemployment rate is expected to fall from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent.

Company results: County NatWest Woodmac. Median economic forecasts: MMS International.

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