A pair of FTSE 100 financial services companies will draw much attention on Wednesday, with Standard Chartered and Friends Life reporting together with a smattering of mid-caps.
The market will be keenly watching Standard Chartered results, released at 09.15, after management signaled on 26 June that "this has been a challenging first half" but investors will be hoping for signs of an upturn and and early indication from the strategic review.
The group is not expected to show much significant change, but the market will be looking for clues on trading conditions in Asia, bad loans, currencies, regulatory costs and individual country performance.
Broker Numis forecasts a 22% reduction in underlying pre-tax profit to $3.2bn, based on a 6% income decline to $9.15bn, costs up 1% and an 18% rise in impairments to $862m.
On Friends Life, Berenberg said the company is "currently fully valued" but it believes the low level of leverage leaves management with options to drive outperformance.
"Key to this is a transition to a closed book consolidation model, but in the interim we estimate that a disposal of FPI could result in a further 37p being returned to shareholders, while an exit from the UK go-to-market operations could add 34p to valuation. While the current strategy remains in place we retain our Hold recommendation, but see considerable upside should management look to drive strategic change."
On the FTSE 250, Ferrexpo, Interserve and Grainger report.
With Grainger expected to be reporting flat underlying profits, Interserve looks most interesting, with results containing a maiden contribution from the acquisition of Initial.
Numis, which has the stock as one of its top picks on attractive organic and acquisitive growth potential, said: "UK and Middle Eastern construction are likely to have been more sedate but showing some signs of improvement."
On Ferrexpo, Credit Suisse estimate EBITDA of $258m in line year on year, with a weaker currency offsetting the fall in the iron ore price.
There may be some indications in results about three factors of interest at the Swiss headquartered iron ore company: a pick-up in cost inflation, tariffs and taxes as seen in previous 'post devaluation' periods; VAT recovery; and progress on Ukraine's Yeristovo Mine concentrator expansion project.
Wednesday August 06
Ferrexpo, Friends Life Group, Interserve, Johnston Press, Legal & General Group, SABMiller, Standard Chartered, StatPro Group
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust, Anglo American, Avon Rubber, Blue Capital Global Reinsurance Fund Ltd (DI), Custodian Reit , Hiscox Ltd (CDI), Impellam Group, Inchcape, Independent Inv Trust, Japan Residential Investment Co Ltd., Jupiter Fund Management , Maven Income & Growth 3 VCT, Maven Income and Growth VCT 5, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Reed Elsevier, Spirent Communications, St. Modwen Properties, Tyman
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Barclays, Boeing Co, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM Corp., JPMorgan Claverhouse Inv Trust, Unilever
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Balance of Trade (US) (13:30)
Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)
Factory Orders (GER) (11:00)
MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)
PMI Construction (GER) (08:30)
PMI Retail (EU) (09:10)
PMI Retail (GER) (09:10)
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Aberforth Geared Income Trust, Manchester & London Investment Trust
Hongkong Land Holding Ltd. (Sing.Reg), India Capital Growth Fund Ltd.
Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., European Convergence Development Co, Kodal Minerals , Renewable Energy Holdings
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BRC Shop Price Index (00:01)
Industrial Production (09:30)
Manufacturing Production (09:30)
New Car Registrations (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Mitie Group, Ventus 2 VCT, Ventus 2 VCT 'C' Shares, Ventus VCT, Ventus VCT 'C' Shares, Vodafone Group
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust, Advanced Computer Software Group, Creston, ECO Animal Health Group, Maven Income And Growth VCT 6 , Northern Bear, Pennon Group, QinetiQ Group, RPC Group, SABMiller, Solid State, Synergy Health