THE WEEK AHEAD

COMPANY NEWS
● The week’s slew of annual reports will begin on Monday. Hammerson, which invests in and develops shopping centres, retail parks and offices throughout Europe, will kick things off.

● Wednesday will see investment management company Henderson Group release its full-year results.

● Part-nationalised banks RBS and Lloyds will report their annual performances on Thursday and Friday respectively.

● Thursday will also see More Than parent company RSA Insurance announce its fourth quarter profits on Thursday. It is expected that they will be hit by claims resulting from the winter freeze.

● Energy giant Centrica is expected to announce a 29 per cent rise in annual profits on Thursday.

● Bookmakers William Hill will be betting on good results when they announce their profits on Friday.

● In other gambling news, Rank Group will be hoping for a full house of profits from its turnaround of Mecca Bingo when they round out the week’s annual reports on Friday.

MARKET NEWS
● Tomorrow, the Office for National Statistics will release producer prices and public sector finance data.

● On Wednesday, the US Department of Housing will release a report of sales of existing homes in January.

● Wednesday will also see the release of minutes by the Bank of England from February’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

● On Thursday, European Union economic confidence data for February will be released along with industrial confidence data for the month.

POLITICAL NEWS
● The House of Commons will not be sitting this week as it is closed for half term. MPs will be back to play next week.

● Ireland will be going to the ballot box on Friday where it is expected that independents will make a strong showing.

● South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will deliver his budget speech in the Cape Town parliament on Wednesday. Economists are not expecting any significant changes to tax rates.

● Banks will re-open in the Ivory Coast on Monday, having been nationalised by Laurent Gbagbo, who still clings on to power.