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The outlook for the week

In what is expected to be an otherwise quiet week for corporate news, two of Switzerland's most successful medical technology companies are reporting figures.

Disetronic, founded in 1984, is a leading manufacturer of insulin pump products and other disposable medical goods.

The Burgdorf-based company has consistently posted net profit and sales increases of 25 to 30 per cent and analysts expect the same kind of numbers when first half figures are released on Tuesday.

The stock is expensive but most analysts think the company's potential to continue growing is good, and are recommending investors to buy its shares.

Phonak is another darling of Switzerland's medical technology sector. Founded in 1985, Phonak is active in the development, production, sale and servicing of hearing instruments and related products. It is one of the world's leading hearing aid manufacturers.

It recently announced its intention to buy its Canadian competitor, Unitron, in a SFr160 million ($89.9 million) deal that will propel Phonak into second place in the global market.

When the company releases its results this week, analysts expect a 140 per cent increase in net profit. Shares in the company have some potential for growth but have already increased 130 per cent this year, outperforming the Swiss Market Index by roughly 100 per cent.

Market speculation surrounding Swissair is expected to continue unabated this week.

Its parent company, SAir holds a meeting to review corporate strategy this week and although no decisions are expected to be released, traders will be paying close attention to any signals.

SAir's shares took off last week on reports that it was to be sold off. The company quickly issued a denial, but analysts believe that one of its big shareholders, Credit Suisse, wants to withdraw to concentrate on its banking activities.

The currency markets will remain fixed on the euro this week. The single currency has stabilised this month as the European Central Bank (ECB) has shown itself more willing to intervene on the markets.

The ECB will now be hoping for an upswing against the currencies of its main competitors.

by Michael Hollingdale

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