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Barclays bank set to unveil profits increase

With Barclays bank set to announce half-year figures there is speculation in the city of a near 30% increase in first-half profits - much of it emanating from the company's investment banking division. The investment division has been very buoyant due to opportunities in the market place which have increased corporate debt sale fees and allowed the division to even take a profit on exchanging the company's own bonds.

It is expected that net income will rise to around £2.2 billion in the first half which is a healthy rise from the £1.72 billion reported last year. It is interesting Barclays bank was one of the few UK banks which rejected the UK government's offer of an investment and indeed looked to the Middle East for new backers. While this operation did to some extent backfire on the company, leaving the directors open to criticism for the cost of borrowing against the offer by the government, it has allowed the company to operate outside of the government instigated straitjacket worn by the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds bank.

There is also speculation Barclays could and use these buoyant figures to announce further write-downs on the company's loan book, with many experts believing a number of significant bad debts have yet to be written off.

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