Categorized as: Syndicated News

Sentiment towards savings down in April – Nationwide UK / ESRI survey

Consumer sentiment towards saving fell slightly in April, according to the latest Nationwide UK (Ireland) / ESRI Savings Index.

The monthly measure of people’s attitudes towards saving was 101 in April – down one point from the figure recorded in March.

The majority of those surveyed – 60% – said Government policy was discouraging people from saving, with just a quarter believing that now was a good time to save.

Noonan dismisses fears of housing bubble

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said assisting first-time buyers to secure mortgages will help stimulate the construction sector and has dismissed speculation it could fuel another bubble. Reacting to reports that the Government would in effect be subsidising mortgages, Mr Noonan said the current system was preventing young couples from getting on the property ladder.

His comments came ahead of today’s launch of the Government’s strategy for a renewed …

Construction plan won’t lead to property bubble – Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said plans to boost the construction sector will not lead to a property bubble.

Mr Noonan was speaking ahead of a Government announcement today of a package of measures aimed at stimulating activity in the building industry. He said more houses were needed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the initiatives should give fresh hope to the 100,000 skilled construction workers on the live register.

Today’s announcement …

Consumer confidence hits seven year high

CONSUMER confidence rose again last month to hit a seven-year high.

The increase is despite household finances being under continued pressure, especially with the advent of water charges.

KBC Bank and the Economic and Social Research Institute said the index of consumer sentiment jumped to 87.3 in April, from 83.1 in the previous month.

This is the highest level since January 2007.

But economist with KBC Bank Austin Hughes warned …

European shares rise sharply to six year high

European shares rose on Tuesday, with a key regional index making fresh six-year highs, as a rally in U.S. shares and upbeat updates from blue-chips such as steelmaker ThyssenKrupp supported risk appetite.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 percent at 1,367.60 points, its highest level since May 2008. Britain’s FTSE was up 0.2 percent after briefly hitting its highest point in roughly a year.

Shares in Germany’s ThyssenKrupp …

NAMA agrees €1.8bn Project Tower deal with Blackstone

NAMA has formally announced the sale of its €1.8bn “Project Tower” loan portfolio to Blackstone.

The transaction, which had been well flagged, is expected to be completed this week.

The “Tower portfolio” is made up of loans, property and development linked to Cork developer Michael O’Flynn’s O’Flynn Group, and has a face value of €1.8 bn.

Michael O’Flynn, managing director of the O’Flynn group, welcomed the sale.

“As a strong …

How to dodge EU ‘bullies’ – keep a grip on finances

I remember interviewing the late Brian Lenihan at the Department of Finance in early November 2010. After the interview we chatted and he asked how I thought the markets had received news that some holders of subordinate bonds in Irish Nationwide were going to sue the State because the bank was about to impose haircuts on them.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was one of them. “Imagine the size of the …

Revenue trawls through thousands of credit card bills to trace tax cheats

TAX officials are trawling through hundreds of thousands of credit card bills to find tax cheats.

The Revenue Commissioners have obtained details of 206,000 foreign credit cards and debit cards held by Irish residents, and tax officials are now poring through one million transactions to catch cheats secretly bringing undeclared income into the country.

The taxman wants to uncover people moving undeclared income back into Ireland from tax havens such …

Construction gets boost as growth recorded for 10th month in a row

Construction continued to grow in April as business confidence in the sector is at its strongest since June 2000, according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index.

The monthly construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from Ulster posted an overall score of 63.5 points for April, up from a reading of 60.2 points in March. A level above 50 points indicates expansion.

“The results of the April survey of the …

Recovery ‘hinges on credit for SMEs and construction sector

Dealing with non-performing loans and providing credit to SMEs and the construction sector is crucial to ensuring Ireland’s economic recovery can be sustained, the European Commission has warned. It also fears that a failure to kick-start credit flows could hamper the supply of new homes.