Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bank of Ireland's Boucher joins board of Greek bank backed by Wilbur Ross

Richie Boucher. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Richie Boucher. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

European shares rose yesterday, led higher by bank stocks, with Britain's blue chip index finishing at an all-time high after extending a record winning streak to 14 days.

In Dublin, the Iseq index rose 0.81pc to 6,658.95. Bank of Ireland was among the gainers, up 3.33pc to 24.8 pence a share.

The bank said yesterday that chief executive Richie Boucher had been appointed to the board of Eurobank Ergasias, Greece's third biggest lender and, like Bank of Ireland, backed after the Crash by Wilbur Ross, the incoming US Commerce Secretary.

Eurobank Ergasias's biggest shareholder is Prem Watsa's Fairfax group, also a post-Crash Bank of Ireland investor and a current shareholder.

Elsewhere, the European banking index was the top sectoral gainer, up 2pc, helped by strong earnings from large lenders in the US and the outlook for higher interest rates in the world's largest economy.

In the US, big banks' results show they benefited from a lift in markets since November, sparked by a view that US president elect Donald Trump will boost the economy with tax cuts and higher spending.

"With the (US Federal Reserve) having raised rates last month and is expected to undertake additional hikes in 2017, banks are gaining on popularity again between investors, especially as many funds are still underweight this sector," Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets, said. Elsewhere, Europe's carmaker index rose 0.8pc but slipped from earlier highs after reports that French prosecutors were investigating Renault over suspected emissions cheating. It sent shares in the French car maker down 2.9pc.

In a strong day for Italian stocks, Exor - which has a stake in Fiat - rose more than 6pc. UBI Banca surged 9.6pc, after HSBC raised its target price for the stock.

Irish Independent

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