FREE seminars for people considering getting a mortgage are to be run by the Irish Mortgage Corporation at its offices on Thursday, at 118 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin, at 6.30pm.
The Irish Mortgage Corporation said it had seen a 33pc rise in mortgage inquiries last year, compared with 2011. The seminars are aimed at first-time buyers, trader-uppers and mortgage holders who are struggling to keep up repayments. The seminar will set out the options available for each buyer category.
PIGS banks drop sovereign debt
SPANISH and Italian banks reduced their government debt holdings in December, data from the European Central Bank showed. Spanish banks cut €4.3bn from their government bond holdings after a €4.4bn increase in November. Their total sovereign holdings, adjusted by market value, fell to €256.5bn.
Italian banks shed a net €13.5bn of government bonds, with their total value falling to €356.7bn. Greek banks also reduced their government debt holdings by €4.3bn to €20.1bn, while Portuguese banks cut their government debt exposure by €2bn, the data showed.
Toyota sales drive it back to the top
TOYOTA is once again the world's top car manufacturer. Toyota released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year, with the total coming in at a record 9.748 million vehicles. This was a larger number than the estimate it had given last month of about 9.7 million vehicles. It was already clear that Toyota had dethroned General Motors as the Detroit-based car maker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles.
Fitch upgrades 'Big Two' banks
RATING agancy Fitch has upgraded Bank of Ireland and AIB's 'viability ratings' but cut the same rating for Permanent TSB.
Viability ratings are one of the measures considered in the main issuer default ratings of the banks. They are based on the stand-alone credibility of each bank.
Fitch raised the viability rating for Bank of Ireland by one notch to 'B'. The rating for AIB was raised to 'B-'.
The upgrades reflects the significant recapitalisation of the two banks and "solid progress both banks have made in deleveraging their balance sheets," Fitch said.
Permanent TSB's rating was cut to 'CC' because the bank is likely to breach its minimum capital requirements unless it receives approval for its restructuring plan, Fitch said.