Business World

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Business News in sixty seconds with Colm Kelpie

Draghi shows his hand as ECB reveals plan to revive eurozone

Published 08/06/2014 | 02:30

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European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Dragh
European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Dragh

THE story for most of last week was always going to be what was Mario Draghi going to do. All eyes were on the European Central Bank (ECB) president and what action he would take to stem the threat of deflation.

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On Thursday, he answered those questions.

He announced a cut in ECB interest rates to record lows and a series of other measures to pump money into the sluggish eurozone economy.

And he didn't rule out launching a quantitative easing, asset-buying programme to boost the economy.

The question now is whether the new measures will have any impact.

CHINA AIR ROUTE 'IN TWO YEARS'

THERE could be a direct air link between Dublin and China within the next two years. That's according to the chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority Kevin Toland who said getting direct connectivity into Asia was critically important.

The connection would mark the first direct scheduled service between Ireland and Asia. The airport is also interested in securing direct connectivity to other countries in Africa, as well as the United States.

TESCO UPBEAT DESPITE SALES DIP

IT wasn't a good week for Tesco in Ireland, but the supermarket giant is remaining upbeat.

It claimed that its performance here was starting to improve despite like-for-like sales falling 5.5 per cent in the first quarter.

Releasing first-quarter financial results last week, Tesco said that the grocery market in Ireland remained "intensely competitive with high levels of untargeted couponing".

The sales decline in Ireland follows a 6.4 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in Ireland for Tesco during its previous quarter.

€24M WINDFALL FOR ARDAGH BOSS

DUBLIN financier Paul Coulson, the head of glass maker Ardagh, is set for a €24m summer windfall as the company plans to return €73m to shareholders.

The company is raising $1bn of payment in kind notes and will use part of the proceeds to pay the dividend.

Mr Coulson and his family own over 33 per cent of Ardagh, both directly and also through his Yeoman investment vehicle.

It's the second time in three years that Mr Coulson and other senior Ardagh executives have reaped millions from a refinancing at the group.

IMF WARNS UK ON HOUSE PRICES

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday warned more must be done to contain rising house prices as increased indebtedness may pose a risk to economic recovery. No, it wasn't about the Dublin market or Ireland, but the UK.

In its latest report on the UK economy, the IMF said widening house-price inflation and an increase in the size of new mortgages has made households more vulnerable to interest rate shocks, while adding there were "few of the typical" signs of a bubble.

Action could include limiting the proportion of high loan-to-income mortgages lenders can issue, and modifying or even scrapping the government's Help to Buy programme.

Sunday Indo Business

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