independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Eircom to share fast broadband

Eircom must make the new fibre optic cable network available to other phone companies, the communications regulator ComReg said yesterday. Eircom welcomed the decision, which will allow the company to charge smaller operators wholesale prices for access to the network.

Eircom emerged from bankruptcy in June and is spending €400m rolling out the new infrastructure to bring fast broadband to one million homes by the end of next year. ComReg said the new infrastructure had to be available to licensed operators, because of Eircom's significant market power.

Fitch says ESB's outlook 'stable'

Rating agency Fitch has revised the ESB's credit outlook to "stable" from "negative" and kept the semi-state company's credit rating at BBB+. ESB welcomed the announcement. The rating of ESB-owned Northern Ireland Electricity was also revised to BBB+ (Stable Outlook) to reflect its ties to the parent company.

Donal Flynn, ESB finance director, said: "The revised outlook for ESB demonstrates Fitch ratings' confidence in our financial metrics and future outlook and recognises the progress that we have made in reducing our cost base. It will help to drive investor and financial market confidence and assist ESB in securing capital to fund future investments in electricity infrastructure."

Social housing rate to pick up

HOUSING Minister Jan O'Sullivan has said she expects a significant increase in the number of NAMA properties selected and delivered for social housing this year.

"In the past 12 months, Environment Minister Phil Hogan and I have worked closely with all parties, including the Housing Agency, local authorities, the Approved Housing Bodies and NAMA, to overcome the legal and other obstacles that were impeding the availability of suitable properties for social housing," Ms O'Sullivan said.

Takeover of Grupo Modelo blocked

US authorities moved yesterday to block Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20bn (€14.7bn) acquisition of Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer, arguing that the deal would lead to price increases, harm consumers and deter competition.

Shares in AB InBev were down 6pc to $87.92 in midday trading.

Irish Independent

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