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Sunday 31 August 2014

French government in Alstom deal

Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30

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General Electric is reportedly in talks to buy Alstom SA, the French builder of power plants and transmission equipment
General Electric is reportedly in talks to buy Alstom SA, the French builder of power plants and transmission equipment

THE French government will buy a 20pc stake in Alstom SA, saying General Electric Co will only be allowed to buy the French engineering company's energy assets with the state's involvement.

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The move may end a takeover battle between GE and Siemens AG for Alstom's energy assets. Both GE chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt and Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser met several times with government officials since GE unveiled its bid.

NORTHERN LOANS SOLD

THE sale by NAMA of a massive portfolio of Northern Irish loans to Cerberus has completed.

It is the largest single transaction closed by NAMA to date and brings the agency a step closer to its goal of winding down. The loan portfolio, codenamed Project Eagle, had a par value of $4.5bn (€5.4bn).

The assets are scattered round the North and the Republic, with some overseas, but all were attached to Northern debtors.

STERLING FLYING HIGH

THE pound advanced to the strongest level in five-and-a-half years against the dollar this week as bets the Bank of England is moving closer to increasing its benchmark interest rate fuelled demand for the UK currency.

Sterling reached a 20-month high versus the euro. It has gained against all but one of its 16 major peers since BOE governor Mark Carney said on June 12 that the first rate increase "could happen sooner than markets currently expect".

TROUBLE IN BULGARIA

Bulgaria's central bank seized a lender part-owned by Russia's VTB Group after it ran out of funds and stopped all operations, spurring the biggest slump in the nation's stock index in 16 months.

The management team of Corporate Commercial Bank AD, Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender, was suspended and two administrators appointed to run operations for three months, central bank governor Ivan Iskrov said

IMF LENDING MOVE

THE International Monetary Fund is considering creating a new way for indebted countries to get large loans and dropping a exception to its lending rules that enabled Greece to obtain a loan in 2010 without having to first restructure its debt.

The exemption was established at the start of the European debt crisis to prevent contagion by allowing some nations to receive financing even though the fund could not say that their debt was sustainable.

Irish Independent

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