GLOBAL ratings agency Fitch left its rating for Irish government bonds at BBB+ and maintained its stable outlook. It said the country has progressed further with its fiscal consolidation programme and solidified its market access in 2013.
But it warned: "Persistent vulnerabilities remain in the banking sector despite the public recapitalisation of the system to high capital ratios in 2011 and the authorities' renewed efforts to accelerate mortgage resolution."
AVERAGE HOTEL SPENDS
THE average Irish tourist spent €114 per night on hotel rooms when travelling abroad in the first six months of 2013, according to the latest Hotels.com price index, compared with €83 at home.
On a global scale, the Swiss were the biggest spenders when travelling overseas, paying an average of €136 per night, while the Norwegians came a close second spending €133 – the same as the Americans and the Japanese.
A NEW investment in flight-comparison website Skyscanner has valued the company at €588m. This figure was confirmed after Sequoia Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital group, took a stake in Edinburgh-based Skyscanner, whose largest investor is still Scottish Equity Partners.
The investment comes during a period of rapid growth for the Edinburgh-based company, which plans to double its workforce to 500 staff over the next year after a 65pc jump in revenues last year to £33.5m (€40m).
THE European Commission (EC) said it was examining whether to regulate crowdfunding, an alternative source of financing via the internet, and has started to gather views from industry and citizens.
Although any legislation would be unlikely to come before 2015, after the changeover of commissioners in charge of the EU's executive, the launch of the consultation signals a continued desire to extend EU rules in finance.
AIRBUS EXPORT FEARS
EUROPEAN plane manufacturer Airbus has pledged to help address financial difficulties faced by core European buyers of its A400M airlifter, as it tries to prevent some of the countries poaching its exports by reselling aircraft they cannot afford.
Airbus fears plans by some customers will frustrate its hopes of producing extra planes for export.