Wednesday 20 September 2017

Senior debt upgraded

MOODY's has upgraded the government-backed senior debt of AIB, EBS, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

The ratings giant upgraded them to Baa1 from Baa3.

Moodys said the change to the rating for the banks came as a result of the latest upgrade of government debt.

Yesterday's upgrade comes just weeks after Moody's last upgraded Ireland's government debt by more than expected in a further sign of investor confidence in the country.

The agency's reasons for upgrading Ireland included the prospect that the country would be able to deal with its debt would be dealt with quicker than expected, the improvement in the property market leading to rapid sales by NAMA and IBRC, and the country's improved credit position.

FALL IN UK HOME LOANS

UK mortgages approved by banks fell to an eight-month low in April, adding to signs of a possible slowing in the housing market.

Home loans dropped to 42,173 from 45,045 in March, the lowest since August, the British Bankers' Association said. Approvals were up from 33,870 a year earlier.

This follows a report from mortgage lender Halifax showing UK house prices declined for a second month in April.

HOTEL GROUP'S STOCK UP

Shares in InterContinental Hotels climbed to a record in London trading after reports that the company spurned a takeover bid that valued it at about £6bn (€7.4bn).

InterContinental, the world's largest provider of hotel accommodation, rose as much as 6.7pc to the highest since the company was formed in 2003.

"We consider the report to be credible and think the news will support IHG's stock price in the coming weeks," analysts at Exane BNP Paribas said.

ITALY'S MORALE ON RISE

Italian consumer confidence hit its highest level in more than four years in May after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government approved income-tax cuts for low earners.

Consumer spending has long been the main weakness of the struggling Italian economy as real per capita income in 2013 was at nearly the same level as in 1997.

The better-than-expected confidence survey suggests consumption may pick up, providing a much-needed boost for the eurozone's third biggest economy.

Irish Independent

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