Slow recovery for housing in North
Northern Ireland's housing market faces a long and slow recovery with prices likely to stay flat for two years, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said yesterday.
The market could worsen after Britain's forthcoming election if public sector spending cuts were introduced, it added.
Treasury agency to hold bond sales
The National Treasury Management Agency will continue its regular monthly bond auctions by selling two bonds next week, it said. The agency will sell six- and 10-year bonds, with coupons of 4.6pc and 4.5pc respectively.
Circle finds oil at Egyptian well
Limerick-based Circle Oil says it has found oil about 300km south-east of Cairo, Egypt. The oil and gas exploration company said the well was in a little-explored area of the Gulf of Suez Basin.
Tunnel firm seeks to expand access
Groupe Eurotunnel, which owns the tunnel between Britain and France, said the breakdown of Eurostar trains at Christmas had bolstered the case for operators including Germany's Deutsche Bahn to be given access to its undersea link.
Canadians to buy up US lenders
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), once said to be interested in taking a stake in AIB, is interested in US banks with $10bn in assets or more to add to its consumer lending business, said James Westlake, an executive who oversees the international unit. Canada's biggest bank won't pursue takeovers until the political and regulatory uncertainty ends, Mr Westlake added.
EU considers ban on CDS trades
The European Union's top regulatory official said the EU will consider banning "purely speculative" credit-default swaps (CDSs) as German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a crackdown on derivatives trading to prevent a rerun of the Greek financial crisis. European Commission President Jose Barroso said the 27-nation region would "examine closely the relevance of banning purely speculative naked sales on credit-default swaps".