Wednesday 17 January 2018

In brief

Pre-tax profits at Vodafone Ireland fell 14.5pc to €100m, the country's largest mobile phone operator said.

Sales here in Ireland in the 12 months to the end of last March fell 1.4pc to €1bn, Vodafone added. Vodafone said it had 2.4 million customers at the end of March last year.

NTMA bond auction

The National Treasury Management Agency will raise €750m on Thursday when it auctions a seven-year bond.

The auction comes at a difficult time in the bond markets for countries or companies which need to raise money. Borrowing costs have doubled for Ireland in just a few weeks as investors fret that yields are too low and no longer make sense.

Tesco drops PwC

Tesco has named Deloitte as its new auditor, ending its 32-year relationship with PricewaterhouseCoopers. The appointment followed a tender process in which PwC did not take part.

"We and PwC mutually agreed that they would not take part in the tender process. PwC will therefore stand down as the company's auditors at the conclusion of the 2015 annual general meeting," Tesco said. The retailer is one of the most prized audit clients in the UK because of the scale of the company.

Citi may plead

Citigroup said it could plead guilty to an antitrust charge to resolve a US Department of Justice investigation of its dealings in foreign exchange markets.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, the company also said the Justice Department had advised that it did not intend to prosecute the bank in a separate investigation into the setting of interest rates between banks.

RBS stake for sale?

Britain may begin selling part of the state's holding in Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss later this year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The British government wants to accelerate the disposal of its shares in the Ulster Bank owner and Lloyds Banking Group, rescued at a combined cost to taxpayers of £66bn during the 2007-9 financial crisis. It has already sold nearly half of its 41pc stake in Lloyds but has yet to start selling its 80pc stake in RBS, which received a £45.2bn state bailout.

Irish Independent

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