Friday 23 February 2018

Banks rally for second day after hitting mortgage arrears targets

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB)
The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB)
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH-listed banks rallied for a second day yesterday, after statistics released by the Central Bank showed the country's banks all met recent targets for proposing solutions to struggling mortgage owners.

The ISEQ Overall Index advanced 0.20pc or 9.24 points to close at 4,520.33. Bank of Ireland added 4pc to 29c, while AIB jumped 2pc to 12c.

It was a good day for property investment fund Green REIT, which rose 2pc to €1.20. The Irish company said earlier this week that it had appointed a new chief operating officer, Niall O'Buachalla, the co-founder of Burlington Real Estate.

Dubai-headquartered Dragon Oil also rose, up 2pc to €6.60, after announcing it had secured approval from the Egyptian government for a 100pc licence in a potentially lucrative drilling site off the coast of Egypt.

Tanzania-focused mining company Aminex saw the biggest losses of the day, down 5pc to 2c, while newly listed Shannon engineering company Mincon shed 2pc to 95c. Its shares were first issued at 87c.

In Europe, stocks were little changed, completing a third monthly gain, as a report showed unemployment in the euro area fell from a record high. The data, from European statistics agency Eurostat, showed that euro-area unemployment unexpectedly fell to 12.1pc from 12.2pc in September.

National benchmark indexes declined in 10 of the 18 western-European markets. France's CAC 40 fell 0.2pc, while Germany's DAX rose 0.2pc.

The UK's FTSE 100 shed 0.1pc while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index had slipped less than 0.1pc to 325.16 at the close of trading in London.

"With the short trading day in the US and the Thanksgiving holiday, volume is low and there aren't many impulses for big moves before next week," said Patrick Kraehenbuehl, a portfolio manager at Umblin in Zurich.

"Sentiment is still very positive, with investors keeping an eye on economic data and many betting on a year-end rally."

In Italy, Monte Paschi rose 1.5pc to 19c after the lender said it would target net income of €200m in 2015 and €900m in 2017, after losing 8,000 staff, selling €3bn of new shares and shrinking its balance sheet by 25pc.

In the UK, Dublin-headquartered business analysis giant Experian dropped 2.8pc to £11.27 after Goldman Sachs lowered its recommendation on the shares to sell from neutral.

Barclays climbed 2.3pc to £2.72.

Irish Independent

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