Wednesday 24 January 2018

In brief

HSBC shares rose the most in over a year in London after a newspaper report stated the lender may spin off its UK consumer bank as the company pledged to review its domicile.

Europe's largest lender surged as much as 4.6pc, the most since January of last year, and traded 2.7pc up by mid-morning in London, compared to a 0.3pc drop in the FTSE 100 Index. In Hong Kong the stock posted the biggest intraday gain since December 2011. HSBC is considering spinning off the consumer bank, worth about £20bn, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Spanish economy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy looked to stabilise his party and animate his supporters by raising his forecast for growth and pledging to see out his term and lead his party into the next election.

Mr Rajoy raised the government's 2015 growth forecast to 2.9pc from 2.4pc in February and expects the economy to grow at a similar pace next year. He said he'll call an election at the end of 2016 after finishing a four-year term.

Fitch's Eircom rating

Ratings agency Fitch has upgraded Eircom's rating to B, with a stable outlook.

The agency said the move reflects its view that Eircom has delivered the planned transformation of its operations; that revenues look increasingly likely to stabilise; and that cost initiatives will improve operating cash flows.

"While Eircom's leveraged balance sheet is unusual for an incumbent telecom, the business transformation and stabilising revenue outlook is a significant achievement," Fitch said.

Public/private pay

The pay gap between the public and private sectors narrowed between 2009 and 2010, according to research from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

For both men and women, the public sector pay differential showed generally a decreasing trend as earnings increased in 2009.

Google calls inventors

Google said it would launch an experimental portal that allows interested patent holders to sell their patents to the company.

Patent holders can tell Google about the patents they're willing to sell and the expected price through the portal, the company said on its blog.

Irish Independent

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