Wednesday 21 February 2018

In brief: State should offload AIB stake

Brian Hayes MEP. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography
Brian Hayes MEP. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

The State's holding in AIB should be sold as quickly as possible, and reduced to 50pc by 2019, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes told a Fine Gael party meeting.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment not to sell more than 25pc of the bank by 2018. But Fine Gael parliamentarians were told it's not in the State's interest to have large holdings in banks because it hurts competition and discourages new entrants coming into the market. "State ownership of the banking sector is simply a stop-gap measure," Brian Hayes said.

Investors take no chance on Brexit

British investors have raised the share of cash in their portfolios to five-month highs, bracing for any market turmoil from a possible Brexit vote at next month's referendum and interest rate rises in the US.

They also cut their exposure to UK equities by two percentage points in May to 26.7pc, or the lowest since February, according to a Reuters poll. While polls now show the "remain" camp with the upper hand, fund managers seem to be taking no chances. A Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey found this month that holdings of UK equities were at seven and a half year lows. (Reuters)

Court hears dispute over top golf course

The appointment of an Examiner to one of Ireland's top golf courses is to be opposed, the High Court has heard.

Druids Glen Golf Club Ltd, which owns and operates the Druid's Glen course in Wicklow, sought the protection of the court two weeks ago after a financial company, which acquired a loan a related company had also acquired from Anglo Irish Bank some years ago, appointed a receiver over the championship course.

The fund, Gulland Property Finance Ltd, says it is owed some €4.85m by the related company and appointed a receiver over the course, after its demand to be paid what it says it is due was not satisfied.

As a result, Druids Glen asked the court for an order removing the receiver and to have an Examiner put in their place. The matter was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Caroline Costello yesterday. The Druids Glen Five Star Hotel and a second 18 hole course, the 'Druids Heath Golf Course', are not part of the Examinership.

Irish Independent

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