Business Irish

Thursday 14 December 2017

Providence shares tumble as well drill date postponed

Business week in 60 seconds

OIL MAN: Providence Resources CEO Tony O’Reilly
OIL MAN: Providence Resources CEO Tony O’Reilly
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Shareholders at Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources took a bit of a dent this week. Shares in the company fell the most in almost four years in London trading as plans to drill an appraisal well were postponed on Wednesday.

Analysts branded the announcement a disappointment coming on the back of an already challenging year for shareholders. The stock plummeted as much as 12.2pc in London on Wednesday, the biggest drop since November 2010, although it recovered somewhat as the day progressed.

The company said the Spanish Point appraisal well drill in the northern Porcupine Basin had been put off due to rigging difficulties, with chief executive Tony O'Reilly describing it as regrettable.

ISE takes a look at bond finance

THE Irish Stock Exchange is working with the Government to create a market in bonds backed by Irish SME debt.

ISE chief Deirdre Somers said it will mirror a new structure pioneered by Germany where mid size companies are now able to bypass banks to borrow through the capital market.

Ms Somers said the ISE was working with the Department of Enterprise and Enterprise Ireland to see if there was a credible bond market for mid-sized businesses in Ireland.

Germany's Deutsche Borse has already developed a market that allows investors to buy into securities made up of - and backed by - incoming generating SME debt.

IDA and Enterprise Ireland boost

THE week brought yet more good news for both the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.

Both companies unveiled their results this week and the IDA, the semi-state agency tasked with attracting foreign direct investment, said more than 100 investments were announced in the first six months of the year, compared to 70 at the same time last year.

Of the investments secured, 40pc have come from companies investing in Ireland for the first time, with the remainder represented by expansions and transformations.

And then Enterprise Ireland announced that 2013 saw the best performance in more than a decade in export growth and net job creation by EI-backed companies.

Those companies achieved a record €17.1bn in export sales - an 8pc increase on 2012.

Grafton builds sales and results

Building materials firm Grafton had a good week after reporting solid results.

It said trading was favourable in the first half of the year as recovery in both Ireland and the UK gained momentum.

Sales for the six months to the end of June reflected improved demand in the group's markets as well as strong growth in the first three months of the year thanks to improved weather.

The company, which owns Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare, said group revenue increased 11.3pc to £1.02bn (€1.28bn). That compares to £912m for the same period last year.

The merchanting business in Ireland in particular benefited from an improving construction sector, with growth driven by home improvements.

Separately, homebuilders Abbey reported group operating profits of €20.4m for the year to the end of April against €8.3m the previous year.

Sunday Indo Business

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