Sunday 19 November 2017

Olli Rehn blasts France

Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn
Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn

European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has intensified his criticism of France, saying that it was falling behind other euro nations in restoring competitiveness.

While France needs to boost growth and employment, President Francois Hollande's tax increases are having the opposite effect, Rehn said yesterday in Brussels.

€127BN IN HOME LOANS

The value of outstanding mortgage loans stood at €123.7bn at the end of September, down from €124.5bn at the end of the second quarter.

Fixed-rate mortgages accounted for 7pc of the outstanding amount of loans for house purchase at the end of September, following a net decline of €275m during the quarter, according to the Central Bank. The bank also said that the total deposits held in Irish banks were €86bn at the end of the third quarter, representing an annual decrease of 1.1pc.

YUAN OVERTAKES EURO

China's yuan overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance after the dollar this year, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift).

The currency had an 8.66pc share of letters of credit and collections in October, compared with 6.64pc for the euro, Swift said. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Australia were the top users of yuan in trade finance, according to the Belgium-based financial-messaging platform.

UK BUILDING BOOM

UK construction expanded at the fastest pace in more than six years last month, driven by a surge in house building.

An index of construction activity rose to 62.6 from 59.4 in October, Markit Economics said. The median forecast of 17 economists was 59. The gauge has been above the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction since May. Residential construction growth was the strongest in a decade.

CITIGROUP ASIA OFFER

Citigroup plans to offer at least two insurers the rights to sell products at its outlets across Asia after five companies submitted final bids.

The New York-based bank will probably choose more than one partner after insurers including MetLife and Richard Li's FWD Group made offers to distribute insurance across only a portion of its Asian retail banking network.

Irish Independent

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