Monday 22 January 2018

Providence speculation

Shares in Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources lost more than 14.5pc in Dublin yesterday amid speculation that it was about to embark on a fundraising drive.

The company released a statement yesterday afternoon saying it is currently in discussions about funding but no terms have been agreed. Providence said it would provide a further update in due course.

It said there had been no change in the status of its flagship asset off the Cork coast, the Barryroe field, for which Providence has recently secured a partner to help extract oil.

Standard Life new cash

The Irish arm of savings and investment company Standard Life attracted €1.1bn of new money in 2014, the company announced yesterday.

Personal pension sales were 41pc higher, it said.

"The positive returns experienced by investors in recent years has given them greater confidence in placing more money into long term savings and investments," head of Standard Life's Irish business Nigel Dunne said.

Mr Dunne said increased confidence, low interest rates and strong returns provide a favourable outlook for the Irish pensions and investment market over the next few years.

RBS writedown

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is likely to write down the value of its US bank Citizens by about £4bn (€5.4bn) next week, industry sources said, potentially wiping out much of the UK state-backed bank's annual profit.

The writedown of goodwill would be because the US bank is not worth as much as RBS paid for it.

RBS, 80pc owned by the UK government, sold 29pc of Citizens Financial Group in September and is expected to reduce its stake to about a third this year.

UK signs warship deal

The UK has agreed an £859m contract with BAE Systems giving the green light to the British defence company to continue with the next phase of design for a new fleet of warships.

The company has been working on plans to provide Britain with 13 new Type 26 complex warships since 2010.

The new contract paves the way for it continue to develop the project by investing in the equipment and facilities that will be needed before ship building can start.

BAE Systems, which on Thursday was upbeat about future defence spending after years of cuts, said the deal built on its heritage of delivering complex warships.

Irish Independent

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