| 9.1°C Dublin

Ratings agency positive on Ireland

Ireland has made more progress in fixing its economy than other nations in the euro-area periphery, according to Fitch Ratings.

"Country-specific" considerations drove the agency's decision to revise its outlook for the Irish credit rating upwards earlier this week, Fitch said in a statement.

"The revision of the outlook on Ireland's BBB+ sovereign rating to stable reflects country-specific considerations, rather than signalling a change in fortune for the eurozone periphery as a whole," the agency said.

The revision is Fitch's first positive rating action on a stressed euro-area country since the start of the crisis.

Greece heading to second write-off

Greece may need a second debt write-off after enacting economic reforms, deepening a dispute over how to return the country to financial health.

"One should ask if it would create trust if Greece were to receive a debt write-down today," ECB governing council member Jens Weidmann said at an event in Berlin.

The head of Germany's Bundesbank said Greece's debt sustainability and financing gap needs to be "honestly" discussed by European leaders. The finance ministers of the 17 euro nations meet to discuss Greek budget targets next Tuesday.

Spain set to burn its bondholders

Spain may force holders of junior bonds issued by Bankia group, the country's biggest nationalised lender, to take losses approaching 50pc of the face value of their securities, two people with knowledge of the plan said.

The government-owned bank plans to reduce the value of its most junior debt, known as Tier 1 securities, by almost half, with lower losses for its other subordinated bonds.

Tesco contributes 1.1pc of Irish GDP

Tesco now accounts for 9pc of all Irish food exports and contributes 1.1pc to the country's GDP, according to Tesco Ireland chief executive Tony Keohane.

He told a gathering of suppliers and exporters in Dublin that Irish beef is now on sale in Tesco stores across Europe, while Irish pork is being sold at its stores in China.

Clarification

In a graphic in yesterday's edition, Telefonica was incorrectly reported to have paid €244.57m for licences under Comreg's spectrum auction. The correct figure is €224.57m. We're happy to clarify the error.

Irish Independent