Sunday 18 March 2018

The Punt: Dart travellers get poetic justice

Shanghai Metro
Shanghai Metro

Worrying news - Ireland's at war with China. Not to fret, it's just a war of words. Big words at that.

The well-travelled Punt was interested to see pictures of the Ha'penny Bridge and WB Yeats, inset, plastered all over carriages of Shanghai's gleaming metro recently (alas, if only we had the Chinese running our transport system). It was part of a big effort by the Department of Foreign Affairs to promote Ireland to the world's most populous country.

The Punt thinks Mrs Brown or Roy Keane would have been less obscure.

And we wondered what the good people of China would make of a poet who was broken the heart of many a poor Leaving Cert student?

Round 1 to Ireland. But there's payback for sleepy-eyed morning commuters on Dublin's Dart in the form of poetry from the Asian tiger.

To celebrate Chinese New Year, carriages and stations are festooned with epic poems from the likes of Luo Bingwang (no, doesn't ring a bell) and Li Baw (err...). Yes, some poor Chinese school-goer is probably laughing away that we're up to our necks in tricky historic poetry too. Panda pictures, misty shots of the Great Wall and some nice dim sum breakfast rolls would have been more to The Punt's taste.

Still, we've always got the ultimate weapon - splattering the collected works of Peig Sayers all over the trains of Shanghai.

Say cheese to the markets

An Italian dairy cooperative has sold bonds backed by Parmesan cheese, in what the Reuters news agency described as a rare example of one of the country's plethora of small firms raising funding on capital markets.

Three years of recession have choked bank lending in the country and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government is trying to encourage firms to raise money elsewhere and take advantage of a tentative economic recovery.

And cheese-maker 4 Madonne Caseificio dell'Emilia has done just that, raising €6m in mini-bonds guaranteed by wheels of Parmesan.

The government wants to spur lending to boost the Italian economy, which is estimated to have grown by just around 0.8pc last year.

4 Madonne's chairman said it would use the money raised in the bond issue to improve its facilities and promote the thick-rinded cheese it makes in Italy's northern gastronomic heartland of Emilia Romagna.

4 Madonne's bonds will pay a fixed yield of 5pc each year until they, the bonds that is and not the cheese, mature in January 2022.

A bit cheesy perhaps?

Davy makes it eight straight

Davy's done it again. The Irish broker has been voted the Number One Equity Research Team in Ireland in the Institutional Investor All-Europe Research Team 2016 survey.

It is the eighth year on the trot Barry Dixon's team on Dawson Street has won the accolade, which suggests it might be time to award it in perpetuity.

'Institutional Investor' magazine has a global circulation running to around 115,000. The awards are based on its survey of more than 2,000 money managers at 784 firms - who between them manage around $6 trillion in assets.

Davy's research analyses follows and produces research on 111 companies, mostly in Ireland but including some elsewhere across Europe.

Commenting on the latest win, Barry Dixon, Davy's head of research, said: "At Davy we continue to enhance the depth and reach of our coverage universe for the benefit of our corporate and institutional client base.

"We see this poll of Europe's largest institutional investors as an important benchmark and an endorsement of this strategy."

At a sector level, Barry Dixon also earned a runner up spot in Paper & Packaging across All-Europe, a category that includes his coverage of Irish player Smurfit Kappa.

Irish Independent

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