Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bank of England in wait-and-see mode

THE Bank of England held off from further emergency support yesterday, despite the threat of a triple-dip recession hanging over the UK economy. Policymakers remained in wait-and-see mode again this month, holding rates at their record low of 0.5pc. The bank's quantitative easing programme was maintained at £375bn. Recent figures estimate the economy slipped back into the red in the final three months of last year.

Draghi denies he was lax over bank

ECB president Mario Draghi yesterday denied suggestions that he had been lax in his oversight of the scandal-hit Monte dei Paschi when he was governor of the Bank of Italy.

Italy's third-biggest bank, which is dependent on state loans, has been at the centre of a financial and political storm over derivatives and structured finance trades in 2006-2009 that have left it facing losses of €730m. In his first public comments on the crisis, Mr Draghi said in Frankfurt that the Bank of Italy had "done everything it should and appropriately and on time".

Spain pays higher rate to borrow

POLITICAL uncertainty over a corruption scandal and revived concerns over the economic health of the eurozone forced the Spanish Treasury to pay more to borrow at a triple-bond auction yesterday.

Demand was strong, however, and yields remained well away from crisis levels. Spain sold €1.948bn in a 2015 bond, with the yield rising to 2.823pc, up from 2.476pc at the last sale of that paper, in January.

Euro pharmas pooling research

SEVEN European drugmakers are to pool their research efforts with academic scientists and smaller companies in a new €196m project designed to find tomorrow's medicines. The project, backed by the European Union, is the latest example of the drugs industry exploring ways to share early-stage research.

News Corp cuts earnings forecast

MEDIA conglomerate News Corp has cut its forecast for annual earnings. It said that underperformance at several businesses, including its Fox broadcast network, would offset a gain in earnings in the most recent quarter. The company said that operating income for the current fiscal year, which runs up to June, would now grow by "mid-to-high single digit" percentages.

Irish Independent

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