Business World

Friday 17 November 2017

Bank shares slide as ECB to trawl assets in quality review

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stocks fell yesterday but there was good news as the country's benchmark bond yield fell to a record low. The ISEQ Overall Index was down 62.42 points or 1.23pc to 5007.48 by 1.02pm, with just five companies posting gains.

All the listed banks fell. AIB slumped by 8pc to 15c and Permanent TSB dropped 5pc to 12c, while Bank of Ireland shed 2pc to 32c. On Tuesday, the ECB published guidelines for its forthcoming asset quality review, which showed it will trawl through trillions of euro worth of of assets at 128 leading banks between now and August, including AIB, BOI and PTSB, aiming to ferret out any problems before it takes over as the eurozone's banking watchdog in November.

Analysts said this signalled the ECB will take a more stringent approach than expected, though Finance Minister Michael Noonan played down the ramifications for Ireland.

Kenmare Resources fell 5pc to €17 after the mining company said pre-tax losses for 2013 had come in at $42.09m, in comparison to a profit of $52.79m the previous year.

Housebuilder Abbey led the five companies who posted gains by early afternoon. It was up 3pc to €10.95. In Europe stocks dropped to their lowest level in a month as Russia and Ukraine continued their stand-off over Crimea and results from a spate of companies disappointed.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 1.1pc to 327.79 at 12.19pm in London.

"Markets are risk averse as we probably won't see a decision on the Ukraine and Crimea problem this week," said Christian Stocker, a senior strategist at UniCredit Bank.

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