A Chinese bank is leading the €4.8bn race to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's Dublin-based aircraft leasing business, it was reported yesterday. State-owned China Development Bank has tabled the highest bid for the RBS Aviation Capital, sources close to the auction said. The deal would easily be the largest ever acquisition of an Irish-based company by a Chinese rival.
Bullish corn traders boost crop prices
Corn traders are bullish for a fifth consecutive week on speculation that dry weather in South America is damaging crops, boosting demand for supplies at a time when stockpiles are predicted to shrink to a 16-year low. Nineteen of 25 traders surveyed by Bloomberg expect corn prices to advance next week. Argentina is the world's biggest corn shipper after the US.
Virgin Money buys up Northern Rock
Virgin Money completed its acquisition of bailed-out Northern Rock yesterday, despite calls for the sale to be delayed while the UK's national auditor investigates if the deal is good value for money. The British government agreed in November to sell Northern Rock to Virgin Money, the banking arm of billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group, for between £747m (€896m) and £1bn. The deal does not recoup all of the £1.4bn spent keeping the bank afloat during the credit crisis.
Euro could become leading currency
The euro could become the world's leading currency in the next decade, ECB policymaker Christian Noyer said yesterday. "If we implement all the decisions taken at the [last] Brussels summit we will emerge stronger," Mr Noyer said on the 10-year anniversary of the euro. "In 10 years, maybe the euro will be the world's number one currency." Mr Noyer is also governor of the Bank of France.