Monday 20 November 2017

Media Bites

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

ROGER Carr, the chairman of Centrica, has turned on the critics of the 'Big Six' UK energy companies, saying that ill-judged attacks will put off investors and that it was time to end the 'Punch and Judy' debate.

The energy companies all announced price increases last month and it has become a political football in the UK, but Mr Carr said that any attempt to enforce price caps was illogical and would be a threat to the "financial fabric" of the energy companies.

"Political rhetoric (has) inflamed consumer passion, fed suspicion, discouraged investment and damaged investor confidence," added Mr Carr, who is about to step down as the chairman of the company that owns British Gas.

SUNDAY independent

INVESTEC, the South African-owned bank, has put its plans to offer up to €300m in new Irish mortgages on hold, as it reviews changes in the market place which is increasingly dominated by state-owned zombie banks.

This is seen as a massive blow for consumers, with mortgage lending now standing at a 40-year low.

The Irish Banking Federation/PwC mortgage report showed that just 15,881 mortgages were issued last year – the lowest amount for any year since 1973.

It is understood that Investec, headed by Michael Cullen, views the Irish mortgage market as increasingly uncertain because of recent changes to the repossession and insolvency regimes.

These changes make it harder for banks to repossess properties if they are Personal Dwelling House (PDH) loans.

THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST

THE Government has asked bidders for Bord Gais to increase their offer in an effort to sell off the utility.

The sale process appeared to be over when the Government announced 10 days ago that none of the bids received were high enough, but it is understood that the bidders have been told the door could be open if higher offers emerge.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are among five Wall Street companies, in addition to JP Morgan Chase, whose hiring practices in China are being investigated by US regulators.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Zurich-based Credit Suisse also are facing Securities and Exchange Commission investigations, which are at an early stage.

US authorities are examining whether JP Morgan violated anti-bribery laws by hiring the children and other relatives of well-connected politicians and clients in China in exchange for having business steered to the firm, a person with knowledge of the investigation said in August.

Irish Independent

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