NTMA mulls bonds
THE National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is weighing the sale of a bond maturing in more than 10 years as it returns to full-market funding, a source said.
The NTMA may issue a benchmark long-term bond in 2014, should yield spreads to German securities continue to narrow, the source added. Spokesmen for the NTMA and the Department of Finance declined to comment.
GERMANY FORECAST UP
GERMANY'S Bundesbank has raised its growth projections for the country to 0.5pc this year and 1.7pc next year. In June it had forecast growth of 0.3pc and 1.5pc respectively.
The Bundesbank said the improvement was driven mainly by demand at home, rather than from abroad.
INDUSTRIAL production fell 12.1pc in October, new provisional figures from the Central Statistics Office show, and was down 7.6pc on an annual basis. The 'modern' sector, which refers to hi-tech and chemical activities, showed a particularly large decline, down 17pc compared to September.
The traditional sector fared better, up 0.3pc in the month. Food and beverage production was down 4pc in comparison to September and 5pc on an annual basis.
ECB FOCUSES ON SMES
THE EUROPEAN Central Bank would welcome new instruments that would increase liquidity to small companies, an area where past monetary measures have had little effect, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said yesterday.
"There is a need for special attention to those areas where expansive monetary policy has had little effect, in particular the financing of SMEs," he said.
FIRMS PROBED BY EC
PHILIPS, Samsung and Media-Saturn have said they were among companies visited by European Commission officers this week on suspicion of breaking competition rules.
All three companies said they were co-operating with the EU authorities, but declined further comment.