Spain braces for Moody's rating cut
SPAIN'S credit rating may be cut from Aa1, Moody's Investors Service said, as its government prepares its final bond sale of the year amid concern it may follow Greece and Ireland in seeking a bailout.
Spain has to raise €170bn next year, while refinancing needs for its regions total €30bn and for banks around €90bn, Moody's estimates. "Spain's substantial funding requirements, not only for the sovereign but also for the regional governments and the banks, make the country susceptible to further episodes of funding stress," said Moody's analyst Kathrin Muehlbronner.
Spain lost its top rating at Moody's in September as eurozone leaders struggled to contain the debt crisis. Spain is raising taxes, slashing wages and privatising state industries to persuade investors it can avoid rescue.
Profits fall at Mentor Graphics in Shannon
A SHANNON-based holding company for US-owned Mentor Graphics last year sustained an 8pc drop in pre-tax profits to $20.9m (€15.9m). According to accounts just filed, Mentor Graphics (Holdings) and subsidiaries' revenues to the end of January 2010 dropped by 4pc from $363.7m to $347.8m. The company's Irish base in the Shannon Free Zone is the company's International Services and Distribution centre for information technology, order fulfilment, finance, purchasing, facilities, consulting, customer support, legal and human resources for the European, Middle Eastern and Asian business.
Heinz Ireland sales dip 7pc to €101m
THE Irish arm of US food giant Heinz recorded a 15pc drop in pre-tax profits last year to €14m. According to accounts just filed, HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) incurred the loss after sustaining a 7pc drop in turnover from €108.9m to €101m to the year ended April 28, 2010. The filings show that the producer of iconic brands, Heinz Ketchup and Heinz Baked Beans also sustained an 18pc drop in operating profits from €15.9m to €13m. The company's Irish operation -- north and south -- is engaged in the sales, marketing and distribution of all Heinz brands.
NTR wind farm to supply power in US
NTR subsidiary Wind Capital Group has signed a power purchase agreement with Kansas-based utility Westar Energy. Westar will buy 201MW of electricity from Wind Capital's new project in the state. Construction of the Post Rock windfarm is due to begin next year and will come on stream in the second half of 2012 and provide enough electricity to power 70,000 homes.
UPC cuts price of 20MB broadband
Cable provider UPC is cutting the price of its 20MB broadband service to €34 a month and said that by May next year almost all of its customers will be using speeds of 10MB or higher. The company, which also provides TV and telephone services, has nearly 185,000 broadband customers in Ireland.
Eager to become new Snap CEO
John Eager has been appointed chief executive of Snap, the print, design and marketing services firm. Mr Eager is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying in 1995 with BDO Simpson Xavier in Dublin. He has since earned an MBA from the University of New Hampshire in the US.
Austrian banks still under-capitalised
AUSTRIAN banks' solvency is still below average and new requirements including Basel III rules mean the country's banks will need to raise additional capital in the medium term, the country's central bank said. "We continue to be below the international average" when it comes to core capital, Andreas Ittner of the central bank said when presenting the regulator's last round of stress tests. "We still need more capital in the Austrian banking sector, partly because of new regulation."