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State's oil strategy

THE Government is looking for export advice on how to better capitalise on Ireland's oil and gas resources. "Ireland's offshore, whilst holding great promise, is relatively underexplored, with only four commercial gas finds to date," said Communications and Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte.

"The expert advice (that we will seek) will focus on what level of fiscal gain is achievable for the State and its citizens and also on the appropriate mechanisms best suited to produce such gain".


ETIHAD Airways will consider buying further stakes in other airlines if they add value to the Abu Dhabi-based group. Etihad chief executive James Hogan said that partnerships were increasingly important in the airline industry. The carrier owns just under 3pc of Aer Lingus but reportedly turned down an offer from Ryanair to buy its near 30pc stake in its smaller Irish rival. Etihad has, however, previously indicated that it would be interested in buying the Government's 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus. The Government has put any sale of that stake on hold.

Meanwhile, aircraft manufacturer Airbus said it expected demand for air traffic to grow by 4.7pc per annum over the next 20 years and that this will result in a need for 29,200 new aircraft by 2032.


INSURANCE group Aviva has appointed a new head of its UK and Ireland general insurance business, as the group's shake-up under its new chief executive continues apace. Maurice Tullock takes on the role, moving from his current job running the group's Canadian business and replacing Robin Spencer who will leave the firm.

"One of my priorities since becoming CEO has been to strengthen Aviva's management team and ensure we have the right people in the right jobs," the group's chief executive, Mark Wilson, said.

Mr Wilson joined the firm from AIA Group in January with a remit to turn the business around in the wake of an investor revolt in 2012 that forced out his predecessor.


GREECE and its international lenders have agreed on a joint forecast that the country's economy will contract by 4pc this year, less than previously projected.

The previous estimate by troika was that the economy would shrink by 4.2pc in 2013, its sixth straight year of recession.

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