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Twitter takeover 'just a rumour'

REPORTS that Google has held takeover talks with Twitter that value the microblogging site at as much as $10bn (€7.4bn) are "just a rumour", chief executive Dick Costolo said yesterday.

Twitter, which had 175 million users as of September, raised $200m in a December financing round that valued it at $3.7bn.

Norges Bank ups stake in Smurfit

NORWAY'S sovereign wealth fund has increased its stake in packaging company Smurfit Kappa Group. In a release to the Irish Stock Exchange, SKG said Norges Bank (the central bank of Norway) had increased its stake to 8.54pc.

Index ties fortunes to Google's Android


INDEX Ventures is revving up investment in companies that tie their fortunes to Google's Android mobile operating system. Mike Volpi, a partner at the venture-capital firm, said Index could pour as much as $125m (€93m) into mobile-related businesses over the next five years.

Speculation pushes up gold and copper

Gold rose on speculation that a worldwide economic recovery will boost demand for precious metals and other commodities. Copper surged as much as 2.1pc to a record in London on demand from China, the world's biggest metal user.

Oil futures decline by as much as 0.9pc

Crude oil futures extended declines in New York, falling as much as 0.9pc. Crude oil for March delivery dropped 71 cents, or 0.8pc, to $84.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil earlier rose as high as $86.52 in trading.

Covered bonds are downgraded

Moody's yesterday said it was downgrading various covered bonds issued by Irish banks. It also said further downgrades were possible. The company downgraded covered bonds from Bank of Ireland, AIB and EBS. Covered bonds are investments backed up by cash flows from mortgages or other debt.

Irish Independent