BUSINESS closures continued to outpace start-ups -- with 146 companies going to the wall every day in April compared to 118 businesses being founded, according to new figures from companies information service Vision-net, which monitors the collapse and formation of Irish companies. However, there are signs that the toll on businesses is starting to ease -- liquidator appointments are down by almost one-fifth since last year.
Italy set to slash €4.2bn in spending
Italian premier Mario Monti says Italy will make €4.2bn in cuts in state spending over the next six months to avoid raising sales taxes. Mr Monti said after a cabinet meeting yesterday on the nation's financial crisis that he hopes to avoid hiking the national sales tax from 21pc to 23pc in October by eliminating wasteful spending.
Concerns over Spain send oil price lower
Brent crude oil futures ended lower yesterday, as Spain relapsed into recession and weak US economic data spurred demand worries. In London, ICE Brent for June delivery fell 36 cents, or 0.30pc, to settle at $119.47 a barrel. For the month, Brent dropped $3.41, or 2.78pc, after three consecutive monthly gains.
Toyota sells $20m in structured notes
Toyota sold $20m (€15m) of structured notes in its first US offering this year. Toyota Motor Credit, the finance unit of Asia's biggest carmaker, issued $10m in so-called step-up, callable notes on April 18 and added another $10m later, according to a prospectus filed on April 27 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Microsoft invests in e-reader business
Microsoft is jumping into the fast-growing e-books market by investing $300m (€227m) in Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader and college business as it looks to unlock Amazon.com and Apple's grip on the exploding tablet computer market.