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News : International Last Updated: Jan 11, 2011 - 7:51 AM


Markets News Afternoon: French industrial output jumps in November; Banks likely to appoint receiver for McInerney; State Street completes acquisition of BIAM
By Finfacts Team
Jan 10, 2011 - 4:44 PM

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France: French industrial output rose in November at the fastest rate since January - - a signal that growth in the Eurozone’s second-biggest economy may have accelerated in the final quarter of 2010.

Output from French factories, mines and utilities increased 2.2% after dipping 0.8% in October, French national statistics office, Insee, said today.

France’s GDP growth fell to 0.3% in the third quarter, which was half the pace of the second quarter. In the last quarter, business was hit in October by strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62.

BIAM: State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), the investment management business of State Street Corporation, announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Bank of Ireland Asset Management (BIAM), which was first announced in October 2010, for approximately €57m inclusive of estimated net assets of the business of €14m.

The acquisition adds new Dublin-based clients and employees, and managed assets including global fundamental active equities, fixed income, cash, asset allocation, property and balanced funds. Total BIAM assets under management at December 31, 2010 were approximately €26bn.

Since its entry into the Irish market in 1996, State Street has grown to be one of the country’s largest fund administrators and custodians. The company which employs approximately 2,000 employees in Ireland, has offices Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny and Naas - - including a new Irish HQ on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay which was officially opened in March 2010.

McInerney: Banks are likely to appoint a receiver to building group McInerney after the High Court rejected a rescue plan.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said today that he would not make his formal order until Friday to give the company time to study his ruling.

The rescue plan, put forward by examiner Bill O'Riordan of PricewaterhouseCoopers, involved a new investor paying €25m in full settlement of the €113m debt owed to three banks.

However, the three Irish banks - - Bank of Ireland, KBC and Anglo Irish Bank - - opposed the examinership.

Mr Justice Clarke ruled that the plan - - known as a scheme of arrangement - - as proposed was unfairly prejudicial to the banks and therefore should be refused.

He said the banks had argued that they could do better if the companies went in to a form of receivership.  The judge said there were very significant differences between the expert evidence on behalf of the banks and the expert evidence on behalf of the company and the examiner.  But he said the banks had put forward a realistic and credible basis for their assertions, even though those assertions may be wrong.

The banks had argued that they could get €50m if the companies went into a form of receivership as opposed to the €25m being offered to them by the investor.

McInerney Homes now employs just 100 people.

Established in 1909 in Clare by Thomas McInerney, the company celebrated its 100th year in 2009. McInerney was first quoted on the Irish stock exchange in 1971.

The yield on Portuguese government debt rose Monday as the country came under pressure to seek financial aid. Gonçalo Pascoal, chief economist at Millennium BCP, has analysis:

US Markets

The Dow fell 69 points or 0.59% Monday to 11,606.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.49% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.55%.

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 dipped 0.87% Monday.

In Dublin the ISEQ is up 0.05%.

CRH which accounts for about 27% of the Dublin market's capitalisation, gained 1.27%; BoI is down 4.52% and AIB has risen 3.31%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for February delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $89.35 per barrel up $1.32 from Friday's close. In London, Brent for February is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $95.57.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.2934 and at £0.8310.

BlackRock's quarterly asset allocation report is out this morning, with Robert Doll, BlackRock chief equity strategist, and Peter Fisher, BlackRock global head of fixed income:

What's behind increased pressure for Portugal to seek aid, with CNBC's Rick Santelli & Steve Liesman:

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