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Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, looks unamused as he appears to be subject to a ribbing from Mari Kiviniemi, Finnish prime minister and Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuanian president, at the EU summit, Brussels, March 24, 2011. Maybe they're admiring his wig or joking about his upcoming trial on charges of underage sex?
Oracle: The US IT giant on Thursday reported that fiscal third-quarter
profit surged 78% and all geographic areas reported revenue growth of 30% or
Oracle has long been synonymous database systems and is now also selling server
hardware after its $7.4bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems in early 2010.
revenue growth coupled with
management enabled an
increase in non-GAAP
operating margin to 44% and
earnings per share to
$0.54,” said Oracle
President, Safra Catz.
hardware product gross
margins increased to 55% in
the quarter so we are now
completely confident that we
will exceed the $1.5bn
profit goal we set for the
overall Sun business for the
current fiscal year.”
performance was broad based
with all geographies
reporting revenue growth of
30% or higher,” said Oracle
President, Mark Hurd. “The
sequential revenue growth
for Exadata and Exalogic was
up over 50%. And we expect
to see an even higher growth
rate for these two game
changing technologies in
we signed several large
hardware and software deals
with some of the biggest
names in cloud computing,”
said Oracle CEO, Larry
Ellison. “For example, Salesforce.com’s new
multi-year contract enables
them to continue building
virtually all of their cloud
services on top of the
Oracle database and Oracle
middleware. Oracle is the
technology that powers the
Jobs in Shannon: It's expected that plans for up to 300 jobs to be created at a new
electronics facility in Shannon, will be announced next
ZAGG, a US company that
manufactures computer and related accessories, says its has grown from a
backyard workshop to being a publicly-traded trendsetter with a team of over 200
employees and associates . Its invisibleSHIELD, which protects watch faces from
scratches, has achieved over 7m unit sales
is reported to have has moved into a 30,000 square foot facility
in the Shannon Industrial Estate, from where it will serve
its customers in Europe, Asia and Africa.
A joint venture between Zagg and a local County Clare
firm will begin with 140 staff employed by the end of next year,
and 300 by the end of 2014.
There is currently a political game, rather than a risk game being played in Europe says Klaudius Sobczyk, senior fund manager at Veritas Investment Trust:
Ireland: A pause in the export-led recovery:
Davy economist, Conall Mac Coille comments - - "Yesterday's Irish GDP data were
disappointing but have not led us to significantly change our view
that the Irish economic recovery will continue to be export-led,
with a very gradual recovery in domestic demand. As expected,
consumer spending fell by 0.4% on the quarter following the declines
in retail sales over the same period. The small contraction in
investment spending was disappointing as it had been hoped that some
of the sharp decline in Q3 may have been temporary. The Central
Statistics Office drew attention to a sharp decline in investment in
aircraft, and the picture is somewhat more favourable once that
effect is removed.
De-stocking provided a large negative contribution to the
growth figure in Q4 which was surprising given that companies built
up their stocks in Q3 for the first time in two years. The decline
in stocks may have reflected weak consumer spending and the collapse
in confidence as the EU/IMF deal was negotiated. However, with
stocks declining in every quarter from Q3 2008 to Q2 2010 there is
probably limited room for further de-stocking by companies, and the
negative impact on demand de-stocking would imply.
The big surprise was the decline in exports on the quarter by
1.4%. Strong global demand, positive survey data on Ireland's export
prospects and most importantly, the CSO's own monthly data on goods
exports pointed to robust export growth in Q4. The monthly goods
export volumes numbers pointed to growth in excess of 10% in Q4 over
Q3. However, in the national accounts released yesterday the CSO
indicated that the volume of goods exports fell by 5.5% on the
quarter. In the past, the monthly goods data has been a good guide
to the final quarterly number.
So the discrepancy in Q4 is very surprising. The CSO indicated
that this related to a statistical adjustment only applied to the
quarterly data. But the statistical adjustment has never accounted
for such a large discrepancy between the quarterly and monthly data.
In short, it is hard to interpret the export data in yesterday's
release. We have not changed our view that robust global demand,
coupled with improvements in competitiveness, will lead to robust
export growth in 2011.
Of course, current negotiations in Brussels to resolve the
European debt crisis could also have a large impact on Ireland's
economic prospects. The latest development in the negotiations
appears to be a cut in the amount of capital allocated for the
future emergency aid mechanism following pressure from Germany and a
compromise on the issue that had been agreed on Monday. Suffice to
say, the market is unlikely to be impressed with this type of
chopping and changing and it raises concerns about the outcome of
this round of EU negotiations."
Richard Yetsenga, global head, emerging market FX strategy at HSBC, shares his strategy for trading the euro:
Economic View: GDP data don’t help
Ireland’s debt dynamics situation; Goodbody's chief
economist, Dermot O’Leary, comments - - "With Ireland
already in the firing line, yesterday’s confirmation of a seasonally-adjusted
fall of 1.6% in GDP in Q4 2010 looked, at first glance, to provide another
reason to write off the economy’s prospects.
Although the economy is weak, it is not nearly
as weak as that headline number suggests. In fact, GNP increased by 2.0% in the
quarter. So, which is the correct number? Once again, the volatile nature of the
data can be attributed to the large multi-national presence in Ireland; exports
and inventories subtracted from GDP (likely to be dominated by multi-nationals),
while this meant there was lower profit outflows from those foreign
multi-nationals (there was also an increase in profit repatriations from Irish
companies abroad), thus contributing to a rise in GNP.
One can get confused with the volatility, but
what does it all mean for the economy’s prospects in 2011. The data confirm once
again that Ireland has a two-speed economy. Domestic demand continues to be
weak, albeit in line with expectations, falling by 5.5% yoy in Q4 and 6.5% for
the full year, as investment in particular continued to drag. That component of
the economy has now fallen by 65% from the peak. On a more positive note, the
export sector continues to perform very well. In the full-year, exports grew by
9.4%, with imports up by 6.6%.
We believe these trends will continue. Our
previous forecasts suggested that GDP would grow by 1.1% in 2011, while GNP
would be up by a neglible amount. On the basis of the weaker Q4 GDP result, we
are likely to bring down our estimate for GDP growth to close to the GNP
estimate. This only serves to underline the challenges that Ireland faces, but
with bank stress tests due next week, the immediate concern is for debt
sustainability. With growth being an important ingredient for debt
sustainability, these figures simply don’t help."
Stocks are on a tear despite global unrest and rising commodity prices. What is driving this market? Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock, gives his perspective. BlackRock is assisting the Central Bank of Ireland with the current stress tests of Irish banks:
In New York Thursday, the
Dow rose 84 points or 0.70% to 12,171.
The S&P 500 added 0.93% and
the Nasdaq advanced 1.41%.
MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7% Friday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.07%%; China's Shanghai Composite climbed 1.10%;
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.91% and the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex
index gained 1.92% in Mumbai.
BDI closed at 3,005 on Thursday, Dec 31st - - a rise of 289% in 2009. The index
averaged 59% lower in 2009 than a year earlier.
Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9
points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points,
On Friday July16th, the BDI rose 20
points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session losing streak.
Thursday this week, the BDI rose 18 points or 1.15% to 1,583.
The Financial Times reported
earlier in January, that Australia’s flooding and fears of ship oversupply has
pushed down a gauge of the cost of hiring ships to carry coal, iron ore and
other dry bulk by nearly half since October to the lowest level since the
aftermath of the financial crisis. The Baltic Dry index, the widely watched
measure of dry bulk charter rates, fell to 1,453, nearly half the 2,784 peak
reached on October 27, 2010.
margin between the US benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New
York Mercantile Exchange and Brent is almost $10.
said in early February that a surge in oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma,
where WTI is delivered into America’s pipeline system, has depressed the value
of the benchmark against other yardsticks. The
International Energy Agency said on Thursday that with “few relief valves” to
cut the stock overhang in Cushing, the price dislocation “may persist for months
[or years] to come”.