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News : International Last Updated: Mar 29, 2011 - 6:09 AM


Markets News Afternoon: ECB working on medium-term funding facility for Irish banks; Pfizer seeking up to 80 job cuts at ex-Wyeth campus in West Dublin
By Finfacts Team
Mar 28, 2011 - 4:54 PM

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The Pfizer-Wyeth biotechnology campus at Grange Castle, West Dublin, Ireland.

ECB: The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Central Bank is working on a plan to keep struggling Irish banks afloat in the medium term, a Eurozone central-banking official said Sunday.

The new facility would aim to replace the use of so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance, the official said. The program offers a form of central-bank lending that is meant to tide banks over when they are faced with short-term emergencies, but which has become an essential form of funding for Irish banks since last summer.

A source quoted by the Reuters news agency has said European Central Bank support should mean Ireland will not have to spend more than the €35bn set aside to recapitalise its banks in the EU-IMF bailout deal.

FT' Alphaville blog

Meanwhile, figures today issued by the ECB showed that the central bank ended a three-week pause in its government bond-buying programme last week. It spent €432m as market tensions about a possible bailout of Portugal rose.

Pfizer: The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer has told workers at the former Wyeth biotechnology campus at its Grange Castle plant in Clondalkin West Dublin, that it is seeking voluntary redundancies.

The company said it would be seeking around 60 to 80 lay-offs, and details have yet to be finalised.

Pfizer also said there would be growth in some areas of the facility over the coming period, and as a result, the overall impact on job numbers has yet to be determined.

Pfizer currently employs 1,200 people at Grange Castle.

Last year Pfizer announced the closure of a research facility at Sandwich in Kent where more than 2,000 are employed.

CNBC's Diana Olick has the details from last month's home sales and insight on why the commercial real estate industry is thriving, with Chris Macke, CoStar Group:

Kenz: The Irish-Malaysian oil services firm today reported that full-year profit rose by 52% in 2010, boosted by strong growth in the Australasia region.

Kentz is listed on London's AIM small companies market and its customers include Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil.

It said it planned to grow through acquisitions and the full-year dividend was raised by 67% to 10 cents a share.

Kentz reported that about 42% revenue is from the Middle East and it has experienced no material impact on any of its projects due to the political crisis in the region.

Pretax profit rose to $67.5m in 2010 from $44.5m the previous year.

Revenue climbed 50% to $1.06bn.

Tourism Ireland:  Air access from the US to Ireland is up 6% for summer 2011, or almost 1,550 additional seats per week when compared with summer 2010. A total of 115 departures per week from eight US gateways will provide 27,241 seats each week.

Tourism Ireland, the all-Ireland agency,  today welcomed the announcement by American Airlines of the re-launch of its daily flight between Chicago and Dublin. The year-round service, which will commence on 5 April, will certainly help boost tourism business from the all-important US market to Dublin and the island of Ireland. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said:
“We look forward to working closely with American Airlines to maximise the promotion of this new route. As an island, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with American Airlines, Dublin Airport and other tourism interests to drive demand for this new service, and all other services to the island of Ireland, and to help maintain our vital network of routes and services.

“The US is a key tourism market and the second-largest source of visitors for the island of Ireland and we have a strong and comprehensive promotional programme under way there this year. We are communicating strongly that the island of Ireland is a great place to visit, is easily accessible from the US and offers tremendous value for money.”

CNBC's John Harwood has the latest on President Obama's address to the nation tonight:

US Markets

In New York Monday, the Dow is up 20 points or 0.16% to 12,240.

The S&P 500 added 0.12%  and Nasdaq advanced 0.07%.

Live US Indices

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has gained 0.11% Monday.

In Dublin the ISEQ has climbed 0.82%.

CRH which accounts for about 27% of the Dublin market's capitalisation, is up 2.33%; Elan has gained 1.16%; Aer Lingus is off 1.96%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for April delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $104.60 per barrel down 80 cents from Friday's close. In London, Brent for April delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $115.76.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.4106 and at £0.8805.

Gold

Gold is trading at $1,422.40 per oz in New York.

The Finfacts Gold Page

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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