See Search Box
lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be
the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that
developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.
Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and
you are in its business news section.
Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central Bank president, Jyrki Katainen, then Finnish minister for finance and now prime minister with fellow Finn, Olli Rehn, member of the European Commission, Brussels, March 14, 2011.
ECB: The European Central Bank is expected to raise its benchmark
interest rate by 0.25% to 1.5% today, when the governing council meets in
Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president,
warned a number of times last month of the need for 'strong vigilance' on
inflation - - a code for an impending rate hike.
Besides inflation, Trichet is also
faced with a struggle with governments who are trying to arrange a 'voluntary'
participation with private holders of Greek debt, in extending maturities.
However, Standard & Poor's, the ratings agency, has signalled that such a move
as outlined by France, would trigger a default event.
Aer Lingus:Aer Lingus’ total booked passenger
numbers in June 2011 were 925,000, a decrease of 1.7% compared to June 2010.
Short haul booked passengers in June 2011 were 837,000, a 1.4% decrease on June
2010 while long haul booked passengers in June 2011 were 88,000, a 4.3% decline
on June 2010.
The airline said booked passenger
numbers were negatively impacted in June 2011 by uncertainty over scheduled
services caused by the threat of industrial action by pilots’ trade union IALPA-IMPACT.
Aer Lingus’ booked load factor in June 2011 decreased by 2.1 points on June 2010
to 80.0%. Short haul booked load factor was 78.6%, a dip of 1.1 points on June
2010, with capacity increasing by 1.5%. Long haul booked load factor was 83.1%,
a drop of 4.1 points on June 2010, with capacity increasing by 0.5%.
Aer Lingus Regional’s total booked passenger numbers in June 2011 were 70,000,
an increase of 70.7% compared to June 2010.
Economic View: Ireland may hold
on to its investment grade status for now; Juliet Tennent, economist at
Goodbody, comments --"The calm that followed last week’s
agreement in Greece was well and truly shattered yesterday following Moody’s
downgrade of Portugal’s credit rating to below investment grade. The severely
negative reaction of financial markets is indicative of investors’ lack of
confidence in the ability of the Euro area to deal decisively with the crisis.
Contagion risks were evident with Irish yields soaring as fears that the
sovereign’s investment grade rating was also in danger.
However, the risks that Moody’s
is poised to act on Ireland seem to have receded somewhat following comments
from the agency that it 'differentiates' between the peripheral countries and
that it looks at 'each country’s economic strength, fiscal plan and medium term
trajectory.' Exchequer returns for the first half of 2011, released earlier this
week, showed that Ireland’s budgetary adjustment is delivering in line with
However, as GDP growth has
disappointed, it is likely that additional measures will have to be taken in
next year’s budget for Ireland to meet its deficit targets. This was
acknowledged by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who earlier this week
warned of a tough budget and suggested that up to €4bn in taxes and cuts would
be necessary. Of the three major credit ratings agencies, Moody’s is the most
negative on Ireland. It has the State rated one notch above investment grade and
with a negative outlook. Fitch and S&P have Ireland on two notches higher than
Moody’s, with S&P seeing Ireland’s outlook as stable.
As ratings are essential to the
investment decisions of a variety of organisations, there is a real consequence
to losing investment grade status. The possibility of Ireland losing its
investment grade status would not only worsen sentiment, but could delay any
return of the sovereign to the debt markets and make it more difficult for the
banking system to wean itself of ECB funding."
Roubini on 'Perfect Storm':
In New York Wednesday, the Dow rose 56 points or 0.45% to 12,626.
The S&P 500 fell rose 0.10% and the Nasdaq gained 0.29%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index
rose less than 0.1% Thursday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.11%;
China's Shanghai Composite index lost 0.17%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.01%
and the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index climbed 1.19% in Mumbai.
In Europe, the Dow Jones
Stoxx 600 has risen 0.24% in early trading Thursday.
The ISEQ is up 0.33% in
Dragon Oil is up 3.28%; Elan has risen 0.70%.
Dragon Oil: Gerry Hennigan, Goodbody analyst,
commented this morning; "Dragon
provided the latest results from its development programme this morning,
outlining an initial flow rate of 1,767 bopd from well 157 on the Lam B
platform. The prior average rate achieved from the previous six wells drilled
from Lam B was 1,737 bopd and thus this morning’s announcement represents a
marginal improvement on that. The trend of the recent past has been to drill
single, rather than dual, completion wells and B/157 represents the latest
example of that trend. That may enable Dragon to increase the number of wells
drilled and yet, based on recent flow rates, has not sacrificed near term
We have pencilled in 11
development wells to be drilled in the current year out of a guided inventory of
35 development wells and five appraisal wells over the period 2011 to 2013. To
date, if the B/150 well that commenced drilling in 2010 is excluded, Dragon, as
the statement indicates, has drilled six development wells in the current year
and is firmly on track to meet our haul of eleven wells.
Cumulative incremental production added year to date
(including B/150) is 16.2 kbopd compared to 22.5 kbopd added in 2010 and 20.3
kbopd in 2009. Results to date would thus suggest that Dragon is well on track
to maintain a target of adding incremental production in excess of 20.0 kbopd
annually and thus maintain a track record dating back to 2007.
Infrastructure bottlenecks constrained production
growth to 5.5% in 2010, the removal of which saw a surge in production in Q4. We
see limited downside risk to our annual average production forecast of 58.4
kbopd for the current year and indeed events to date would suggest upside,
evidence of which may well emerge when Dragon updates the market on July 21st
in its scheduled trading statement."
The 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.
On Thursday, July 15, 2010,
the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 0.537%, to 1,700
July16th, the BDI rose 20 points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session
On Wednesday this week, the BDI
rose 15 points or 1.05% to 1,443.
Financial Times reported 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.
The margin between the US
benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New York Mercantile Exchange
and Brent is over $16.
The US Energy department
recently said that growing volumes of Canadian crude oil imported into the
United States contributed to record-high
levels at Cushing, Oklahoma of over 41m barrels at the end of March 2011
(86% of working capacity at Cushing), and a price discount for WTI compared with
similar-quality world crudes such as Brent. A discount for WTI is expected to
persist until transportation bottlenecks impacting the movement of mid-continent
crude oil to the Gulf coast are relieved. Consequently, the projected US refiner
average acquisition cost of crude oil, which was about $2.70 per barrel below
WTI in 2010, is $1.60 per barrel above WTI in 2011 and $1.10 per barrel above
WTI in 2012.