JOBS Minister Richard Bruton is under fire after a company which
once employed 1,200 people in the same town axed the final 160 staff.
There was devastation in Carrick on Shannon yesterday as MBNA confirmed it was
closing its call centre at what was once the biggest employer in Leitrim.
Minister Bruton promised that all the supports of the State would be made
available to the workers affected on what was a "sad day" for those losing their
Local business people called for a financial services company to be located in
the state of the art building with many saying a task force would be a waste of
GROWTH in the eurozone stuttered to a halt in the three months to
June as Germany's economy contracted and France stagnated.
It comes just days after it was announced Italy, the eurozone's third largest
economy, slipped back into recession in the second quarter
In another blow to hopes of a recovery in the 18 nation bloc, GDP remained flat
in the second quarter, initially sending stocks lower yesterday. But by mid
afternoon European shares had recovered amid heightened speculation that the
European Central Bank (ECB) would have to carry out further stimulus to help
kick start activity.
Of particular concern was the 0.2pc contraction in Europe's economic powerhouse
Germany, which even undercut forecasts from the Bundesbank and came on the back
of a fall in inflation and a drop in investor confidence.
IRISH company Providence
The oil and gas exploration firm said the area at Spanish Point South is 140km
off the west coast.
Stockbroker Davy said the move highlights the group's efforts to maintain
momentum in its Irish offshore programme.
"The 3D survey should provide clarification and detail, particularly around
reservoir quality, which is considered to the greatest risk to making a
commercial discovery in the area," said analyst Caren Crowley.
All of the four wells drilled in the Spanish Point South area so far have
encountered either gas or oil, Providence said.
Providence technical director John O'Sullivan said the survey over the Spanish
Point South area is its third in that area since 2009.
Chris Johns: The German economy’s loss of momentum and its 0.2
per cent contraction in the second quarter has hit the headlines.
However, quarterly swings in growth often contain many distortions and, equally
often, are subsequently revised.
The world’s largest economy, the US, shrank by an alarming 2.1 per cent in the
first three months of the year . A stunning bounce back in the second quarter
resulted in 4 per cent growth.
Samsung Electronics is to buy SmartThings, a startup backed by
PayPal co-founder Max Levchin that helps connect household devices, one of its
largest US start-up acquisitions to date.
The South Korean electronics maker joins fellow technology heavyweights Apple
and Google in exploring ways to integrate connected household gadgets such as
thermostats and lights with mobile apps, a trend commonly known as “internet of
Samsung did not disclose financials, but the TechCrunch blog reported in July
that Samsung was in discussions to pay more than $200 million for the
two-year-old startup of 55 employees, which has raised $15.5 million in venture
capital from Greylock and Russian investor Yuri Milner, among others.
Denmark’s biggest pension fund, ATP, says a perfect storm of
forces including tighter regulation led it to abandon its reliance on the
longest-dated bonds. The fund, based north of Copenhagen, said earlier this week
it was shortening interest rate guarantees to savers amid a lack of liquid
assets with maturities of 30 years and longer. Policy holders will now have the
rates paid on their savings guaranteed for 15 years at a time, versus lifelong
guarantees. ATP said the change will also help protect pensioners’ purchasing
The fund, based north of Copenhagen, said earlier this week it was shortening
interest rate guarantees to savers amid a lack of liquid assets with maturities
of 30 years and longer. Policy holders will now have the rates paid on their
savings guaranteed for 15 years at a time, versus lifelong guarantees. ATP said
the change will also help protect pensioners’ purchasing power.
Eurozone economic growth ground to a halt in the second quarter as Germany’s
economy shrank and France’s stagnated.
The zero growth reported by statistics agency Eurostat yesterday was cause for
alarm throughout the 18-nation region, which is already bracing for the impact
of sanctions imposed on and by Russia over Ukraine.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, contracted by 0.2% in the quarter,
undercutting Bundesbank forecasts that GDP would be unchanged. Foreign trade and
investment were notable weak spots, the German Statistics Office said.
“Today’s figures show that the upturn remains too weak to withstand external
shocks” — such as the Russian sanctions — “meaning that GDP growth will probably
remain stuck in stop-and-go mode,” said Peter Vanden Houte, chief Eurozone
economist at ING.
ECB needs even more expansive policy: The ECB will have no option but to buy
government bonds on a large scale to forestall another economic slump in the
Eurozone, the liberal business paper Financial Times believes: "The ECB will
almost certainly at some point be forced into quantitative easing to rescue the
real economy - just as it was eventually forced to rescue peripheral sovereign
debt. The problem remains resistance among some governments, notably Germany,
and the Bundesbank. Mr Draghi has floated the idea of buying asset-backed
securities. The faster that conversation reaches the conclusion of full-blown QE
Hectic bailout measures harm EU economies: The fact that the economies of
certain European countries shrank in the second quarter is above all due to
mistakes at the EU level, the liberal-conservative Swiss daily Neue Zürcher
Zeitung believes: "The weak state of many European economies has to do with the
fact that the eagerness of many European politicians to introduce bailout and
redistribution mechanisms has hindered the recovery of markets and national
finances. In this light the negative figures from Germany can help to raise
awareness of the tasks that still lie ahead in the EU. Characterised by
expansive policy on the part of the ECB and debt-driven national economies,
today's Eurozone is marked by a false sense of stability that in many places is
all too willingly mistaken for real stability and an adequate basis for
continuing with traditional European integration."
Nothing but empty promises from France: France's economy has failed to grow
for the second quarter in a row. All the fault of the government's failed
policies, the left-liberal daily Le Monde believes: "Every three months the
economic indicators contradict the government's robust forecasts. The motor has
broken down and, unlike what could have been hoped for just a year ago, the
French economy is not being 'pulled along' by the dynamism of its European
partners. ... The same causes - lower production and fewer jobs - bring about
the same effects - growth is flagging as a result of austerity. These negative
figures come as a hard blow for François Hollande and the government of Manuel
Valls and undermine their credibility. The responsibility pact was supposed to
make the French economy more dynamic and allow it to join in on the European
recovery. Neither of these goals has been achieved."