Tuesday, March 12 08:09:51
Ireland has been ranked the world's third most globalised economy in terms of GDP, and the most globalised nation in the western world, according to a new index published by Ernst and Young. The globalisation index, which was produced in collaboration with the Econmist Intelligence Unit, measures the integration of 60 countries within the world economy. The index is measured by a country's openness to trade, movement of capital, exchange of technology and ideas, labour movements, and cultural integration. Ireland came third behind Hong Kong and Singapore, but ahead of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
High internet penetration, widespread availability of broadband connections and high usage of personal computers all helped Hong Kong maintain its position as the most globalised economy for the third consecutive year. Hong Kong led in three of the five categories: exchange of technology and ideas, capital flow and cultural integration.
Ireland's high ranking was attributed to "outstanding performances in the movement of capital and finance and in cultural integration." Much of its improved score in comparison to 2011 was due to increases in FDI stocks and in portfolio capital flows by 30.6 per cent and 39 per cent of GDP respectively. Ireland also improved in terms of broadband penetration (from 24 per cent to 26.4 per cent) and in internet subscriptions (from 73.7 per cent to 77.2 per cent). However, Ireland's overall ranking in technology stands at 22nd globally. The Irish Times
The responsibility for "socialising the costs of private failure" which led to the Irish taxpayer facing a E64 billion banking debt was "in the first instance the responsibility" of Fianna Fail and the Greens. He told a City of London audience "the error was compounded" when this became a condition by the European Central Bank for the 2010 bailout, when it feared Irish bank failures "would unleash panic".
During a number of speeches in London, Mr Kenny repeatedly emphasised the need for concessions on debt interest rates - a subject currently under negotiation with other EU capitals and EU institutions. "The principle that there can be no shared European taxpayer responsibility for banks without shared control and supervision is reasonable," he said in a speech in the Mansion House. "But the corollary must also be true: where the policy for dealing with bank failures was determined at European - and not national - level, so too must the burden of the legacy costs of those policies," he added. The Irish Times
State-owned AIB bank is locked in talks with unions over a looming crisis in its defined benefit pensions scheme, just months after the controversy over a E1.1bn bailout of the bank's retirement pot with taxpayer assets. It follows news that Bank of Ireland has engaged with its staff with a view to negotiating a deal to plug its E1.1bn pension deficit.
At AIB, talks between management and unions on the issue are being chaired by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the Irish Independent has learned.
It's the second time in four years the two sides have had to hammer out a new pensions deal. In 2009, staff at AIB agreed to a 20pc cut in payments and an increase in employee contributions.
The pension deficit did fall from E1.2bn at the end of 2009 to E277m by the middle of 2011 as a result of the changes, but the effect was short-lived. By last summer, the deficit had surged back to E1.46bn when the bank announced results for the first half of 2012, and is understood to have moved significantly since then. The Irish Independent
Bank of Ireland shares hit a 12-month high yesterday after stockbrokers Davy upgraded the stock to "outperform" in a note to investors Shares closed up 5.1pc following the upgrade, ending the session at 17 cent each, the highest closing price since May 2011.
The bank's shares have now surged by a third in little over a week. The stock closed at 13.10 cent on March 1, before financial results were announced on Monday, March 4.
The move by Davy comes after Goodbody Stockbrokers last week changed its recommendation on Bank of Ireland to "buy", with a price target of 16 cent per share. At the time stock was trading at 14.3 cent.
Davy said it upgraded Bank of Ireland shares from neutral to outperform after raising its estimate for the bank's 2013 operating profit by 36pc. The Irish Independent