Thursday, March 21 08:25:59
The bond markets believe CRH is a better bet than the State. The company raised E750m on the bond market yesterday, but paid 25pc less than the State pays to borrow in the markets.
The building materials producer is paying an interest rate of 3.125pc to borrow the money over 10 years after a successful bond auction. That compares with the 4.15pc the State paid for a similar deal a week ago.
Investors placed orders for E4bn of CRH bonds, but the company opted to borrow 'just' E750m.
In January last year, investors had demanded a yield, or interest rate, of 5pc when CRH issued E500m of bonds that are due to be repaid after seven years.
Borrowing costs tumbled as CRH became the latest Irish borrower swamped by demand for its debt. It is also the first company from the eurozone periphery to tap the bond market since the rejection of a bailout deal by Cyprus threatened to reignite the wider euro area crisis.
The CRH bond auction was arranged by BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, Lloyds Group and Santander. Unlike the Government, CRH is regarded as "investment grade" or lower risk for investors by all three of the main rating agencies. The Irish Independent
Ireland has been the greatest and most consistent source of good news in the eurozone over the past year, a leading economist and former member of the European Central Bank executive board has said. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said Ireland is the only country whose current account moved back to surplus since 2010, with competitiveness boosted by structural reforms and falling wage costs. In his 'Financial Times' blog, he said that while the budget deficit was high, it fell 6 percentage points last year which, he said, was faster than expected and is due to fall further over the next two years.
"There may still be some way to go for Ireland to be considered as having fully recovered market access, but the direction is right and the remaining gap may be smaller than many think," he wrote in his blog.
Mr Smaghi said Ireland should be able to benefit from the ECB's new bond-buying programme, dubbed outright monetary transactions (OMT). The Irish Independent
The ESB shouldn't be broken up but some of its power generation assets could be sold, according to Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte. In an interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Rabbitte said he didn't believe it would be in the best interests of the country to sell off the ESB, despite the retail arm of Bord Gais being for sale for an estimated E1bn.
"I'm also content enough to see some power generation disposed of by the ESB, but I do not want to see the ESB broken up. It's an exceptionally pivotal company," he said.
He added that he didn't think people appreciated the significance of Ireland building its own networks and having control of them. "People take energy security for granted, The Irish Independent
In just a few years, successful entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa has become the go-to guy in the United States for research into a phenomenon perhaps best recognised in Silicon Valley: the close connection between entrepreneurship and highly skilled immigrants. Work he produced five years ago showed that more than half of Silicon Valley companies had an immigrant founder, often Indian or Chinese. His writings for a range of publications point to more evidence: 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by first generation immigrants or their children.
Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business. They comprise three-quarters of the key product or management teams in VentureSource's 2011 top ranked venture-backed companies. And now, Wadhwa has become a leading voice for US immigration law reform, an issue that, having been highlighted by President Barack Obama, has made its way onto the current political agenda - writing opinion pieces, quoted by politicians. Trying to catch up with him can be hard. One week he is on the US east coast, where he holds positions at Duke and Emory universities. The next, he's back to his home base in Silicon Valley, where he holds another position at Stanford University, and is vice-president of academics and innovation, Singularity University, a unique venture based at Nasa's Silicon Valley research park. The Irish Times