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ECB reports weak lending in March

The European Central Bank said that bank lending to companies remains weak – another sign that the economy in the 17 countries that use the euro is still stuck in recession.

Bank staff warn of industrial action

Bank staff have threatened industrial action if further pay cuts are imposed. However, the Irish Bank Officials’ Association has given assurances that the public would not be hit. It said the action, if approved by its members, would take the form of non-cooperation with proposed re-structuring plans within the banks.

NAMA made €2.8 billion from asset sales in 2012

The National Asset Management Agency generated €2.8 billion last year from the disposal of assets, according to its results for 2012.The agency generated a total of €4.5 billion in cash last year, which includes rental income from properties in its portfolio.

Personal insolvency guidelines

The Government has launched the personal insolvency service this afternoon, which will see new arrangements for overburdened borrowers to reach agreement with their creditors. A website and phone number for debtors will also become operational today.

Noonan says Moody’s upgrade of Irish bonds likely

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has raised the possibility of Ireland’s bonds being upgraded by rating agency Moody’s following yesterday’s deal to extend the maturities on EU bailout funds.Moody’s is the only agency to currently rank Irish bonds at junk status.

EcoFin ministers approve Irish loan extensions

Ecofin ministers have joined their Eurogroup colleagues in agreeing to lengthen the maturities of loans to Ireland and Portugal by seven years. This will be subject to national procedures, and requires that both countries continue to successfully implement their bailout programmes, which must be confirmed by the Troika.

Ireland should get seven extra years to repay loans

Ireland should be given, on average, an additional seven years to repay its bailout loans, according to a draft paper from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.Reuters has reported that the recommendation is contained in a Troika document that will be considered by EU Finance Ministers at an informal meeting… Read more »

ECB keeps interest rates at record low

THE European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday but investors will be looking for any signs it is preparing for a cut in coming months to help lift the euro zone out of recession. It’s key interest rate is at a record low of 0.75pc – tiny, but still the highest level among… Read more »