Euro banks undervalued
Europe’s banks are just as strong as US rivals and are being unjustly undervalued by investors, according to the vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB) – the man in charge of setting up safety testing of the Eurozone’s banking system. Vitor Constancio’s comments come as the ECB prepares for the most significant expansion of its powers since it was created. In one year’s time it will have responsibility for supervising the Eurozone’s top 130 banks and as a preface to that will be conducting a review of the lenders. “The situation of the European banks is better than market perceptions,” Constancio told the Financial Times.
Ireland freezes debt issuance
Dublin has suspended its bond issuing programme until it exits its international bailout at the end of the year, saying it has raised enough cash to meet funding requirements for 2014. Ireland’s debt agency also said yesterday it felt it had already made enough progress to be eligible for the ECB’s bond buying programme.
Fears over dividend cover rise
Payouts to investors in the UK’s largest listed companies have outstripped earnings by so much recently that profits now cover a far smaller multiple of the dividends than they did two years ago. The ratio of profits to dividends for members of the FTSE 350 index fell 40 per cent between the end of 2011 and early this year.
Extension for nuclear hot seat group
The taxpayer-funded consortium running Sellafield has been awarded a five-year extension to its £1.6bn annual contract, despite being criticised for running behind schedule and over budget on nuclear clean-up work.
E.ON launches neighbourhood watts
Nosey neighbours will be able to find out if householders near by are using less electricity and gas. E.ON customers who sign up to the new online service can compare the monthly energy use of 100 other anonymous customers of the German-owned energy supplier living in similar homes in the area. They will be told how and when neighbours use energy.
The Daily Telegraph
Shell’s Voser says Iran oil vital
Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, and Christophe de Margerie, his counterpart at France’s Total, used the Oil & Money conference in London yesterday to highlight the potential energy windfall if sanctions preventing international oil companies from dealing with Tehran were lifted.“Longer term, Iran’s oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand,” Voser said. He was echoed by De Margerie, who said that he hoped doing business with Iran would again be permitted “as soon as possible, not just for Total but for the world and for Iran. Any country cannot stay out of the system.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Russia weighs plan for tech firms
The Russian government is considering a proposal to designate some technology firms as strategic, which would restrict foreign ownership and subject those firms to greater government oversight. Russia's ministry of communications has suggested extending the designation to ward off acquisition by eestern giants.
Argentina extends tax amnesty
Argentines who have undeclared foreign-currency savings now have until the end of the year to bring that money out of the shadows under an extension to a tax-amnesty program aimed at alleviating a shortage of US dollars.