Europe

Italy’s populist leaders just blinked again. Faced with a potential bank failure that could wipe out thousands of depositors in deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini’s northern base, the cabinet approved state guarantees for any future bond issues by cash-strapped Banca Carige and signalled its support for a possible recapitalisation, The Irish Times reported.

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Big Four firm Deloitte has reaped the benefits of Comet’s downfall for the last six years, making a total of £15m in fees, Accountancy Age reported. This is despite the investigation into Deloitte’s conduct which may end in disciplinary action. According to The Times, the professional services business has made millions over the six years that it has been dealing with Comet’s liquidation, which occurred in 2012. It charged £10.2m to be administrator and £5m to be liquidator.

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Efforts to boost take up for examinerships appear to have failed, with insolvent Irish firms shying away from the process despite the chance it offers them to continue trading, Independent.ie reported. Just 3pc of insolvencies were examinerships in 2018, the same figure as in 2017, according to figures compiled by Deloitte. Deloitte said the level of examinerships was unexpectedly low. Examinership gives an insolvent firm a 100-day grace period from its creditors, within which time it can seek to come up with a scheme for survival.

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The Republic is set to test the market for the first time since the European Central Bank (ECB) ended its €2.6 trillion stimulus programme last month, The Irish Times reported. Market sources said that the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) plans to raise about €3 billion through the sale of 10-year bonds as early as Wednesday. The NTMA said on Tuesday that it had hired brokers at BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davy, NatWest Markets and Societé General to manage a benchmark bond sale, without given financial details.

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The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is set to press ahead with plans to allow credit unions to hike up the cost of the loans they offer their customers, in spite of opposition from some Government ministers, The Irish Times reported. Credit unions are currently limited to charging customers an interest rate of 1 per cent a month on their personal loan, thus ensuring access to loans at a reasonable rate for customers of credit unions.

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European shares slipped on Monday as investors remained nervous about the euro-zone economy, Brexit and the US government shutdown. Dublin’s Iseq Overall Index of shares dipped just 0.09 per cent to 5,651.16 yesterday. Building materials giant and index heavyweight CRH slipped 1.83 per cent to €23.63 as investors sold about 1.67 million shares in the group, The Irish Times reported. About half of its business comes from the United States, where it supplies government-funded projects such as highway construction.

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Mozambique has indicted 18 citizens for their involvement in fraud involving $2 billion in loans to state-owned companies, the attorney general's office (AGO) said on Monday, in a scandal that has ensnared two major international banks, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. "Mozambique AGO is indicting 18 defendants, (ranging) from public workers and other citizens, on charges of abuse of power, abuse of trust, swindling and money laundering," it said in a statement.

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Investor expectations for Germany’s economy darkened at the start of 2019, according to a new survey released on Monday that suggests sentiment has failed to brighten after a gloomy performance at the end of last year, the Financial Times reported. A reading by Frankfurt-based research house Sentix fell for the third straight month, with the overall index at its lowest since October 2014. Expectations for Europe’s biggest economy fell to minus 19, the lowest level since August 2012.

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Reliance Communications has deposited $18.6m at India’s supreme court in a “partial payment” to creditor Ericsson, which is pushing to have its chairman Anil Ambani imprisoned for alleged contempt of court, the Financial Times reported. Last week, the Swedish group filed a petition with India’s supreme court, accusing RCom of breaching a court order to pay $79m in unpaid dues. It alleged that the telecom company had “illegally pocketed” the proceeds of asset sales, instead of transferring funds to creditors.

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Swedish group Ericsson has asked India’s top court to send tycoon Anil Ambani to prison, after his troubled Reliance Communications allegedly breached a court order to pay $79m in unpaid dues, the Financial Times reported. RCom, once India’s most valuable telecom company, has been fighting to stave off bankruptcy for more than a year, after suffering a heavy loss of market share. Ericsson had originally claimed Rs11bn ($158m) in unpaid fees for outsourced management services, and launched insolvency proceedings against RCom last year.

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