Banking stocks pull ISEQ index upwards

THE main banking stocks pulled the ISEQ index of Irish shares upwards yesterday, on the back of the announcement of the planned new “Basel III” capital rules for European banks, which are aimed at preventing another serious banking sector meltdown.

AIB, on the first day of trading since the announcement of the sale of its Polish operations to Spanish banking giant Santander, finished yesterday up by 4c – or 4.82% – at 78c, having been slightly higher earlier in the day.

Elsewhere, Bank of Ireland reached 72c; 4c or 5.43%, higher than Friday’s closing price. Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) – which remains confident over its chances of buying EBS and merging it with its Permanent TSB retail banking arm and raising the necessary funds to do so, despite reports building up the chances of rival bidders – was up by 10c, or 6%, at €1.70.

Overall, the ISEQ closed at just over 2,815 points yesterday – representing a 1.25% increase on the day.

It was a similar trend across the main European markets, with London up 1.2%, Paris’ CAC up 1.1% and the DAX in Frankfurt up by 0.8% .

In Dublin, there were also decent gains for the likes of Irish Continental Group, DCC, FBD, Glanbia, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa and CRH; but Norkom Technologies shed 30c – or 24% – on the back of a first-half profit warning.

Meanwhile, Karl Whelan, professor of economics at UCD, called yesterday’s Financial Times editorial on Irish banking policy – which called on the Government to let “zombie” banks, such as Anglo Irish Bank, die in order to boost demand for Irish sovereign debt, and the guarantee scheme to be cancelled for new issues – surprisingly harsh.

“Reading this, it strikes me as interesting how quickly we’ve gone from a situation where the Government’s defenders were complaining about domestic malcontents and pointing to increasingly receptive audiences overseas, to one where the exact same people are blaming the international press for our problems – on the grounds that they don’t understand the situation as well as those who are living here,” he said.


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan on the dangers of products high in caffeine.The dangers of energy drinks full of sugar

When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.Wedding of the Week: 'It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life'

As you may be aware, new rules around motor insurance documentation have been introduced. The rules are aimed at improving transparency for consumers but a broker is warning they may have unintended consequences and could cause some confusion among policy holders.Drive a hard bargain for better car insurance

When Peter Ryan lost 90% of his vision in his early 20s, his readjustment was emotionally painful, but maturing, says Helen O’CallaghanA new way of seeing the world: Peter Ryan talks about losing 90% of his sight in his early 20s

More From The Irish Examiner