Ireland’s Exports Surge.

Ireland’s G.D.P.(Gross Domestic Product) to the year end June 2014 grew by over 7%. This is despite the fact that many of the economies we sell into have had a flat performance over that period.

Ireland’s exports is the main creator of this economic growth.

Who are Ireland’s biggest exporters?

Numerically at least, Google with turnover of €17bn, Microsoft at €15 bn and Johnson & Johnson at €10.5 bn fill the top three places.

The E.U.countries and the U.S. remain our main customers but China,Vietnam and Malaysia are expected to be our fastest growing markets over the next 15 years.

NAMA

The National Asset Management Agency, the state agency set up to deal with bank  loans that are in difficulty expects it could make a profit of €500m by the end of 2017 on its property sales.

The agency paid €32 bn for loans with a face value of €74 bn.

The sale of property is ongoing with over 88% being snapped up by U.S. investors.

Calculate the rate of return.

Exports of Irish Food and drink up 9%

The Irish economy is heavily reliant on exports as a key for creating economic growth. Consumption,Investment and Government spending remains flat therefore the reliance on exports.

While the mutinational companies located here tend to export their output indigenious companies are seeking new opportunities abroad. The relentless growth in the global demand for food for example provides an opportunity for Irish business.

Increasingly the Government are looking beyond the EU and to that end have organised trade missions to parts of the world we have not traded with in the past. This has seen visits to the BRIC countries -Brazil,Russia,India and China. Such visits are bearing fruit. Exports to China for example have increased by 40% in the past year with potential for further growth. Indeed China has become our sixth leading destination for our exports.There are extra challenges involved in terms of distance,technical,language and culture.

At present the Taoiseach,the Minister for Employment and a number of Irish business’s are involved in a trade mission to the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia,United Arab Emirates and Quatar.

Sale of Bord Gais.

The Irish Government are presently examining bids for An Bord Gais. Favourite to be successful is a bid from Veridian, a Northern Irish power company.

It is believed that an Bord Gais could be split up into a number of separate companies after privitisation to take account of its wind farm assets, pipeline development as well as retail gas supply business.

The privitisation was agreed between the Government and troika in 2010.

Strong € bad for business.

The gradual strengthening of the € against the £ will see the price of our goods becoming more expensive in the U.K. thus problems for our exporters. At the moment €1 will get you £0.87 but there is speculation that parity is a possibility. Exports to Britain are worth €15 bn a year. Indigenious Irish business is heavily dependent on the U.K. so they will be hard hit by such an event.

Iceland rejects repayment package.

Iceland held its referendum on its €3.9bn repayment package to UK and Dutch savers on Saturday last.Icelandic banks collapsed in both countries leaving savers at a loss.  Icelanders are seething at the actions of the authorities in those countries. A final turnout of 62.7% cast their vote with 93% rejecting the proposed repayment package.

It looks like the Icelanders do not want to renege on the package but they want the terms of the repayment to be re-negotiated.

A €4.6bn IMF package for the Icelandic economy is on hold until there is certainty about how the foreign savers are to be compensated.

Iceland to have a referendum on whether to repay UK savers.

The President of Iceland has moved against Icelandic parliament in refusing a deal that would see the repayment of €3.9bn to UK and Dutch savers in a failed Icelandic bank. This is creating diplomatic tension between the countries involved. President Olafur Ragnar Grimmson was reacting to a petition signed by thousands of Icelanders to refuse payment. The presidents move was a blow to Prime Minister Joanna Sigurdardottir’s government who backed the deal.

The matter will be decided by referendum on February 20th.

O’Brien ousts Quinn as Ireland’s richest

Insurance magnate, Sean Quinn has been knocked back from first to third place in the list of Ireland’s richest people to be replaced by Denis O’Brien, according to latest Rich List from Forbes Magazine.

Forbes estimates that the Quinn family fortune plummeted by some USD4.5 billion in the past 12 months with Mr Quinn losing at least E1.5 billion from his Anglo Irish investments.

Media mogul Anthony O’Reilly has dropped out of the billionaires’ list this year.

Overall, the world’s billionaires are estimated to have lost about one-quarter of their combined wealth last year.

Bill Gates regained his position as the richest person in the world, overtaking investor Warren Buffett, whose personal fortune fell by USD25 billion.