Morning business news - December 14

Friday 14 December 2012 10.47
Morning business news with Conor Brophy
Morning business news with Conor Brophy

CROWLEY CARBON WINS DEAL TO CHILL DUBAI SKYSCRAPERS - Heating bills are more of a worry in this part of the world, but in Dubai the cost of cooling is a very expensive problem. Air conditioning bills for one of the many skyscrapers in the city state can run into the tens of millions of euro. Co Wicklow based Crowley Carbon has just signed a €64m deal with Emrill, one of the biggest facilities management companies in the Middle East.

Norman Crowley, chairman and founder of Crowley Carbon, says his company makes commercial buildings and factories'' smarter'' and can reduce their energy bills by 30-50%. Explaining that buildings do not react well to changes in weather, occupancy and times of day, he says his company's technology enables them to become smarter and therefore more energy efficient. Pointing out that temperatures hit 50 degrees in Dubai during the summer, he says that ''chilling'' is a massive cost for companies and a big building can spend €32m a year on its cooling costs. Most of the modern buildings in the Middle East were built when oil was about $20 a barrel, while it is now about $100 a barrel and so energy costs are a very big challenge for companies and there is big demand for his company's energy solutions

Mr Crowley also says that his company helps Irish firms reduce their energy costs and does a lot of work with retailers and manufacturing, especially in the food sector. He says that recently his company managed to reduce a factory's oil consumption by 80% - which represents 40,000 litres of oil a week. 'You're not talking about changing a light bulb here, it's a massive and material reduction,'' he states.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Irish technology firm First Derivatives has scored a notable success. It has won a deal to supply software to the Australian financial regulator to help it monitor Australia's capital markets, share and bond trading and so on to check for any suspicious or illegal activity such as insider trading. The deal is a four year multi-million euro contract for the Newry-based company, though it is not saying exactly how valuable the piece of business is.

*** Manufacturing output from China has hit its highest level in 14 months. New figures show that activity in the Chinese manufacturing sector expanded for the fifth month in a row. Economic growth in China has slowed for the past seven quarters in a row but the signs are that it may be picking back up again.

*** Overdraft fees for Bank of Ireland customers are going up in the New Year. Advertisements in national newspapers placed by the bank this morning notify customers that overdraft facility fees - setting up an overdraft - are going up from €25 to €30 from February. Interest surcharges are going up from 0.6% per month to 1%.

*** The Swiss bank UBS is facing a $1 billion fine over allegations that it attempted to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate - a key benchmark which influence the price of hundreds of trillions of euro worth of financial instruments including mortgage rates around the globe. The FT reports this morning that UBS faces a fine more than double that paid by British bank Barclays over the summer relating to its role in the rate-rigging scandal.