Today in the pressMonday 08 July 2013 10.49
CENTRAL BANK AND REGULATOR 'EGGING US ON' - ANGLO - Anglo Irish Bank executives voiced concerns that a move to temporarily boost its balance sheet with €7 billion from Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P) could be seen as "market abuse", writes the Irish Independent. But in the latest Anglo Tapes, head of treasury John Bowe can be heard convincing himself that the Central Bank and Financial Regulator were "effectively egging us on - for Irish banks to help each other". Mr Bowe planned to craft a document to convince his superiors that a deal to improve the bank's balance sheet by €7 billion was above board. In fresh extracts from the controversial recordings, Mr Bowe scrambles to explain the deal with IL&P in 2008 that shifted money in a circle to inflate their deposits. The deal is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. In a phone conversation recorded in January 2009, an Anglo Irish Bank compliance executive, Fiachre O'Neill, tells Mr Bowe he is aware that the Financial Regulator is already asking questions.
TECH COMPANY BLIKBOOK TO RELOCATE IN DUBLIN - Fledgling British technology company BlikBook has decided to relocate its business to Dublin and expects to create 10 jobs here by the end of this year. This follows a €1 million fundraising by the business, mostly from Irish investors, including state agency Enterprise Ireland, writes the Irish Times. Blikbook provides an online “engagement” platform for higher education students and their lecturers to interact on issues relating to their courses. The company’s funding round was led by Leaf Investments - an offshoot of Folens Publishers - alongside Delta Partners, investing from its Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Fund, and Enterprise Ireland. Existing investor Forward Investment Partners also participated and this takes the total funds raised by the company since launch to more than $2 million. BlikBook plans to use the proceeds to invest across the business, establishing its headquarters in Dublin and strengthening its team in London. BlikBook said it will invest in its business development, community management and tech development teams in Dublin and London.
10% RISE IN JOB VACANCIES IN JUNE - There was a 10% increase in professional job vacancies in June compared with the same month last year, although there was a 3% drop in professional job opportunities between May and June of this year, according to the Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor. Despite the monthly drop between May and June, the outlook for this year has improved compared with 2012, says the Irish Examiner. Overall, there was a 5% increase in professional job opportunities over the first half of the year compared with 2012. However, the number of professionals looking for work fell by 17% in June compared with the previous month. There were 10,135 professional candidates in the market in May, which fell to 8,371 in June. According to Morgan McKinley, this monthly decrease is reflective in general of a downward trend for the year to date, with the first six months recording a decrease of 14% compared with the same period in 2012. Karen O’Flaherty, chief operations officer, Morgan McKinley said: “Professional job opportunities across all divisions have steadily increased across SME and multi-national sectors as a result of growing business confidence year on year. “Due to the start of the summer season new job opportunities have unsurprisingly decreased by 3% between the months of May and June.
CARLOS SLIM INVESTS $40m IN MUSIC APP SHAZAM - América Móvil, the telecoms operator controlled by Carlos Slim, has invested $40m in music recognition app Shazam, in what is thought to the Mexican billionaire’s first investment in a UK company, says the Financial Times. Mr Slim said the app, which can identify what TV programme a viewer is watching and deliver additional content and advertising, was “defining a new category of media engagement”. Shazam will be preloaded on handsets sold by América Móvil from later this year, easing its path to millions of potential users in Latin America. “It’s Latin America that’s going to be the focus now, alongside North America and Western Europe,” said Andrew Fisher, Shazam’s executive chairman. The parties declined to comment on the size of Mr Slim’s stake, although a person with knowledge of the deal said the investment valued Shazam slightly above $400m. The London-based company has said it is planning an initial public offering with a valuation of at least $1 billion as early as next year. Mr Slim, who is seeking ways to increase the use of data services across phone networks, praised Shazam in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year. “It’s marvellous. This service gives you the song you want - you just have to play a bit of it over the phone,” he said.