COALITION GIVES EU BUDGET OUTLINE FOR APPROVAL - The Government has submitted an outline of next week’s budget to the EU authorities for their informal approval before the package is finalised by the Cabinet and unveiled in the Dáil. Top-level Irish officials travelled over the weekend to Brussels to discuss the fiscal plan with counterparts who work for economics commissioner Olli Rehn. The two groups were to meet yesterday evening and are due to gather again today, it is understood from well-placed sources, reports the Irish Times. The leadership of the Coalition has resolved to retrench by less than the €3.1 billion sought by the troika, which comprises the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While the IMF signalled tacit support last week for an easing of the €3.1 billion target, the European bodies have yet to move. However, the Government is working on the basis that they will also give their blessing to the plan. The objective of the Brussels talks is to run the draft plan past EU officials to identify any weakness and settle any conflict before the final decision is made. Participants believe this should avoid potential for any problem emerging at the European level after the plan goes to the Dáil on October 15.
DEBTORS 'PAY CREDIT UNION BEFORE TAXMAN' - Consumer are making bigger efforts to repay overdue credit union loans than pay the taxman, it has emerged. New figures show that when people are pursued through the courts over unpaid credit unions debts, they are more likely to have repaid some of the borrowings, writes the Irish Independent. Credit unions registered 170 court judgments to get loans repaid in the July to September period, according to business information publication 'Stubbs Gazette'. Half of the judgments were partially paid, according to James Treacy of Stubbs. This contrasts with just one in 10 of 595 judgments taken by the Revenue Commissioners in the same period that were partially paid. Banks registered 86 judgments in the third quarter of this year, but less than one in ten of these were what is called partially paid. A judgment is a court order telling a person to repay a debt. Banks claim that some mortgage holders in arrears are using their scarce funds to repay credit union loans instead of making repayments on the home loan. They have labelled this strategic default.
ISE PAID €310m TO IPO SURGE - The Irish Stock Exchange contributed €310m to the €3 billion initial public offering (IPO) surge across the EU in the third quarter of this year, says the Irish Examiner. There were 52 IPOs in the region between July and September, which together raised €3 billion in fresh capital. This represents an eight-fold increase on the same period in 2012, according to the latest PwC IPO watch, which monitors the global activity in IPOs. The €310m raised in Ireland stemmed from a real estate investment trust (Green REIT) in July. There were also sizeable real estate backed IPOs in Britain and Germany. Denis O’Connor, Partner, Transactions Services, PwC Ireland said, “It has been a difficult few years for the IPO market, however, we have seen the recent successful Green REIT listing in Dublin and as we come into the last quarter the outlook is more positive". Overall, half of the companies that went public over the third quarter were owned by private equity firms. London represented just over half of the market activity for the quarter.
GEORGE OSBORNE LAYS EU GROUND FOR ANY RBS SPLIT - George Osborne has sought clearance from Brussels to split Royal Bank of Scotland, should he decide to give the green light to the creation of a good and bad bank. The pre-emptive step aims to avoid stricter EU conditions on state support to banks and a £471,000 cap on executive pay, says the Financial Times. The chancellor filed papers in July informing the European Commission of planned measures at RBS that might involve new state funding - days before more stringent EU rules came into force that would heavily constrain his options. Officials familiar with the case said the move did not prejudge a Treasury review, due to conclude this month, into whether hiving off toxic assets in a government-owned “bad bank” would accelerate RBS’s recovery and increase business lending. The legal gambit, if successful, frees Mr Osborne to order a break-up of RBS without being forced to wipe out private shareholders, impose losses on junior bondholders, or slash executive pay, as the revised EU state aid rules would require. It also demonstrates that no options are being ruled out. Some Treasury officials and bankers at Rothschild, who are advising the chancellor, are cautious about the benefits of dumping a large asset portfolio in an external bad bank, according to people close to the process. But Mr Osborne has yet to take a decision.