Morning business news - April 15

Tuesday 15 April 2014 09.57
Morning business news - April 15
Morning business news - April 15

Regulatory reform of MiFID, or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, is due to be passed by the European Parliament today. 

It's one of the cornerstones of EU financial services law. It sets out which investment services and activities should be licensed across the EU, and the organisational and conduct standards that those providing such services should comply with.

And, after passing today, it will come into force in two years' time. 

According to Shane Kelleher, partner at William Fry, said the directive is the biggest overhaul of European securities markets since the financial crisis began.

“It’s taken three years to get this far in very torturous negotiations,” he said.

However, he added that the resulting rules would help to “improve investors protection standards, to clamp down on certain risks associated with high-frequency trading and to give regulators more power to intervene in markets”.

Part of this would oblige traders to show regulators the algorithms they planned to use before they deployed them in the market, which it is hoped will help curb some of the risks associated with the high-frequency market.

However Mr Kelleher concedes that this area in particular is moving at a rapid pace and it is hard to know if legislators will be able to keep up with future changes, especially considering how long it can take for new rules to be agreed.

*** 

Two US and one European company have set up operations in Dublin, creating a total of 48 new jobs through Connect Ireland and IDA Ireland. 

25 of the jobs are with energy consulting firm Sure Power Energy and Utilities, 15 with helicopter leasing company Lobo Leasing, eight jobs with PR and marketing agency Wired Island.

*** 

A new report on the economy from Goodbody Stockbrokers suggests unemployment will drop to below 10% next year. 

It says domestic demand is accelerating, led by a continued rebound in investment, which continues to be the key driver of the recovery. 

Economist Dermot O'Leary says that although the recovery in the Irish economy is gaining strength, the Government should not ease back on austerity in Budget 2015, as - he says - it would be wrong to suggest the job is done.

***

Google is taking to the skies with its latest purchase. It has bought high-altitude drone-maker Titan Aerospace. 

It's building solar-powered drones and expects "initial commercial operations" by 2015. Google says the technology could bring the internet to millions of people.

Google said in a statement that, though it's early days, atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, like disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation. 

Google's purchase follows Facebook's announcement earlier this year that it had bought British-based drone maker Ascenta for $20m.

The two firms are competing to be able to use cutting-edge technology, like drones and high-altitude balloons, to deliver internet to more of the world's population.