The Bank of England has implemented a cap on mortgage lending in an effort to guard against unsustainable rises in house prices. The limit only applies in the case of large loans. It stipulates that such loans, where the value of the mortgage is more than four and a half times the multiple of the borrowers' income, can account for no more than 15% of bank loan books. At present none of the UK banks exceed that limit so the immediate impact on lending will be minimal. But Mark Carney, governor of the Central Bank has laid down a marker. He said the bank was at the limits of its tolerance and had imposed a cap to prevent further growth in large mortgages.
*** Exploration company Providence Resources posted an operating loss of €7.2m in 2013 up from €5.4m the previous year. That, it says, is due to higher expenses related to increased exploration activity across its portfolio including various projects off the Irish coast. In a statement alongside its annual results, Providence CEO Tony O'Reilly junior said Ireland's offshore oil and gas industry is growing at the fastest pace in years and Providence is optimistic about the prospects for the sector here.
*** London-based ETX Capital has acquired Irish spread betting company Shelbourne Markets for an undisclosed sum. ETX is the second largest spread-betting provider in the UK. Shelbourne Markets was formed following a management buyout at Worldspreads. The firm briefly had its licence suspended by the Central Bank in April of last year after the regulator expressed concerns over "capital adequacy and audit opinion issues". Shelbourne Markets clients will now become clients of ETX.
*** Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute or TBSI has published a report this morning showing it has created 119 jobs over the past two years. The jobs are mainly at post doctoral level and funded by non-Government sources including a range of industry collaborations. TBSI has also raised €36m for research in that period and has three spin-out companies now involved in researching and developing new drugs.
*** Swiss mining company Glencore has appointed Patrice Merrin, a Canadian with extensive experience in the industry, to its board. Ms Merrin is the first female member of Glencore's board. Until yesterday it was the only one of the FTSE 100 companies listed in London without a single woman on its board. At its last annual general meeting one of its insitutional shareholders, Aviva Investors, said it would not approve Glencore's annual report in protest at its all-male board.