ISEQ 7TH IN THE WORLD Ireland's ISEQ index of shares was the seventh best performing world-wide last year.

The index was up 14% on the year, while the FTSE 100 index in London was down 10% and the FTSE index of all shares was down 8%.

The best performing exchange was in China where the Shangai B exchange, which is open to foreign investors, was up 136%.

The world's worst was in Korea, which lost 50% of its value.

UTV RADIO DEAL DOUBT? There have been indications that the IRTC is not willing to allow UTV to buy the Cork radio stations 96FM & County Sound for over £30m.

It is understood that a reduction in the proposed equity stake in the stations' owner County Media would be entertained.

SEWERS COULD PROVIDE TELECOMS NETWORK Dublin's sewerage system might be given a part to play in the telecommunications industry, according to a report in today's Irish Times.

The report says US telecoms company CityNet Telecom, which is based in Maryland, has been holding talks with Dublin Corporation and Fingal County Council, and plans to formally apply for the use of the sewers in the near future.

The company plans to use miniature robots to run miles of fibre optic cables through the sewers and connect individual buildings with existing networks.

There are 1,500 miles of pipes in Dublin's sewerage system, and the company claims it could deploy its fibres 60% faster by using the sewers instead of digging.

It is hoped the plan would offer Dublin's local authorities an alternative to the system of digging up the roads currently being used by many operators.