The chairman of the US Federal Reserve has played down talk of a currency war with rising economic powers, reports The Irish Independent. Speaking at an event hosted by the London School of Economics, Ben Bernanke said the low interests rates being applied in the US benefitted the world economy without disrupting trade. He also said jobs growth was needed in the country before economic stimulus could be withdrawn. US unemployment stands at 7.7% despite continuing growth in the country. The low interest rates in the US have been criticised as some for putting pressure on other currencies, however Mr Bernanke said there was a critical distinction between measures aimed at reviving growth and those aimed at trade diversion.
The chief executive of building merchant firm CRH was paid just under €2.54 million last year, reports The Irish Examiner. That is a 6% drop on his pay for 2011, though overall pay to directors remained much the shame at €8 million. Myles Lee was given a basic salary of 1.15 million, the newspaper says, compared to a basic salary of €550,000 for the company’s finance director Maeve Carton. CRH last month reported better than expected results, with a 3% rise in revenue and a smaller profit dip than anticipated by the market. Mr Lee is due to retire at the end of this year and a committee has been established by the company to find his successor.
Japan and the European Union have agreed to open talks on a trade deal next month, reports The Financial Times. In a joint statement, Japan’s prime minister and leaders of the European Commission and European Council said the deal “should be deep and comprehensive, addressing all issues of shared interest in order to stimulate economic growth both in Japan and in the EU”. The trade talks are one of a number due to commence in the coming weeks, as World Trade Organisation negotiations stall. Last month the EU and US agreed to open trade talks, while Europe recently agreed a deal with South Korea. A pact between Europe and Japan would unite economies that represent over one-third of the world’s economic output, the newspaper says.
Bank of Scotland is to challenge the appointment of an examiner to Belohn Ltd, owner of a well-known Dublin bar and restaurant, reports The Irish Times. An emergency sitting of the High Court saw an interim examiner appointed to the group – which owns Foley’s Bar and the O’Reilly Bar at Merrion Row - on Saturday. Bank of Scotland is the firm’s largest creditors and is owed €4m, the newspaper says. Yesterday the bank told the court it would oppose the company’s examinership application. The bank’s previous appointment of a receiver to the bar was deemed invalid on Friday due to its failure to comply with a formality.