Cork continues to attract leading companies – Buttimer

Thursday, 19th March 2015

  • Decision by Malwarebytes to locate its EMEA headquarters in Cork again shows that the city attracts leading technology companies.

The decision by Malwarebytes to locate its EMEA headquarters in Cork again shows that the city has a reputation that attracts leading technology companies. Cork has a developed a cluster of the some of the biggest names in technology industries. We have an educated workforce that meets the needs of these companies and we have facilities that enable them to successfully conduct their operations from a Cork base.

As well as signalling that Cork has become a tech-hub, it is welcome that 50 new jobs will be created. The reason we want to attract business is to create jobs so that people can get back to work and to give opportunities for those that left Ireland to return home. Maintaining policies that support and encourage businesses is critical to the future of our economy and society.

Malwarebyes’ decision to locate in Cork will be another boost for the local jobs market. For 32 months the Live Register has been falling and in Cork it has reduced by 23% since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in March 2012. All of this points to the reality of some economic recover but with much work left to do. These 50 new jobs will be another help in tackling unemployment and with the right policies we will continue to see job growth and creation.

ENDS

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Economic, Employment, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, National Work

Pfizer decision a boost for local economy – Buttimer

10th March 2015

  • Pfizer to continue manufacturing at its Little Island facility

The decision by Pfizer to reverse its decision to close its facility at Little Island and, instead, to continue manufacturing at the site is a welcome boost for local economy.  It is testament to the commitment of the workforce at Pfizer’s Little Island facility that this decision has been taken.  It will come as great news for the employees and their families.

For more than 45 years Pfizer has had a presence in Cork and it has played an important part in the economic development of the region.  Over that time the company has provided valuable employment and thousands of Cork people have worked to ensure that Pfizer’s facilities in Cork have been productive and profitable.  The decision to secure the jobs at the Little Island facility confirms a continued commitment to its employees and to Cork.

This announcement by Pfizer continues a series of positive developments when it comes to employment in Cork.  Since the launch of the Action Plan on Jobs in March 2015 the number of people on the Live Register in Cork has dropped by 23%, more than 10,000 people in Cork have come off the Live Register.  Official statistics and decisions like today’s one by Pfizer show that the economy is in recovery.  This steady progress must be continued so that we can provide employment opportunities for all those who are continuing to look for jobs.

ENDS

Posted under Cork, Economic, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation

Parliamentary Question: EU-IMF Programme of Support

Question to the Minister for Finance (Michael Noonan, TD)

To ask the Minister for Finance the changes to the EU/ECB/IMF programme of financial support he has secured since taking office; the amount of savings generated by each change; the cost to the State had each change to the programme not been achieved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWERS on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.

REPLY

There have been a number of improvements to the terms of our EU-IMF Programme loans since they were initially agreed in late 2010. These changes have included reductions of the interest rates and, in the case of the EU facilities, extensions of maturities. While not part of the EU-IMF Programme we have also negotiated the replacement of the Promissory Notes issued to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) with a series of longer term, non-amortising floating rate Government bonds. In addition, we have recently made an early repayment of a large portion of Ireland’s IMF programme loans and further early repayments are planned.

The savings arising from these measures are set out below. These savings are equivalent to the cost of not having achieved these measures.

When the programme was initially agreed in late 2010, the average interest rate on the €67.5 billion available to drawdown from the external sources was estimated by the EU Commission to be 5.82% on the basis of market rates at that time. The average life of the borrowing was initially set at 7.5 years.

In July 2011, the Euro Area Heads of State or Government (HOSG) agreed to reduce the cost of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) loans, and similar reductions were subsequently agreed for the interest rates on the loans provided by the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) and also by the three bilateral lenders (UK, Sweden and Denmark).  It is estimated that the interest rate reductions on the EU funding mechanisms and the bilateral loans are worth of the order of €9 billion over the initially envisaged 7½ year term of these loans.  As of end-December 2014 the all in euro equivalent cost of our EU IMF programme loans is estimated to have been 3.3%.

Also in 2011, the average maturity of the EFSM and the EFSF loans was extended to a planned 12.5 and 15 years respectively.

In April 2013, EU Finance Ministers agreed in principle to further extend the maximum weighted average maturities on our EFSF and EFSM loans by up to 7 years, over and above the extension agreed in 2011. This further maturity extension removes a refinancing requirement of some €20 billion for the Irish State in the years 2015 to 2022.  This extension of maturities has a number of significant benefits for Ireland, including smoothing our redemption profile, improving long term debt sustainability and it also has a positive impact on the cost of Exchequer borrowing through creating further downward pressure on our borrowing costs.

While not part of the EU-IMF Programme, it is also worth mentioning that in February 2013, the Irish Government replaced the Promissory Notes issued to IBRC with a series of longer term, non-amortising floating rate Government bonds. This has resulted in significant benefits to the State, including increasing the weighted average life from c.7-8 years for the Promissory Notes to c.34-35 years for the floating rate notes.

The most recent initiative we have undertaken is the early repayment of up to €18.3 billion of our IMF loans.

Following completion of all necessary approval procedures by our EU and bilateral lenders in November 2014, Ireland repaid the first €9 billion tranche to the IMF over two dates in December 2014. The €9 billion repayment represents almost 40% of Ireland’s IMF loan facility.

This repayment transaction is estimated to reduce the interest bill by approximately €750 million over the lifetime of the loans.

By reducing the interest bill on the national debt we reduce the amount of resources that go towards servicing the debt.  This frees up resources for investment in activities that will grow the economy, create jobs and opportunities. This has knock on benefits across the economy and can lower the cost of debt for businesses and families.

Further early repayments of up to €9.3 billion are planned. .

Total estimated interest savings in excess of €1.5 billion are expected to be achieved when the early repayment to the IMF is completed. The actual interest savings will depend on a range of factors including the timing of, and interest rate on the bonds issued as well as the timing and volume of early repayments to the IMF.

Posted under Economic, Finance, Parliamentary Questions