The major events happening in business this week

For Your Diary: Rate rise on the cards as Fed meets, Aryzta to appoint Gary McGann as chairman

US Federal Reserve Board chairwoman Janet Yellen. Photograph: Reuters

US Federal Reserve Board chairwoman Janet Yellen. Photograph: Reuters

 

MONDAY

Results: Peregrine Pharmaceuticals.

Meetings: US Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Indicators: Irish construction PMI (Nov); US monthly budget statement (Nov).

Rate rise on the cards as Fed meets

The US Federal Reserve looks almost certain to raise interest rates at its meetings on Monday and Tuesday (December 12th and 13th).

The US central bank raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by 0.25 per cent last December for the first time since 2006.

It put further interest rates on hold in the months that followed due to concerns about jobs.

At the Fed’s last two meetings Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen cited a lack of change in major economic indicators such as the unemployment rate as the reason the bank backed off interest rate hikes.

However, the US economy has shown signs of improvement in recent months, and the case for higher interest rates has gained traction.

Market expectations for a potential interest rate rise at this week’s policy meeting are extremely high, with the federal funds futures market predicting more than 90 per cent probability.

Expectations are that the Fed will raise rates a quarter-percentage point to 0.5-0.75 per cent.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s conclusion in November pointed to a December rate hike, and the minutes further confirmed this belief.

In her first public comments since the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, Ms Yellen, said interest rates could rise “relatively soon”.

TUESDAY

Results: Carpetright; Heico.

Meetings: Aryzta AGM (Kongresshaus Zurich, Switzerland); US Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Indicators: Chinese retail sales (Nov); German inflation rate (Nov); UK inflation rate (Nov); UK retail price index (Nov); Euro zone ZEW economic sentiment index (Dec).

Other: Bellway interim management statement.

Aryzta to appoint Gary McGann as chairman

Swiss-Irish frozen bakery company Aryzta is set to appoint Gary McGann, former chief executive of Smurfit Kappa, as its chairman at this week’s AGM.

Rolf Watter, the chairman of payment management firm PostFinance, is also set to Aryzta’s board, as a Non-executive Director.

Both appointments are subject to approval by Aryzta shareholders at the AGM in Switzerland tomorrow.

Mr McGann retired as chief executive of Smurfit Kappa in last year after 17 years with the group, including 13 years at the helm. He previously worked as chief executive of Aer Lingus.

Mr Watter is a partner in Zurich law firm Bär & Karrer, where he specialises in mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions, and a board member of the privately held Faber Castell.

Formed under the 2007 merger of the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society (IAWS) and Swiss group Hiestand, Aryzta has seen its share price slide in the past two years amid flagging investor confidence in the performance of its US arm, amid big contract losses.

The company reported declining revenues in the first quarter of its year, with sales falling 3.3 per cent to €962.3 million in the three months to the end of October.

WEDNESDAY

Results: Dixons Carphone.

Meetings: Powerflute EGM (Eteläesplanadi 20, Helsinki, Finland).

Indicators: Japanese industrial production (Oct); Euro zone industrial production (Oct); UK unemployment rate (Oct); US retail sales (Nov).

THURSDAY

Results: Aberdeen International; Adobe Systems; and Oracle.

Meetings: Irish Business Awards (Convention Centre, Dublin 1); Forward @ Web Summit (Tramway House, Dublin 6).

Indicators: UK retail sales (Nov); US inflation rate (Nov).

Other: Bank of England interest rate decision.

FRIDAY

Results: Carnival; Lennar.

Indicators: Euro zone balance of trade (Oct); Euro zone inflation rate (Nov); Euro zone wage growth (Q3); US housing starts (Nov).