Weekend Digest


SEEN OR HEARD:DENIS O’BRIEN is bidding for one of four mobile network operator licences being offered in Burma – or Myanmar – and is said to be prepared to invest $1.2 billion in the venture.

According to a report in the Sunday Times yesterday, the far-eastern country’s government plans to offer up to four such licences, and O’Brien is planning to bid for one of these in partnership with state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications.

O’Brien told local media the project would require an initial investment of $1.2 billion.

The Sunday Times reported that his company, Digicel, already has staff there, while O’Brien himself was there this month at an international investment conference.

STATE AGENCY,Nama, has spent close to €60 million on professional advice since it began operating in December 2009, according to the Sunday Business Post.

The paper reported that the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan (right), told his party colleague Michelle Mulherin that the agency has paid professional fees to a range of firms on three panels.

The total comes close to €60 million. The top earners included Ernst Young, which made €8.42 million, and law firm Hogan Lovells International, which made €2.46 million. Property consultants Donal Ó Buachalla Co made €1.2 million.

THE POSTalso reported that markets are expecting the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) to cash in on falling Irish bond yields and raise further cash from the international markets in coming weeks.

Five-year yields dipped to 3.54 per cent at the close of business on Friday, furthering a trend that began with the European Central Bank’s announcement that it would buy bonds issued by troubled euro zone countries and which was reinforced when the US Federal Reserve announced plans to buy up mortgages.

The paper quoted a number of investment managers with Irish firms, who predicted that the NTMA could follow up its recent burst of activity with a further bond issue. Some predicted that it could use amortised or inflation-linked instruments to raise cash this time around.