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About 36% of Irish Firms at 'High Risk' Of Collapse

A recent study concluded that 38,000 of Irish companies are at a "high risk" of collapse and show signs consistent with business failure, the Irish Examiner newspaper reported Monday.

In a study of 100,000 businesses, company records agency vision.net.ie found that more than a third performed badly in areas such as deteriorating liquidity, lower or negative cash flow, lower sales or earnings and overreliance on debt, the paper said.

"Our findings show the stark reality of what is happening in the real economy," Christine Cullen, the managing director of vision.net.ie, told the newpaper. "Our risk model is signalling that over 38,000 companies who appear to be normal are in fact in trouble. These companies are highly likely to be unable to meet their trading and financial commitments."

About 17 percent of the companies surveyed over an 18 month period were deemed at "medium risk" and on average, 185 Irish companies go into liquidation each week, the newspaper reported.

The Irish government is also under pressure to close state-owned Anglo Irish bankbecause of the cost of propping up the lender.

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