Thursday 8 December 2016

Business pages: what the papers say

Published 05/05/2015 | 07:09

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning:

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Irish Independent

*Aer Lingus has dropped a multi-million euro lawsuit against Siptu for damages the airline claimed it incurred because of threatened strike action.

The airline had said it intended to seek damages for alleged "conspiracy" and "unlawful interference" with its business.

The intended strike action was planned due to a long-running pensions dispute that has since been resolved.

Sources said the airline and unions agreed the lawsuit would be dropped as part of the process of resolving the pensions dispute.

*Longford energy firm Airsynergy has completed a €4.5m fundraising round as it advances plans for a full commercial launch of its products.

The firm produces technology that accelerates the speed at which wind flows past the blades of a wind turbine, increasing the power produced.

That could mean wind turbines could be placed in areas where previously they were thought unfeasible.

*Bank of Ireland approved €1.24bn in new credit, excluding restructured loans, to SMEs in the first quarter of 2015 - a 24pc jump on last year.

The bank said there was a 12pc jump in new credit applications in the period, with agriculture, property and retail among sectors showing strong signs of growth.

Its director of business banking Mark Cunningham said the increased activity in the agricultural sector was mainly due to the abolition of milk quotas, with farmers investing to try and take advantage.

The Irish Times

*The number of home repossession orders made by the courts has soared more than 500pc since last year.

New figures from the Courts Service show 586 repossession orders were made by the Circuit Court in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 95 in the first quarter of 2014.

Almost 400 of the orders were for primary homes, and almost 100 were for buy-to-lets.

The making of such an order does not necessarily mean a home has been repossessed, as it is up to the entity who gets the order to pursue its executive, a Courts Service spokesman said.

*Ulster Bank will sign up to the Credit Review Office (CRO) next month.

The move will mean SME owners who have been refused up to €3m credit by the bank will be able to appeal to an external body if they think their proposal was viable.

The CRO's last quarterly report said 56pc of appeals had gone in borrowers' favour.

*Irish financial advisors are tipping property again.

A Quilter Cheviot survey of 100 advisors found more than half chose property as the preferred investment sector, with 45pc choosing equities.

Last year, 57pc of advisors chose equities.

Irish Examiner

*Mortgage holders in difficulty will be able to walk away from debts but stay in their homes under a new mortgage-to-rent scheme.

Home owners will have to sign their homes over to their bank but would remain in the property as social housing tenants.

Banks would be able to sell the properties to private companies, with local authorities acting as management companies leasing the property.

*Former Tullow Oil executives heading up a new oil and gas exploration firm want it to become a listed billion-dollar company.

T5 Oil & Gas non-executive chairman Pat Plunkett has said the company is already eyeing up potential assets.

*The ECB will use more stress tests to ward off future banking crises, a high-ranking European official said yesterday.

Jukka Vesala, an ECB director general, said the tests would "for sure" be part of the supervisory regime in the future, in some form or other.

The bank, which directly supervises the largest 123 lenders in the Eurozone, is currently examining big banks' business models as part of its supervisory examination programme.

Financial Times

*Greece is so far away from meeting the conditions of its bailout that it faces losing IMF support unless European lenders write off large amounts of its sovereign debt, the IMF warned.

The move could mean the IMF holds back its portion, about half, of a €7.2bn aid package that Greece is trying to secure.

If Greece doesn't get the money it's expected to run out of cash this month.

Sources said IMF data showed Greece is set to run a primary budget deficit of up to 1.5pc of GDP this year.

It was supposed to run a primary surplus of 3pc of GDP.

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