Friday 30 September 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 25/11/2015 | 06:59

The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section
The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section

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

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Irish Independent

*The former general secretary of the Irish Farmers' Association will be walking away from the embattled farm lobby body with a €2m pension pot, as a major review of pay and governance gets under way to try to tackle the fallout.

It is also understood negotiations are continuing over any potential 'golden handshake' for Pat Smith after he resigned from his position after 25 years with the organisation last week.

The executive, including the president Eddie Downey, deputy president Tim O'Leary and treasurer Jer Bergin have faced calls to step down from the national executive after it emerged Mr Smith earned almost €1m over two years.

*Motor insurers have been warned by the Central Bank that they are not putting enough money aside to meet accident claims.

The regulator said there had been a rise in the cost of settling claims between 2012 and last year, and insurers are facing more claims.

But there is a wide variation in the amount of reserves being put to one side to meet the claims, the Central Bank said.

Its report suggests that insurers put in place a "dynamic" policy to raise prices to counter higher costs.

*US presidential hopefuls have lined up to slam drug giant Pfizer's planned move to become tax resident in Ireland.

Democrats heaped the most criticism on the New York-based drugmaker, with Hillary Clinton accusing Pfizer of using legal loopholes to avoid its "fair share" of taxes in a deal that she said "will leave US taxpayers holding the bag."

Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for a corporate tax overhaul, called the deal "disgusting" in a statement, saying "our politicians should be ashamed".

The Irish Times

*Volkswagen Group Ireland(VGI) warned its dealers that failing to tell customers their cars are affected by the emissions scandal increases the risk of legal trouble.

VGI managing director Lars Himmer said failing to tell new customers of possible irregularities increases the risk of criminal prosecution and civil liability.

*The break fee in the proposed $160bn Pfizer-Allergan tie-up is just $400m if either party pulls out due to an adverse change in the law.

Market sources said there was concern that politicians could interfere in the heavily criticised "inversion" deal.

The fee for pulling out for other reasons is $3bn-$3.5bn - in line with deals of this scale.

*Private equity giant Blackstone is on track to make a €43m profit on two Docklands properties bought from Nama two years ago.

It has agreed sale terms at €123m for the buildings - the Bloodstone Building and an adjoining property on Britain Quay - which were bought for €80m. The buyer is Munich-based property adviser Real Is.

Irish Examiner

*An Bord Pleanala is examining revised plans to build a new town with over 5,300 houses just north of Cork City.

Cork City Council has brought forward the new plans, three years after another version of the project was rejected.

The project would be based in Monard, near Blarney and 6km north of the city.

*Pfizer's move to Ireland is unlikely to deliver additional tax revenue to the State, according to a top economist.

UCC's Seamus Coffey said both Pfizer and Allergan have large operations here which were unlikely to be affected.

Pfizer pays the prevailing tax rate in each country in which it operates - and as things stand has to pay a top up payment to the US, which has the highest corporate tax rate in the OECD -  to bring the overall tax to the US rate. But because Ireland has a lower tax rate than most countries, a similar payment will be unlikely when Pfizer moves here.

*Tourism-linked stocks fell yesterday after the US issued a worldwide travel alert.

An analyst at Investec Ireland said commercial airline stocks were most affected, but that the effects had been relatively mild.

Travel and leisure stocks were also under pressure.

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