Tuesday 21 February 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 28/01/2016 | 06:56

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

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Irish Independent

** The European Central Bank's former president Jean-Claude Trichet bullied Ireland into the Troika bailout and then betrayed the country by saddling us with up to €9bn in debt.

Ireland's descent into financial turmoil came after a slow build up that saw our political and business leaders ignore warning signs that the economy was overheating, the Banking Inquiry has concluded.

However, the €6.5m taxpayer-funded report fails to apportion direct blame for the crisis on any one sector, instead suggesting it was the culmination of poor government policy, a regulatory system that did not do its job and banks that engaged in risky lending.

** The Irish tech sector is at risk of becoming a men-only club, with less than 3pc of venture capital going to startups with a female founder and only 0.6pc of funding to tech firms with a female chief executive.

An Irish Independent investigation shows a startling gap in the Irish tech industry.

In the first 10 months of 2015, the average investment round for a VC-funded tech firm in Ireland with a female chief executive was €591,000.

** The "vilification" and repeated targeting of those earning over €70,000 smacks of a system that wants to penalise rather than reward success, the head of the country's biggest business body has claimed.

IBEC director general Danny McCoy, inset, also warned that scrapping or dramatically cutting the Universal Social Charge (USC) risked hollowing out the tax base. The lobby group warned that business was increasingly concerned that "populist" election positions risked repeating serious economic mistakes of the past.

"Yes, we need tax reform, but it needs to be focused on where we are most out of line internationally," Mr McCoy said.

The Irish Times

** Burning the bondholders could have saved the State €9bn, the banking inquiry was told.

As part of yesterday's report it was revealed that the National Treasury Management Agency told the Government that it could have saved over €9bn by imposing losses on major bondholders at the six Irish banks.

It is understood that the Government could have clawed back more of the €64bn lost in the bailout of the banks than was previously suggested according to the NTMA.

** Michael Lowry is facing legal costs in the millions after the High Court ruled against his attempts to have the State pay for the costs accumulated at the Moriarty tribunal.

In his ruling against Mr Lowry, Mr Justice John Hedigan said that the tribunal could have held all of Mr Lowry's cost or ordered him to pay some of the costs of the tribunal.

Mr Justice Hedigan described the findings of the tribunal as a 'litany of falsification and deception'.

** 580 jobs are to be lost at Xtra-Vision after the firm was placed in provisional liquidation. the move comes following weak trading at Christmas.

HMV had recently completed a deal that saw HMV's placed inside Xtra-Vision stores and now the Hilco-owned music store may look to buy back some of the 83 Xtra-Vision stores.

It is understood that the Xtra-Vision brand will live on through an online business as well as its DVD vending machine business.

Irish Examiner

** Tesco is to cut the pay and conditions of its Irish staff with almost 1,000 workers to be affected by the move.

The supermarket giant will be looking to move some of its longest-serving staff onto different contracts.

On Tuesday, the company met with staff and told them of its intentions to shift hundreds of staff that are on contracts signed before 1996 onto new contracts that were agreed with unions in 2006.

** Supermac's has lost its brand war with fast-food giant McDonald's, which seriously hampers its plans for expansion outside of Ireland.

The EU office that decides on trademark disputes sided with McDonald's in its opposition to Supermac's using its own brand across Europe.

The announcement comes as a blow ahead of Supermac's plans to move into the Australian market where McDonald's is also opposing its introduction.

** Paddy Power announced yesterday that it expects to report a full-year profit of €180m for 2015, ahead of its official results due to be released in March.

The announcement comes ahead of Paddy Power's merger with fellow betting company, Betfair.

The firm's predictions are in line with expectations and it would represent an increase of around 10pc on its 2014 profits.

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