What it says in the papers: business pages
Published 18/04/2016 | 07:01
Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:
* A leading bank has agreed to cut its mortgage rates in response to a massive switcher campaign.
The new deal could see homeowners reducing their payments by up to €1,500 a year.
Thousands of mortgage holders registered with the One Big Switch campaign, which has now done a deal with Ulster Bank, the Irish Independent has learned.
* Irish small businesses are facing an insurance cost crisis with the potential for "devastating consequences", the Small Firms Association (SFA) has warned.
The SFA said insurance costs have increased by 29.6pc since 2011, with the last year particularly difficult.
"Without quick actions from government this trend will continue, with devastating consequences for small businesses around Ireland," SFA chairman AJ Noonan said.
* The cash pile at the music firm owned by singer-songwriter Damien Rice last year jumped to almost €500,000.
New figures lodged by Damien Rice Music Ltd with the Companies Office show that the cash at the company last year increased from €415,033 to €491,732.
The Kildare-born singer was back in the spotlight last year following the release of his third studio album, 'My Favourite Faded Fantasy'.
The Irish Times
* Andrews Lane Theatre is to be turned into a 115-bedroom 'compact' hotel after the Dublin City Centre venue was sold for €4.4m to a consortium of private investors.
The consortium, which is led by Adrian Shanagher's Firebreak Hospitality, is to invest around €10m into the property to change it into a limited-service hotel.
The rooms will vary in size from between 10sq m and 12sq m.
* Northern Ireland's agricultural sector would be most at risk from a British exit from the EU (Brexit) according to a new report from Davy Stockbrokers.
The firm said the North could be affected the most out of any UK region if the British populous vote in favour of a Brexit.
Davy said a Brexit could cause an impact on the UK economy for up to 10 years after the vote.
* Bank of Ireland executive Jim Hickey has been appointed as chief operating officer of non-bank lender, Finance Ireland.
According to a report in The Irish Times, Mr Hickey leaves Bank of Ireland after being appointed director of group finance there in 2012.
Prior to joining Bank of Ireland Mr Hickey spent six years in senior finance roles in Ulster Bank.
* An overhaul to the self-tax system as well as improved access to credit and further investment in infrastructure have been called for by an Irish small and medium enterprise group.
Isme has called on the next government to prioritise the needs to the SME community in order to build an entrepreneurial culture to help bolster the economic recovery.
Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said supporting Ireland's SME sector was crucial to overall recovery of the economy.
* The Small Firms Association (SFA) has highlighted the dangers of soaring insurance costs to Irish businesses, which could have devastating consequences for the sector.
The association said a compensation culture has been embedded in recent times and has caused an increase in the frequency and the cost of claims.
Chairman of the SFA, AJ Noonan, said costs have increased by just under 30pc over the last five years.
* French economy minister Emmanuel Macron has warned Britain that it may struggle to regain access to the single market if it decides to leave the EU.
The French minister also said the the UK may see an increase in refugees as well as lose negotiating power to protect its steel industry.
Mr Macron said Britain's future as a great country is not outside of the EU but rather part of it.