Wednesday 7 December 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 01/12/2016 | 06:55

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

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Irish Independent

* Ulster Bank won't end up on the auction block after its British parent failed a Bank of England stress test, but the Irish arm will come under pressure to deliver more capital back to the UK faster, according to analysts.

Ulster Bank insisted yesterday that it is not directly affected, after its UK taxpayer-controlled owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said it will cut costs and sell assets to boost capital, after failing a Bank of England stress test.

* The cost of renting a home has again shot up, but there are tentative signs that the rate of increase is easing off.

Experts said rent rises were slowing because landlords now realised that tenants couldn't afford to pay more for their accommodation.

* Two more Irish firms owned by US investment firm Cerberus have revealed minuscule tax liabilities here despite making a combined £26m (€30m) in profits.

One of the firms, Promontoria Ram, was used to buy distressed loans from Ulster Bank and UIster Bank Ireland in May last year.

The Irish Times

* Former Irish Nationwide Building Society boss Michael Fingleton has sought for a Central Bank enquiry into his management of the business to be postponed well into next year.

The ex-INBS chief executive told a panel of three yesterday that he was nearing 80 and that his health was under supervision.

* Dropping America's corporation tax is a priority for the Trump administration, the country's new treasury secretary Steven Mnuichin has said.

The move will pose major challenges for Ireland in attracting inward investment from the US.

* The head of Britvic Ireland Kevin Donnelly has said his company is prepared for the introduction of the sugar tax, and that Ireland adopts a similar to the UK, more than half of the company's drinks will be exempt from the charge.

The company posted a 9.4pc increase in revenue to £131.7m last year as the Ballygowan brand continued to outperform the market.

Irish Examiner

* Irish people are amongst the world's most-prominent smartphone users, 13pc ahead of the European average, new research has shown.

According to the Google Consumer Barometer just under 80pc of Irish people now use a smartphone.

* Pre-tax profits at business technology provider MJ Flood last year increased by 13.5pc to €8.32m.

This follows revenues at MJ Flood Group last year increasing by 4pc from €82.75m to €86m.

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