Tuesday 25 October 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 18/06/2015 | 07:01

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

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Irish Independent:

***Businessman Denis O’Brien asked for more time to repay his debts to State-owned IBRC, arguing he had a verbal agreement with the bank’s former CEO Mike Aynsley.

The majority of an RTÉ report on Mr O’Brien and his arrangements with IBRC, which was the subject of a High Court injunction, can now be published.

Following a High Court ruling yesterday, two paragraphs of the original story cannot be reported as they are still covered by the injunction granted to IBRC against RTÉ in May.

***Europe’s biggest airlines have set aside their usual fierce rivalries to lobby for an easier ride from European policy makers.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary and IAG boss Willie Walsh joined the heads of Air France KLM-Group, Lufthansa and Easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall in Brussels seeking European Union measures to boost efficiency, better regulate airports, lower taxes and prevent air traffic controllers’ strikes.

“This is the first time we have all joined together,” Willie Walsh said at a press briefing to launch the lobbying initiative.

***The European Commission will produce proposals for a new mandatory EU common corporate tax base within 18 months as part of a plan to clamp down on aggressive tax avoidance.

The so-called Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) proposal was heavily debated a number of years ago and was intended in part to provide a single set of rules that companies operating within the EU could use to calculate their taxable profits. Ireland, however, was not in favour of the plans.

The Commission announced yesterday that it will present a revised CCCTB proposal by next year, which will be mandatory for multinationals.

Irish Times:

***Draft legislation to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide was ready to use on the night of the bank guarantee, the banking inquiry has heard.

The former  secretary general of the Department of Finance David Doyle said that both former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and Kevin Cardiff, who was in charge of the banking unit at the department, initially favoured this route over a blanket guarantee of the banks.

“The reservations about the approach were that it would undermine the guarantee and call into question the need for further nationalisation,” Mr Doyle said.

***European finance ministers are to meet in Luxembourg today where crunch talks on how to avoid a Greek default and possible eurozone exit are set to dominate proceedings.

The increasingly acrimonious public standoff between Greece and its creditors continued yesterday, with the European Commission disputing claims by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that lenders were imposing “humiliating” terms on Athens.

As it was confirmed that both German and British leaders are making contingency plans for the expiration of Greece’s bailout programme at the end of the month, in a sign that there may be room for compromise Greece’s main negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos said Greece would be willing to make concessions.

***The State’s competition watchdog is to go to the High court after seizing material from Ireland’s biggest company, CRH, in a raid last month as part of an inquiry into alleged anti-competitive practises in the cement industry.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is to ask the court next month which of the thousands of documents that it seized during the raid it will be allowed use to build its case.

The commission said that it had “made an application to the High Court seeking a determination as to whether information seized from Irish Cement during the search operation on May 14th constitutes legally privileged material.”

Irish Examiner:

***The amount of home loan credit has fallen to its lowest level in ten years, according to new figures.

Central Bank figures published yesterday for the period to the end of March show that the amount of credit available for those on tracker mortgages has risen for a 13th straight quarter while the amount outstanding for tracker rate loans has fallen for the 14th quarter in a row.

However, the overall amount of credit available has dropped for the 21st successive quarter to its lowest level in ten years to €77.5bn.

***Losses at Irish resources firm Ormonde Mining fell from €1.8m to €1.6m in the 12 months to the end of 2014, according to the company’s latest set of financial results.

The year was notable for the firm due to the progress made on the Barruecopardo tungsten project in Spain. An environmental permit was granted for the project early last year, and the full mining permit was granted in November 2014.

US fund Oaktree Capital recently took a majority stake in the Barruecopardo mine after shareholders in Ormonde voted overwhelmingly in favour of a deal which saw the fund and the company split ownership of the tungsten mine 70pc-30pc in return for €90m in debt and equity.

***The Central Bank says it has contacted Ulster Bank after bank payments in the North and lenders owned by parent group Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in Britain were hit early yesterday by a new computer glitch.

The latest problems to hit RBS follow the huge problems at RBS’s computers in Edinburgh that effectively paralysed Ulster Bank operations for two weeks across Ireland three years ago.

The 2012 computer problems were considered so serious that the Central Bank last November fined Ulster Bank €3.5m. It also demanded that RBS separate Ulster computers from its other Edinburgh overnight batch processes that handled RBS’s other banks NatWest and Coutt’s.

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