Business

Thursday 8 December 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 01/09/2015 | 07:02

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

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Irish Independent:

***The law firm whose former managing partner is at the centre of investigations into the €1.6bn sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland loan portfolio delayed contacting regulators until a fortnight after his resignation, the Irish Independent has learned.

Company records indicate that Ian Coulter resigned from the Belfast law firm Tughans a full 15 days before the Law Society of Northern Ireland was contacted about his alleged conduct.

According to Tughans, Mr Coulter stepped down after other partners had discovered that he had diverted £7.5m (€10.25m) in legal fees to an offshore account without their knowledge.

***Ireland’s ageing population will place increasing pressure on the State’s public finances in the coming years, Davy Stockbrokers has said.

In a monthly economic update to investors, the company also claimed that while the economic recovery is spreading out from Dublin, an urban-rural divide still exists.

As preparations for October’s Budget ramp up in the coming weeks, Davy – the country’s biggest stockbroking firm – echoed concerns from the Fiscal Advisory Council and European Commission that demographic spending pressures will soon become an issue.

***Irish medical firm Mainstay Medical expects its “breakthrough” treatment for chronic  back pain to sell commercially in Europe next year after reporting promising results from a clinical trial yesterday.

Its ReActiv8 is an implantable device that looks to alleviate back pain. The system helps restore control to the muscles that stabilise the lumbar spine.

Operating expenses at the firm, which is at a pre-revenue stage, rose to $6.3m in the six months to the end of June compared to $4.8m for the corresponding period in 2014.

 

Irish Times:

***The owner of the company behind the cafes at Clerys has said that she is prepared to take legal action over the sale and liquidation of the firms behind the iconic Dublin department store.

Creditors are due to meet today with KPMG, the liquidator appointed to Clery’ operating company, OSC Operations, to appoint a committee to oversee the liquidation.

Former Small Firms Association Chair Lorraine Sweeney of LS Catering, which owned the Clerys cafes, is refusing to take part in the meeting and her company has written letters threatening legal action to several parties involved in the sale such as KPMG.

***US fast-food giant McDonald’s has been forced to withdraw the term “artisan” when describing its new “Irish” burger, the Irish Times reports.

The company’s new burger does not meet recent guidelines published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. According to the guidelines, to be described as artisan the product must, among other measures, be made in limited qualities by skilled craftspeople.

McDonald’s told the newspaper that the term artisan is inaccurate and said that it will no longer be used when describing the burger.

***The Irish Mortgage Holders Association has written to 4,200 AIB mortgage holders encouraging them to “come forward” if they feel they were unjustly denied a move from a fixed mortgage rate to a standard variable rate.

The move follows the emergence of a small number of cases where AIB customers feel that they should have been offered tracker rate mortgage products when they came off their fixed rates in the years until 2011.

This follows the recent controversy surrounding the failure of Permanent TSb to inform certain customers of the consequences of their decisions to break early from a fixed rate or discounted tracker period which had seen them lose their contractual right to a tracker rate in the future.

 

Irish Examiner:

***The Government is hoping that the European Commission will dip into an €800m super levy fund as it looks to aid dairy farmers who have seen their incomes collapse.

The Irish Examiner reports that the plan, which has been confirmed by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, is set to be discussed by European agriculture ministers next Monday.

Proposals will include an increase in the intervention price of milk powders and a 70pc advance in area payments due to farmers over the coming weeks.

***World stock indexes fell while oil prices dropped yesterday amid persistent investor concerns about slowing growth in China and the prospect of higher US interest rates.

The dollar eased as weaker stock markets prompted investors to trim bets against currencies popularly used to fund risky carry trades.

But the dollar's losses were limited by weekend comments from Federal Reserve policymakers that left the door open to a US rate rise as soon as next month.

***The current level of bank lending in the economy is “well below” the amount needed for sustainable growth, a leading economist has warned.

New figures released by the Central Bank yesterday show that household loan repayments exceeded new lending by €346m during July following a reduction of €163m in June.

Merrion Stockbrokers chief economist Alan McQuaid said that several factors, such as the reluctance of households with high levels of debt to take on more has resulted in a level of bank lending “well below what Ireland needs for sustainable growth in the long term.

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