Sunday 23 October 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 16/09/2015 | 06:53

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

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Irish Independent:

***The Coalition has been warned by an international think-tank not to give subsidies to first-time buyers as it will push up property prices even further.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also cautioned against a giveaway Budget.

The OECD said recent property price hikes weren’t being fuelled by a credit boom, but the rises in both residential and commercial markets could be creating risks of “another damaging property cycle”.

***Citibank has hired a crack US lawyer, whose high-profile clients have included former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, in its bid to crush Allied Irish Banks’ $500m (€442m) John Rusnak-linked case against it.

Ted Wells has just been appointed lead trial counsel for Citibank, which has hired a new law firm to fight its case in court.

Mr Wells – regarded as one of the best trial lawyers in America  – is also one of a number of legal eagles representing oil giant BP in its fight against alleged securities fraud linked to its Deepwater Horizon catastrophe off Texas in 2010.

***Irish researchers have secured €800,000 in EU funding to help develop IT systems to capture power from wave energy devices.

Professor John Ringwood from the Centre for Ocean Energy Research at Maynooth University secured the funding from the EU Horizon 2020 fund, which will involve three researchers working with Scottish company Aquamarine Power on its ‘Oyster’ device.

The machine is a buoyant, hinged flap moored to the seabed at depths of between 10 and 15 metres, around 500 metres offshore.

Irish Times:

***Ministers, who are putting pressure on the inner cabinet for increased spending in the upcoming Budget, are being told to row back on spending demands, the Irish Times reports.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is to say at a Cabinet economic update today that there is no scope to go beyond the planned €1.5bn of tax cuts and spending increases previously announced.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also urged ministers to exercise spending restraint, telling them “we are not going to blow the recovery”.

***Motorists are to face a hike of about 25pc in the cost of their premium next year, according to the chief executive of the body that represents most of the car insurance sector in Ireland.

Kevin Thompson is the head of Insurance Ireland, which represents 95pc of the domestic and international-based insurance sector in Ireland. Speaking to the Irish Times he said the increases are inevitable as the motor insurance sector has been losing money for the past five years.

The rises are to come after similar price increases this year which saw many motorists pay up to €300 more for a fully comprehensive insurance policy compared to 2014.

***Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has warned that Europe’s migrant crisis could pose a major threat to sovereign bond levels if handled incorrectly.

In a report the organisation said that if the migrant’s issue is handled wrongly it could lead to increased populism and xenophobia and could divert attention away from budgetary and structural reforms.

Although it is unlikely to lead to a lowering in sovereign ratings, it said that the crisis could have a significant fiscal impact in the short term due to costs such as subsistence and administration.

Irish Examiner:

***Train drivers have decided to ballot for industrial action next week after a breakdown in talks with Iarnrod Eireann in a move that leaves thousands of commuters facing significant potential travel disruption.

Both the National Bus and Rail Union and Siptu are to ballot members next week for a mandate for action that could include stoppages on dart, commuter and national rail services.

Unions say that Iarnrod Eireann is refusing to uphold part of a deal agreed with the Labour Relations Commission that was to see drivers take a pay cut over 25 months.

***Ireland has topped the foreign direct investment rankings for the fourth year in a row, according to a new report.

The latest Global Location Trends report compiled by IBM put Ireland at the top spot, ahead of countries such as Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The study found that Ireland continues to attract investment in industries such as life sciences and communications technology.

***The ability of credit unions to provide basic services, such as debit cards for their members, is being hampered by excessive regulation, it has been claimed.

The Credit Union development Association is calling for a review of the Central Bank’s implementation of recommendations made by the Commission of Credit Unions.

Chief executive Kevin Johnson said that “the pendulum has swung too far from light-touch regulation to zero-blame regulation, which is fundamentally bad for consumers.”

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