Tuesday 11 December 2018

Ergo: McKillens dining out on early successes of 2018

Residence on St. Stephen's Green. Photo: FEature File photographic
Residence on St. Stephen's Green. Photo: FEature File photographic
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

It has been a prosperous start to the year for developer Paddy McKillen - his French hotel, Villa La Coste, has been named hotel of the year by Mr & Mrs Smith, a luxury boutique hotel site.

According to the dissertation, "every once in a while, a hotel comes along that ruffles feathers".

Deirdre Somers, chief executive of the Irish Stock Exchange.
Deirdre Somers, chief executive of the Irish Stock Exchange.

"With its cutting-edge design, arresting architecture, amazing art collection and sublime service, it's the well-deserved winner," gushed the site's founders, James and Tamara Lohan.

Back in Dublin, the next generation is developing some more affordable hospitality.

Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan are expanding with their uber trendy hospitality businesses, Pressup, at a rapid rate.

Early in the month they announced a new addition to its fast-growing portfolio - they recently bought the leasehold and business of Residence on St Stephen's Green and closed the private members' club and restaurant to begin "a complete new refurbishment of the building".

They are also going to develop the Florentine Shopping Centre in Bray. This is in addition to recent openings, such as the beautiful Stella Theatre in Rathmines. Another recent investment was in Elephant & Castle, a popular restaurant in Temple Bar and one of the few reasons why locals still flock to that part of town.

I hear that Pressup is scouring the city for locations for additional Elephant & Castle outlets. So their legendary chicken wings many soon be coming to a suburb near you.

Small Carillion tremor felt on ISE after collapse

The Carillion collapse was a shock to the system last week with Irish investors and others wondering what the impact would be in Ireland, if any. However, one small shock wave was felt in the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE). Over the past couple of years banks have been using derivatives to reduce their exposure to loans and, as the Financial Times revealed last week, HSBC used such credit derivatives to reduce its lending exposure to Carillion. And as ISE CEO Deirdre Somers proclaimed last week, the ISE is ranked number one for bond and investment fund listings worldwide with more than 36,700 securities listed. It is little wonder then that an instrument linked to Carillion has made its way onto the ISE.

Last week a statement issued via the Irish bourse highlighted the impact of a 'credit event' on the British firm's collapse on one of its securities, Metrix Portfolio Distribution. A reminder that it's a very small world.

Trump tax move could mean Davos storm for Donohoe

That decision by tech giant Apple Inc to repatriate billions of its overseas cash back to Uncle Sam - generating a one-off tax bill of $38bn - has Ireland on the back foot, once again, over its corporate tax regime and tax treatment of multinationals.

One man who will be putting his best foot (or is that snowboot?) forward in defence of Ireland's corporate tax regime is Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe who makes his Davos debut this week. Donohoe will earn his much sought-after snow grips and white badge (only given to speakers, dignitaries and celebrities) when he delivers a speech on global tax on Thursday at the World Economic Forum before joining a panel on the thorny issue.

What will fellow panellist Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, make of Donohoe's robust defence of Ireland's tax regime? And if US President Donald Trump were to drop in on the session?

Now that really would be a snowstorm.

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