Wednesday 24 January 2018

Business week in 60 seconds - Patrick Neary says he's sorry for feeble bank regulation

VICTORY IN DUBLIN: Noel Smyth agreed to buy out his company’s rival and take full control of the capital’s iconic department store Arnotts
VICTORY IN DUBLIN: Noel Smyth agreed to buy out his company’s rival and take full control of the capital’s iconic department store Arnotts
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Former Financial Regulator Patrick Neary told the Banking Inquiry that he was "deeply sorry" about his office's failure to deal with the problems that caused the banking collapse.

But Neary said "primary responsibility resided with the banks themselves".

They were "best placed of all to assess their own risks and business models, to strike the right balance between their risk and reward and have skilled, responsible people in place," he said.

Neary said he had cracked down on the sale of golf balls branded with the Financial Regulator's logo.

Applegreen announces IPO

Service station company Applegreen announced plans to float on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

It hopes to raise around €70m, which will be used to fund the purchase of new stations. The float is expected to take place in June.

CEO Bob Etchingham said the company is "well positioned to benefit from recovering economic growth and increased disposable income in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, as well as favourable market trends as the oil majors exit the forecourt market."

Smyth wins Arnotts battle

Noel Smyth's Fitzwilliam Finance Partners won the battle for control of Dublin department store Arnotts.

The developer's company reached a deal to buy the 50pc stake it did not own from US investment company Apollo. Each side had been looking to buy out the other.

Fitzwilliam said it will "look for opportunities to develop the adjacent property portfolio surrounding the store".

A spokesman for Apollo said it was "a positive outcome for all stakeholders in Arnotts, which should allow for a reduction in the company's existing debt burden".

Gaelectric and Tesla team up for energy storage project

Elon Musk's Tesla and Irish renewables company Gaelectric teamed up on a energy storage project.

The scheme involves plugging a battery into the grid, which releases energy when wind turbines are inactive.

The one-megawatt project, the first of its kind in Ireland, is due to be deployed next year.

Gaelectric said widespread use of batteries would help homes, businesses, and utilities to manage power demand and provide backup power.

Dail signs off on sale of Aer Lingus stake to Walsh's IAG

The will they-won't they saga over the State's shareholding in Aer Lingus drew to a close last week as the Dail signed off on a sale to Willie Walsh's IAG.

But just a day later the controversy re-erupted over the emergence of a secret report that revealed €60m in cuts will be needed at the airline if it is to compete properly in the market.

The report said that the company could meet the target by jettisoning pilots, cabin crew and catering staff, but Aer Lingus boss Stephen Kavanagh insisted that the jobs were safe.

Attention now turns to Ryanair, which has a 30pc stake in Aer Lingus.

Sunday Indo Business

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