Business Irish

Thursday 5 December 2019

Tesco boss Clarke heads for checkout after three years

Business week in 60 seconds

ARE YOU BEING SERVED: Philip Clarke is leaving Tesco
ARE YOU BEING SERVED: Philip Clarke is leaving Tesco

Colm Kelpie

Tesco boss Philip Clarke is bowing out of the supermarket. He's leaving the company in October as investors tire of waiting for a long-promised turnaround at Britain's largest retailer.

After taking on the top post almost three years ago, Mr Clarke has struggled to temper an assault on the company's business from discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl and also from high end chains such as Waitrose.

He will be replaced by Dave Lewis, the head of Unilever's personal care division. Mr Clarke has spent most of his adult life working with Tesco.

IMF hikes interest on bailout

Ireland is now paying almost 5pc interest on its loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Washington-based lender has added a percentage point on to the interest being charged on Ireland's bailout loan.

It emerged last week that the state is paying an estimated 4.99pc interest on its €22.5bn loan - more than twice what it's paying on the market for 10-year-debt and more than four times what it's paying for seven year money.

It once again prompted calls for the Government to look at renegotiating the agreement on early repayment of the IMF debt. Currently, if Ireland was to repay the IMF early. it would also have to do the same for the EU loans.

Ryanair to repay €10m state aid

Ryanair was at the wrong end of a decision by the European Commission last week.

The airline has been ordered to pay back nearly €10m in illegal state aid it received for operating at three airports in France. The Brussels-based body ruled that the state aid, which included marketing support and rebates, breached rules and gave Ryanair an unfair advantage over rivals. Ryanair no longer operates at two of the airports.

The carrier dismissed what it described as the "erroneous" decision made by the commission and said it intends to appeal.

European Central Bank hacked off

The website of the European Central Bank was hacked last week.

The Frankfurt-based body said some email addresses and other contact information was stolen but insisted no market-sensitive data was affected.

The theft came to light after the central bank received an anonymous email on Monday night demanding money in exchange for the addresses. The hackers broke into a database storing details of people who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events.

Tullow defends award in court

It was a positive week for Tullow Oil as a Ugandan subsidiary successfully defended a $346m (€257m) award it secured from Heritage Oil last year in London's High Court.

The Court of Appeal rejected Heritage's efforts to have the award reversed. The ruling related to a deal signed in 2010, which saw Tullow agree to pay $1.45bn (€1.83bn) to buy Heritage's assets at the Lake Albert Basin in Uganda.

Heritage argued it wasn't liable for a capital gains tax that was due as a result of the sale. Tullow and partners later paid the remaining tax Ugandan authorities wanted.

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