Friday 15 December 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section
The front page of this morning's Irish Independent business section
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning:

Irish Independent

*Airline passengers will benefit from a price war on flights to continental Europe as Ryanair is set to target routes operated by Aer Lingus.

Michael O'Leary's airline is planning a winter offensive at Dublin Airport to take on IAG following the latter's €1.36bn takeover of Aer Lingus.

Within weeks of the Aer Lingus takeover being completed, Ryanair is expected to reveal details of additional winter services from Dublin.

* A special Government fund to provide loans to large developers is being proposed to help clear a logjam in the supply of family homes.

The fund is among a range of options in a paper put together following a meeting of groups including Nama, the Construction Industry Federation, the Department of Environment and Dublin local authorities.

Developers would be able to avail of loans at "competitive rates" under the plan, which is designed to boost cashflow in the sector and is targeted at developments with over 1,500 units.

*Financial Regulator Cyril Roux flagged concerns to Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan that consumer protection in the Bank was "light touch" and "undermanned" as recently as October.

Roux also claimed that Dame Street's supervision of anti-money laundering activities was "woefully insufficient", documents released under Freedom of Information reveal.

The Irish Times

*Ibec and a restaurants industry group have opposed the expected increase in the minimum wage to from €8.65 to €9.15 an hour.

Ibec said the increase would put pressure on businesses struggling to stay afloat, and lower competitiveness.

Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) chief executive Adrian Cummins said some of his members were in "disbelief" that there was talk of a wage rise when restaurants are finding it hard to keep their doors open.

*Financial services group Finance Ireland, which is led by former Irish Permanent boss Billy Kane, wants to raise €230m in equity and debt to fund growth.

Mr Kane said the funding would fuel growth in the company's SME lending and "build out" its agri-leasing activities.

The company hopes to complete the deal by the end of the summer.

*Valeo Foods is aiming to expand its Odlums flour business after investing over €1m in its Co Laois mill.

Valeo wants to modernise the Odlums brand and lift its share of the €124m-a-year home baking market.

It wants to build an export market for the product through the supply chain used by Valeo's European brands.

Irish Examiner

*Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman John McGuinness said PAC will widen its probe into Nama's Northern Ireland portfolio to include a "substantial" uplift in prices of property loans.

Mr McGuinness said he has information pointing to significant gains in the values of the loans sold by Nama last year.

He said PAC will also look at transactions outside Northern Ireland, the newspaper reports.

*Greek banks have been ordered to re-open today by Alexis Tsipras's Government.

The move comes three weeks after the banks were shut to prevent a system collapse./

The order came hours after a cabinet reshuffle that saw Tsipras replace dissident members of his party after a rebellion over tough new bailout terms.

*A tax credit for companies employing fewer than 10 people could create 80,000 jobs without leaving a hole in the public finances, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber claims its proposal for an employer's PRSI tax credit for the first three years of a micro-company's existence would also reduce the unemployment rate to 6pc.

It also said it has seen an increase in the number of businesses seeking to relocate from Ireland to the UK.

Financial Times

*The prime property market in London is set for a blow as George Osborne plans to strip foreign owners of UK residential property of their last tax advantage over British buyers.

Osborne's plan to charge inheritance tax on UK residential property from April 2017 will affect people who own property through offshore companies.

The UK chancellor said in his Budget speech that it wasn't fair that so-called "non-doms" could avoid the tax.

*Underlying dividends paid out by UK companies have reached their highest level since before the crash.

Around £28.3 bn was paid out in the second quarter of 2015 - rising to £29.2bn if special dividends are included.

The rise in payouts was fuelled by banks returning to health.

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