Thursday 22 March 2018

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

*US stocks dramatically reversed gains last night and closed with deep losses even after China cut interest rates in a bid to clam market jitters.

European stocks surged and closed up in the afternoon, partially recovering losses endured on 'Black Monday', and US stocks looked to be following suit.

But major indices turned negative in the final minutes of trading. The Dow Jones fell 1.29pc and the S&P 500 lost 1.35pc amid fragile investor confidence.

*Petrol retailers have been criticised over their failure to significantly cut their prices in response to the collapse in crude oil prices.

Crude oil has hit a six-year low, but prices at the pumps are only due to come down marginally, a body that represents petrol retailers said.

Consumers' Association chief executive Dermott Jewell said consumers should be seeing larger falls.

*Property giant Kennedy Wilson has been given the go-ahead for a major refurbishment of the State's oldest shopping centre, situated in Stillorgan on Dublin's southside.

Kennedy Wilson's London-listed investment vehicle secured approval for the revamp of the shopping centre from Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown county council.

Under the plan, the Stillorgan shopping centre will get a roof - almost 50 years after it was built.

The Irish Times

*Troubled insurer FBD has appointed its former finance director Cathal O'Caoimh as interim chief financial officer (CFO).

Interim chief executive Fiona Muldoon replaced him as CFO before replacing departed boss Andrew Langford.

In January, FBD said that Mr O'Caoimh wanted to retire and would be replaced by Ms Muldoon. The newspaper says it's understood that the Central Bank wanted the CFO position to be filled on an interim basis before a new chief executive is appointed.

*The US Federal Reserve is still expected to raise interest rates despite the turmoil in world markets.

US rates have stayed near zero since the 2008 crash. Economists say there's a "strong chance" of the first rate hike since September 2006 when the Fed's policymakers meet next month.

*RSA boss Stephen Hester is in line for an £8.5m windfall after swecuring a £5.6bn bid for his group by rival insurer Zurich.

The move is shaping up as the largest takeover of a British or Irish insurer in over a decade.

The bid comes two years after Mr Hester was hired to turn around RSA, which had been hit by profit warnings and a scandal at its Irish business.

Irish Examiner

*Waterford Port dropped plans for a legal challenge to An Bord Pleanala's decision to grant permission for a €100m expansion of Cork Port.

The decision followed an intervention from Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe, the newspaper reports.

Marine Minister Simon Coveney welcome the decision to drop the challenge and said both ports could grow and be successful with a growing economy.

*Introducing rent controls would be retrograde and artificial, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. (SCSI)

In its pre-budget submission the SCSI called for a temporary VAT cut on new homes and reduction in development levies.

"We now need some short-term measures to to stimulate house-building activity...building more units and supporting the financing of rental schemes will make rents more affordable - not artificial controls," SCSI president Andrew Nugent said.

*Losses have continued to grow at the ethical clothing company founded by Bono and his wife.

Edun lost $5.34min the 12 months to December last, newly filed accounts show.

The firm has narrowed its losses over recent years, however. At the end of December accumulated losses at the business stood at $66.3m.

Louis Vuitton owner LVMH has a stake in the group.


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