Wednesday 18 September 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

The business stories you need to know this morning.

Irish Independent

Bank of Ireland has been forced into an embarrassing climb-down over plans to heavily restrict cash transactions in its branches.

The bank was hit with a storm of protest after this newspaper revealed its plans to restrict over-the-counter withdrawals and lodgements.

After sustained criticism from groups representing consumers, farmers, older people, rural dwellers and bank workers, the bank conceded that what it called “vulnerable” customers could continue to get cash and make withdrawals of smaller amounts of money at branch counters.

* A potential British exit from the EU is likely to “significantly reduce” bilateral trade between the UK and Ireland by at least a fifth, a wide-ranging report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) states.

A ‘Brexit’ would be particularly damaging for sectors that export disproportionately to the UK, such as food and beverages. And as Ireland is heavily dependent on UK imports, any potential trade barriers could result in higher prices here, the think tank warned.

The ESRI warned that a British withdrawal could also see passport controls imposed on the border, a reduction in the ease of movement between the Republic and Britain and the removal of the automatic right to work in Britain.

* VMWare’s new chief technology officer, Limerick native Ray O’Farrell, does not expect job losses at the company’s Irish operations if a $67bn merger between Dell and EMC goes ahead.

PC-maker Dell is looking to take US data storage titan EMC private in a $67bn deal, the biggest ever in the tech sector. EMC is the majority shareholder in software services giant VMware, which had global revenues of $6bn last year.

There had been reports of uncertainty for the VMware’s 700 roughly employees based in Cork if the deal goes ahead. However, there should be no effect on Cork as it is “vital” to the company, Mr O’Farrell told the Irish Independent.

Irish Times:

* Apple has indicated it could pay substantially more tax in Ireland, according to the company’s latest annual report.

The tech giant’s accounts show $47.6bn of its total pretax earnings of $72.5bn were booked outside of the US.

The Irish Times reports that “substantially all” of its non-US profits were generated by subsidies “organised” in Ireland. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

* Food giant Kellogg routed €1.3bn of European sales through an Irish unit last year, the Irish Times reports.

However, Dublin registered Kellogg Europe Trading, which is owned by a Luxembourg entity, did not pay any tax in Ireland.

This is because the company made a loss of €87.5m. Although the firm made an operating profit it ended the year with a loss by the interest on €1.7bn loans to other group companies.

* The chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen said that the organisation is considering hiking interest rates in December.

In a congressional hearing Ms Yellen said the entity is mulling the hike as the “downside risks” to the US economy from global events has diminished since September.

She said that the Fed’s December 15-16th meeting would be a “live possibility” at which to announce an increase in rates.

Irish Examiner:

* The AA has called on the Taoiseach to take action to stop the cost crisis that has led to car insurance premiums rising by 35pc in less than two years.

The organisation is calling for an independent probe made up of a number of state agencies and departments, which it claims is the only way to rein in the rising costs.

The AA says that an average car insurance premium would fall by €107 if costs were cut down.

* Stripe, the online payments company founded by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, is aiming to double in size in the coming year.

Founded in 2011, Stripe has grown massively over the last number of years and is valued at more than $4.5bn after its latest funding round, in which it is thought to have taken on about $100m.

Speaking at the Web Summit John Collison said: ““We’re now 320 people and we’ve hired those 320 people over the past five years.

“If you think about it if we want to double Stripe in the next year we have to take that entire Stripe we built over the past five years and build another one in one year. We’re going to try [to double in size] and fingers crossed we will.”

* The company that operates the Luas tram system in the capital is on track to lose more than €870,000 this year.

Transdev Dublin Light Rail has been battling a pay claim from its drivers, who have been seeking wage increases of up to 40pc in order to bring their salaries in line with those of Irish Rail drivers. But Transdev has insisted that it can't afford the increases and is on track to make a loss this year.

Online Editors

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