Sunday 18 August 2019

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

*The president of the IFA has said revelations surrounding Pat Smith's salary came as a "total shock" and insisted that he had been unaware of the former executive's pay package.

While Eddie Downey said he had "no difficulty" in revealing his own salary, he refused to do so, claiming that he is "bound by certain legal constraints".

"I'm not prepared to say what it is at the moment. I can't say at the moment. I'm constrained by legal matters and all the issues associated with that.

"I have to iron all those things out this week. We will then issue a statement."

*One in three of the country's top 20 law firms have experienced cyber attacks in their IT systems in the last year.

Overall, one in five law firms throughout the country have been the victim of cyber attacks, prompting major investment to improve the security of their IT systems.

Almost two out of three law firms are set to further invest in IT over the next year, according to the annual Smith & Williamson survey of Irish law firms.

Paul Wyse, Managing Director of Smith & Williamson Ireland, said that a large percentage of attacks go unreported because of their sensitive nature, but warned that the issue of cyber security has now become a "critical issue" for the legal sector.

*There is a "strong case" for raising interest rates when Federal Reserve policymakers meet next month, as long as US economic data does not disappoint, a top Fed official has said.

"The data, I think, has been overall encouraging, especially on the labour market," San Francisco Fed President John Williams told reporters after a conference at University of California Berkeley's Clausen Centre.

"Assuming that we continue to get good data on the economy, continue to get signs that we are moving closer to achieving our goals and gaining confidence getting back to 2pc inflation... If that continues to happen, there's a strong case to be made in December to raise rates."

The Irish Times

*CRH's Luxembourg subsidiary made profits just shy of $125m and paid $470,000 in tax, newly released figures show.

The company has assets of $2.8bn but doesn't employ any staff. It is part of CRH's global tax and treasury structure, providing finance to the cement maker's US business.

*Irish beef exports to the United States have rapidly increased in recent weeks, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Around 1,300 tonnes had been shipped there as of the first week of this month. Only 31 tonnes had been shipped by June.

The first exports went to the US in March, after the country opened its doors to Irish beef for the first time since the BSE crisis in the 1990s.

*Pfizer and Allergan were last night putting the final touches to $150bn merger that will create the world's largest drugmaker.

Pfizer is preparing for a battle with Washington over fears that the Treasury will lose billions in tax revenue on the back of the deal.

President Obama is readying measures to deter US firms from using takeovers to move their domicile to foreign countries with low taxes.

Irish Examiner

*Residents living alongside a planned €20m aviation fuel pipeline to Dublin Airport have appealed the decision to grant the project planning permission.

The residents' association of Copeland Avenue in Clontarf said the area was 100pc residential and that it was inappropriate to route a major piece of infrastructure through it.

They said the pipeline would cause an "ongoing threat of rupture, leakage, and possible ignition".

*Britain's credit rating may not be cut even if it votes to leave the EU, Moody's lead UK analyst said.

Kathrin Muehlbronner said uncertainty alone might not be enough to justify a cut.

She said Moody's cares about economic strength, and that though Moody's thought a Brexit would be negative, it was not clear how negative it would be.

*The Irish arm of US financial services firm State Street has paid €140m of dividends to its parent this year.

Newly filed accounts operating profit at the firm dropped 77pc to €228,606, despite revenues increasing 17pc to €124.36m.

The directors said they were satisfied with the company's performance.

Online Editors

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