Business Irish

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

*AIB, the bank that was bailed out at a cost of €21bn to the taxpayer, has been accused of losing the run of itself again by offering loans of up to €30,000 for fans to go to Euro 2016 in France.

The bank can approve the loans and allow them to be drawn down within three hours if an application is accepted. But repayments on a €30,000 loan over three years would come close to €1,000 a month. The Consumers' Association called on the Central Bank and the Department of Finance to intervene to stop the bank again engaging in what it said was reckless lending.

A spokeswoman for the bank denied it was acting irresponsibly. ""Personal loan amounts range from €1,000 up to a maximum of €30,000. We anticipate that the vast majority of Euro 2016-related loans will be at the low end of this scale," the bank said.

*Separately, AIB is ready to be floated on the public markets and it is up to the Government to decide the timing of an IPO, bank chief executive Bernard Byrne has said.

Mr Byrne said market sentiment to Ireland was "very friendly" at present and warned sentiment can turn quickly.

"If it [investor interest] is there, it's always good to take it because sentiment can disappear and appetite can disappear," he said.

But he admitted privatisation may take 10 years.

*At least four Irish telecoms companies are considering legal action against Eir over a dispute involving the amount of time it takes for phone and broadband users to get connected or have lines fixed.

The row, which now involves the telecoms regulator, centres on broadband services supplied by companies like Vodafone and Sky which are based on Eir landlines. Eir's rivals say that its interaction with them is increasingly poor, leading to difficulties with their own customers.

A spokesman for Eir said the issue was currently being mediated on. "We welcome Comreg's review of the wholesale governance model and look forward to fully participating in that process according to the timelines and terms of reference they set out," he said.

Irish Examiner

*The dollar was little changed against the euro after the US Federal Reserve lifted US interest rates for the first time in a decade last night.

The greenback initially climbed aftet the Fed said increases would be gradual. Some banks are expecting more gains next year as policy tightens, with 17 of 60 analysts saying the dollar could hit parity with the euro in the April-June quarter of 2016.

*Wages in Britain grew slower than expected in the third quarter, meaning a rate hike there could take longer.

The Bank of England hasn't lifted rates in seven years, with investors taking the weak pay numbers as a sign that the Bank wouldn't match the Fed any time soon.

Earnings excluding bonuses for regular workers rose 2pc in the period, weaker than a Reuters poll's median forecast of 2.3pc.

*US multinationals are likely to create 14,000 Irish jobs over the next two years, according to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

Yesterday the Chmaber held its World of Talent event, which aims to attract people to work for US multinationals in Ireland. IDA boss Martin Shanahan said the scheme could be a way of attracting Irish emigrants home.

He said talent was always at the top of companies' lists of priorities for developing a business in Ireland.

The Irish Times

*Dublin City Council (DCC) is to build 1,300 homes priced from €240,000 in its most ambitious building programme since Ballymun's regeneration.

The plan has been backed by councillors on DCC's housing and planning committees  for sites in Coolock, Inchicore, and O'Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7.

It will now need to be approved by a full council meeting.

*Some developers are slow to build houses because they hope to boost profits, Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh told an Oireachtas committee yesterday.

He said developers can expect a €20,000 profit on a new home sold for €300,000, but said many want to wait until they can make a €50,000 profit per house.

He said it had taken a price increase of almost a third since 2013 for building houses to become viable again.

*The Central Bank has 56 job vacancies across 12 areas, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

Over 20 of the vacancies are in the Bank's insurance supervision arm.

A Central Bank spokeswoman said the Bank had flagged its staff retention issues on a number of occasions.

Online Editors

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