Thursday 23 November 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent

* The deposit amount being used by buyers taking out a mortgage has shot up to €51,000.

Stark new figures from the banks show the value of the average deposit has risen by 38pc in a year from €38,000 to an average of €51,000 for Dublin buyers, figures uncovered by the Irish Independent show.

The banking data shows a deposit of €20,000 being used outside of Dublin by the end of 2015, up from €16,000 in 2014.

* Small businesses are looking for more and more credit from the banks, and the rate of refusal from lenders is shrinking as the economy keeps improving.

New figures from small firms lobby group ISME show that demand for bank credit among its members is increasing steadily. That is in marked contrast to the depths of the economic crash, when demand had collapsed and the crippled banking sector was widely criticised for refusing lending to profitable companies.

The latest 'Bank Watch Survey' from ISME found that 41pc of its members approached their banks for a loan between December and February. That compares to 35pc in the previous survey.

* A Dublin-based firm, AirHelp, which helps passengers process claims against airlines, has served Ryanair and Aer Lingus with almost 300 letters of legal action as it presses them to cough up compensation the company claims the carriers owe passengers for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights.

AirHelp said that its solicitors have sent 293 letters in recent weeks, 259 of them to Ryanair, 30 to Aer Lingus and four to CityJet.

AirHelp said it's pursuing claims under a specific EU regulation - EU261 - that it says entitles passengers to up to €600 in compensation if their flight is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked, and if the delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances.

The Irish Times

* Ardagh, an Irish firm that makes cans and bottles for the likes of Heiniken and Coca Cola, has said its flotation plans remain on hold.

The company, which is headed up by Paul Coulson,  confirmed that it would bid for factories that belong to two of its rivales, Ball and Rexam.

Ball and Rexam must sell some 12 plants in order for its proposed merger to go ahead.

* Enet, an Irish telecoms firm, is to bid for the Government's rural broadband scheme with the tenders for the scheme due to be awarded later this year.

Enet will be in competition with Eir, the company formerly known as Eircom, and Siro, the ESB-Vodafone joint venture.

The company is owned by a consortium of US investors including the $23bn-valued hedge fund, Oak Hill Capital.

* Under 15pc of the most senior executives in the retail sector are female, according to a new survey from European Supermarket Magazine.

The survey quizzed 150 of the biggest consumer brands and grocers across Europe and deemed women to be underrepresented at the top level in management.

In Ireland less than 9pc of the top management roles in the sector are occupied by women.

Irish Examiner

* The developers of the site where U2 recorded some of their best-loved albums have failed in their battle with Dublin City Council over a disputed Luas Red Line payment of almost €500,000.

Last year, Dublin City Council gave Hibernia Reit, which is headed by CEO Kevin Nowlan, the go-ahead for revised plans to construct a €50m mixed-use development on the Sir John Rogerson's Quay site adjacent to the former U2 studio site at Windmill Lane on the south side of the River Liffey.

The revised six-storey mixed-use plan for Sir John Rogerson Quay comprises of 13,700 sq metres in gross floorspace.

* Irish job protection has been criticised by a new report from the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute.

The report says that Ireland substantially reduced benefit spending as well as increasing the conditions to accessing the benefits over the course of the financial crash.

The institute found the trend to be Europe-wide with a shift towards weaker job security.

* A British exit from the EU, could damage both the European and global economies according to German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Should Britain vote to leave the EU it would take its second-largest economy out of the union.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stated that he feels the country would remain better off by staying in the EU.

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