Sunday 18 February 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the main business stories from today's papers:

Irish Independent

* Giving cash to thousands of older people to move out of larger homes could free up properties for families, a leading think tank has suggested.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) estimates that around 26,000 couples are empty nesters - they are living in large homes after their children have left.

These people are over the age of 50, and in homes with four or more rooms.

* Shares in embattled exploration firm Petroceltic were suspended on the stock exchange yesterday after its largest shareholder last week petitioned to have an examiner appointed to the group.

Petroceltic has been on life support provided by its lenders, receiving regular, rolling waivers on debt terms.

But the company said that while it had substantially agreed a fresh waiver with those lenders that was due to come into force last Friday and last until March 18, the agreement wasn't concluded in light of the examinership petition.

* Hotel room rates in Dublin rose at the fastest pace in Europe last year - up by almost quarter and on course to hit boom levels.

Research in PwC's European Cities Hotel Forecast shows hotel prices in the capital still represent relatively good value for money but are creeping up.

Dublin had the highest growth in 2015 for revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Europe, growing by 23.3pc.

The Irish Times

* A leading German economist has told an audience in Dublin that the ECB should take no further steps to loosen its monetary policy.

Prof Isabel Schnable said that steps already taken by the bank have presented threats to financial stability.

The professor said that the biggest danger to financial markets was that if interest rates rose suddenly in a couple of years.

* Euro zone finance minister have given Cyprus the green light to exit the EU-IMF bailout programme, making it the fourth country to do so.

The country is set to officially leave the programme at the end of March.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, described Cyrpus' turnaround as impressive.

* Petroceltic, the troubled oil and gas explorer, applied to have its shares suspended from trading yesterday as its financial future remains up in the air.

The shares were suspended after a petition from shareholder, Worldview Capital, which appealed to have an examiner appointed to the company.

The matter of examinership has been adjourned by the High Court until April 4.

Irish Examiner

* Ireland's 'smartest building' was opened on Albert Quay in Cork yesterday. The new building will be home to 500 employees.

Tyco are the anchor-tenants for the largest office complex ever built outside Dublin, following on from a 500-job recruitment drive last year.

One Albert Quay, built by John Cleary Developments (JCD), was also designed to include the cutting-edge new ‘smart’ systems designed by Tyco.

* New figures show that the receiver to the €50m five-star Lyrath resort hotel in Co Kilkenny has received €1.35m in fees to date.

Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed as receiver by the Bank of Scotland in 2012 to the 139-bedroom spa hotel. Loans from the bank helped bankroll the development and opening of the Xavier McAuliffe hotel in 2006.

A self-made multi-millionaire, Mr McAuliffe established the Co Kerry-based Spectra group and is part of the consortium that operates the GoSafe Speed vans for the Gardai. Set in 170 acres of mature parkland, Lyrath Estate Hotel is a multi award-winning hotel, spa and luxury wedding venue near Kilkenny city.

* Irish Continental Group, the firm that owns Irish Ferries, has seen low fuel prices help power its revenues upward in 2015.

According to new accounts for last year published by the firm on Monday, revenue for the year jumped 10.5pc up to €320.6m.

Management at the firm said that the weakening of the euro could have an affect on the UK-originating revenue.

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