What it says in the papers: business pages
Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:
* Dublin-based carriers Stobart Air and CityJet are exploring a tie-up in a move that could create one of Europe's biggest regional airline groups, the Irish Independent has learned.
The deal would be dependent on the final outcome of a sales process for Stobart Air, however.
* A state-backed debt fund will charge SMEs up to 15pc in interest.
UK finance firm BMS has launched a €30m debt fund charging interest rates of between 12pc and 15pc for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ireland.
* Irish med-tech investor Malin Corporation is seeking outside support as it puts together a €300m fund to invest in research and development (R&D) focused life sciences start-ups, the Irish Independent has learned.
According to papers filed as part of an application to the European Investment Bank (EIB), Malin is promoting the project which aims to finance investment into innovative R&D intensive early stage companies.
The Irish Times
* Home and motor insurance costs look set to rise again after the European Court of Justice ruled in Poland that work insurers outsource to claims handlers are not exempt from VAT.
This means that insurance companies will now face up to 23pc higher costs on the work they outsource on managing and settling claims.
* The State has issued its first ever 100-year bond, which is due to be repaid in 2116, raising €100m in the process.
It is believed that a single investor from continental Europe, with operations in the life insurance or pension sectors, approached the National Treasury Management Agency about a very long-term investment in Irish debt.
* Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy saw his total renumeration package increase by $200,000 last year as he received $4.6m (€4m).
In the firm's annual report it shows that the Kerry chief was paid $1.3m as part of his basic salary. Mr McCarthy alos received performance related renumeration of $768,000.
* Annual growth in retail sales surged by 11pc in Febraury in the face of a darkening European economic outlook.
According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office the sector reported year on year growth of 7pc even without the considerable contribution of the motoring sector.
* One of Ireland's largest independent yogurt producers, the award-winning Glenilen Farm, recorded profits of €114,239 last year.
Revenues climbed by around 12pc at Glenilen Farm Ltd to €4.19m in the 12 months to the end of February 28 last year.
* Irish SMEs paid by far the highest average rate of interest in the eurozone last year, paying 5.8pc for access to credit.
New figures from the Central Bank point to a lack of competition in the SME lending market, which plays a role in explaining the high rate of credit currently being charged.