Monday 18 December 2017

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

*There's a "50-50" chance Michael O'Leary will retire as Ryanair chief executive in 2019 when his current five-year contract expires, he said.

Mr O'Leary, who will be 58 in 2019, insisted yesterday he doesn't plan to be hanging on until he's 75 and said there is succession planning at Ryanair.

"I'll only stay if the board wants me to stay. I'm not wedded to this place that I want to stay here until I'm 75," he said as the airline launched the latest phase of its so-called 'Always Getting Better' plan. "We have succession plans both for me and all the other senior managers on an ongoing basis."

*IAG chief executive Willie Walsh has said he would be amazed if Aer Lingus doesn't expand further in the coming years into the US.

The airline, which was taken over by the British Airways owner IAG last year, announced new US routes this year including to Los Angeles, Newark in New Jersey and Hartford, Connecticut.

Speaking to the Irish Independent on the margins of an aviation conference in the UCD Smurfit Graduate School yesterday, Mr Walsh said IAG was actively talking to airports and "airports are actively talking to us".

"We think there's further scope for Aer Lingus to expand. It's expanded at a very fast pace in recent years. We see no reason why we can't continue to expand," Mr Walsh said.

*More people are chasing almost the same number of available jobs as a year ago, according to the latest employment monitor from recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.

The availability of professional jobs remained almost constant at 37,171 in the first three months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, while the number of professionals seeking jobs was up 4pc over the period to 23,140. IT, engineering, supply chain and multilingual candidates are the most in demand so far this year.

Talent shortages remain across IT, with Javascript developers most in demand. On a monthly basis professional job opportunities increased by 2pc in March, compared to February 2016, while the number of professionals seeking new roles was down 1pc in March, compared to the previous month.

The Irish Times

*Tax officials from across the globe are meeting today to discuss a response to the Panama Papers controversy.

Officials from the Revenue Commissioners will attend the meeting, which is being held in Paris.

A spokeswoman for Revenue said it was "keenly focused" on tackling offshore tax evasion.

*Diarmuid O'Conghaile, formerly head of economic regulation at the Dublin Airport Authority, is joining Ryanair as director of public affairs.

He will be focused on the airline's "regulatory work in Brussels", Ryanair said.

Ryanair is a member of a group comprising some of the continent's major airlines, which is campaigning for lower airport charges and reform of air traffic control.

*Ireland is likely to fail to submit an important budget document to Europe on time because of the absence of a Government.

The so-called "stability programme update" - containing an official economic forecast and an assessment of the country's fiscal position - is supposed to be submitted by the end of the month. It has to be approved by Government before being dispatched, and Ministers are said to believe the caretaker administration cannot do this as the plan will have to be implemented by the next administration.

But Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin writes in a column that there is set to be a "failure" to send the document on time.

Irish Examiner

*Irish borrowers are still paying above-average interest rates on new mortgages, despite recent rate cuts, according to the Central Bank.

New research from the bank put the average standard variable rate at 3.76pc at the end of 2015, compared to 4.13pc in the first quarter of 2015.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan had been putting pressure on banks to cut rates amid a public outcry.

*Software company Slack is creating 80 Irish jobs over the next two years.

The company is moving from the Digital Hub in Dublin to a new office at One Park Place in Dublin City Centre.

The move will bring Slack's Irish headcount to 180 by the end of 2017.

*Slow economic growth has left the world economy more exposed to negative shocks, the IMF said.

The sluggish numbers have also raised the risk of a slide into stagnation.

The IMF cut its 2016 world economic growth forecast to 3.2pc from 3.4pc.

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