Thursday 24 May 2018

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

* Rising levels of industrial unrest, skills shortages and infrastructural bottlenecks risks putting the economic recovery and living standards at risk, the state’s competitive watchdog has warned.

Ireland remains an expensive location for businesses with a price profile described as “high cost, rising slowly”, the National Competitiveness Council said.

* Up to 20 expressions of interest have been received for Gaelectric's wind farm portfolio, which is likely to have an equity value of between €250m and €350m, the Irish Independent understands.

The enterprise value of the wind farms, which includes debt, is likely to be around €750m.

* Ireland recorded a headline deficit of 2.3pc last year - higher than expected because Europe classified as government spending the conversion of AIB's preference shares to ordinary shares during the latter's capital reorganisation.

When this was stripped out, the underlying deficit was 1.3pc, the Department of Finance said.

The Irish Times

* Irish companies are facing lending costs 80pc higher than the EU average according to a new report from the National Competitiveness Council.

The report highlights a return to boom-era risks to the Irish economy emerging from the current property market.

* The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) don't think they can relate to the board of Ornua, formerly the Irish dairy board, after it was revealed its top nine executives shared more than €9m in pay, bonuses and pension contributions over the last two years.

According to a report in The Irish Times, a spokesman for the ICMSA said the timing of the news couldn't have gotten much worse.

* Permanent TSB has apologised for "serious failures" in relation to the handling of over 1,300 tracker mortgages at its annual general meeting yesterday.

The bank's chairman Alan Cook said the lenders share of new mortgages has been helped by its 2pc cashback offer to its customers.

Irish Examiner

* A new report from the National Competitiveness Council has found that rising domestic costs such as wages, utility prices, property and business services are posing a large threat to the recovery of the Irish economy.

The council said Ireland needs to address the rising costs within its domestic economy as exterior rising costs may well be out of its control.

* Meath native Peter Bellew has been appointed as an executive board director after ex-Aer Lingus chief Christoph Muller told his staff he was leaving the airline.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner Mr Bellew had previously spent time as a senior director for helping to manage Kerry Airport in the 1990s.

* The Economic and Social Research Institute has urged the Irish government to immediately lobby the EU for special funds in the event of a British exit from the EU.

Amongst the suggestions for granting funds by the ESRI was the construction of a major electricity interconnector to France.

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