Thursday 22 February 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

* The State-backed lender BlueBay Asset Management needs more time to fully invest the €450m it raised to lend to Irish business in 2013, in the latest sign that massive efforts to source non-bank credit for SMEs has yet to catch on with business borrowers.

BlueBay raised €450m, including from biggest backer the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF), with a target to lend the cash over five years. The lender is focused at the bigger end of the small and medium enterprises (SME) market, advancing term loans of between €5m and €45m to Irish companies.

* Trainee teachers are being given the opportunity to work in the corporate world for three months, as part of a paid internship, to learn more about the type of careers available to students of STEM subjects.

The programme, jointly organised by Dublin City University, Accenture, and the 30pc Club, is designed to give young teachers hands-on industry experience of working in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) role.

* A global ranking highlighting a marked improvement in Ireland's competitiveness shouldn't distract from outstanding problems, the head of the State's competitiveness watchdog has warned.

The National Competitiveness Council, headed by UCD economist Professor Peter Clinch, welcomed Ireland's ranking rise.

The Irish Times

* The Irish Central Bank may delay the launch of new bank current accounts announced by 11 credit unions yesterday. The debit account was slated to be launched in mid-June.

However, according to a report in The Irish Times, the Central Bank said the group of credit unions would require approval for an appropriate transaction account in order to launch it.

* Shares in Swiss-Irish food firm Aryzta fell by 6.6pc yesterday as the company's revenue fell again in its troubled US arm. Investor confidence in the company has continued to slide.

In the three-month period to the end of April, overall revenue at the company fell to €949.8m, down 2.4pc.

* Ireland's online spend has increased by 20pc over the last four years with consumers now clocking up €850,000 an hour online.

The figure, which was included in one of two reports published by minister Naughten, makes Ireland one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the world.

Irish Examiner

* Dublin-based polling and research firm RED C has continued its rapid growth, recording profits of over €167,000 last year.

The ceo and majority shareholder at RED C Research and Marketing, Richard Colwell, said yesterday: "We have seen double-digit revenue growth for each of the past five years, including last year."

* Aryzta shares were hit by a poor trading update yesterday, which saw revenue in the three month period fall by 2.4pc.

The company also went against previous assurances that it would not incur any restructuring costs this year. The firm instead said around 2pc of its global workforce may be cut as part of ongoing cost-cutting activities.

* Share prices at Irish Continental Group increased by 3pc yesterday after the firm announced it would acquire its first newly built vessel in 15 years.

The new vessel is set to cost the business €144m.

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