Tuesday 24 April 2018

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

*Thousands of Irish investors will not be able to cash out of Aviva's UK property fund following the company's decision to suspend trading in the stock for six months.

Around 4,500 investors to the Aviva Life and Pensions Fund in Ireland will be affected.

It was one of three British commercial property funds worth about £10bn (€11.7bn) that were forced to suspend trading within 24 hours, in the first sign of markets seizing up since Britain's vote to exit the European Union sent asset prices into a tailspin.

*The Government's proposed €1bn rural broadband network is to be expanded to another 170,000 homes and businesses in a new twist in the ongoing saga.

In all, the State-funded broadband service will now cover more than 900,000 Irish premises, servicing close to half the country's population.

The National Broadband Plan roll-out is due to start in the summer of 2017 and is expected to take up to five years to complete at a potential cost to the State of €500m.

*The State collected a record €4.9bn in so-called environmental taxes last year.

Green taxes were up 5.8pc on 2014 while also exceeding the record tax take which was set in 2007.

Environmental taxes have been recovering strongly in recent years, following a significant drop-off during years of recession.

The turnaround reflects a rise in tax income as the economy recovered, rather than new taxes.

The Irish Times

*American multinationals have called for a reduction of tax on share options and other income tax reforms to boost foreign direct investment.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland told the Department of Finance that senior figures in member firms are seriously concerned about Irish tax levels.

The submission was made in response to a public consultation on the taxation of share-based remuneration.

*Ryanair and Aer Lingus face a potential €16m tax bill after a European Court of Justice (ECJ) adviser said the airlines should repay state aid.

The court usually but not always follows the so-called advocate general's opinion. The issue relates to the now-abolished travel tax, the format of which was found to favour airlines whose business was mainly on shorter trips.

*Two European funds are set to buy three Dublin shopping centres for more than €72m.

The European Retail Fund is poised to clinch Lucan Shopping Centre - anchored by Super Valu -  for around €47m, while German fund Patrizia is to buy Super Valu stores at Ranelagh and Rathgar.

The centres had been part of a Nama portfolio called Project Aspen.

Irish Examiner

*Sterling tipped its lowest level since the euro in almost three years to put pressure on Irish exporters selling to Britain.

The drop means the euro has risen 23pc versus the British currency in less than a year.

Sterling also hit a fresh 31-year low versus the dollar yesterday.

*An industry group including most of Europe's airlines has called for European Commission action after fresh air traffic control strikes in France.

Many airlines have seen share slumps after the Brexit vote and have also been hit by uncertainty about European growth.

The group said the Commission needs to "put the tourism sector back in the spotlight to prevent the holidays of European families being spoilt".

*Former Marks & Spencer (M&S) boss Marc Bolland is joining Blackstone to head up the European portfolio of the investment giant's private equity business.

He joins the group in September.

Mr Bolland was previously chief executive of Morrison's supermarkets. He left M&S in April after a disappointing performance by the retailer's clothing business.

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