Sunday 25 February 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

*The Central Bank has cut its growth forecasts for this year and next on the back of Britain's vote to quit the EU.

The bank's chief economist, Gabriel Fagan said the Irish economy now faced a period of "extremely high uncertainty".

The Central Bank said the short-term impact of the Brexit vote would push down growth here by 0.2pc this year and by a further 0.6pc next year.

In its latest quarterly economic bulletin, the bank is forecasting a rise in GDP of 4.9pc this year and 3.6pc in 2017.

*Michael Noonan would be "leaving money on the table" if he sold off 75pc State-owned Permanent TSB now, according to the bank's chief executive,  Jeremy Masding.

Mr Masding said if the Minister for Finance came to him looking to do a deal today he would advise against doing it.

"Let's spend the next 12-18 months on making this business as valuable as we possibly can, and if at that time Minister Noonan decides that he wants to do a transaction than so be it," he said.

"But up until then that is a distraction. A number of my team seem obsessed with it so we've had to have a "Come to Jesus" conversation", meaning he wants them to focus on the job at hand.

*Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was paid a total of €3.16m last year, according to the airline's new annual report.

The figure - 26pc higher than in the previous financial year - included a base salary of just over €1m and an €855,000 bonus. He also received share-based payments of €1.25m.

The base salary and bonus were almost unchanged on the previous financial year, but the share-based payments were significantly ahead of the €500,000 in such payments he received in the 2015 period.

The Irish Times

*The appointment of former EU commissioner Michel Barnier as the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator risks antagonising the UK.

In his former role in the financial services and internal markets portfolio Mr Barnier policies were often opposed in the City.

He backed the controversial cap on bankers' bonuses.

*Holidaymakers may have to wait until next year for cheap flights to Boston from Cork and Shannon with an EU-US row going to arbitration.

Norwegian Air wanted to launch the flights in April but is waiting for a permit from the US.

The US has delayed granting the permit under pressure from unions and Norwegian's rivals.

*Hotels group Dalata has put plans to expand in the UK on hold after the Brexit referendum.

Chief executive Pat McCann said it would be unwise to make any decisions until there is some clarity on the UK's future relationship with the EU.

It plans to continue Irish growth, developing up to a further 1,000 rooms here by the end of 2018.

Irish Examiner

*Cork city is set for a major new development after a consortium was selected to develop a six-acre site at Horgan's Quay, beside the city's Kent station.

The site is expected to be developed as offices and apartments, with a hotel or aparthotel included.

The paper reports that it could be a "game-changer" for the city's quays as development gathers pace after the economic crash.

*Britain's FTSE 100 reached its highest level in almost a year yesterday and is up 16pc on its post-Referendum low.

The market was lifted by data showing UK economic growth picked up pace in the second quarter.

Broadcaster ITV soared after beating market expectations in its advertising revenue forecasts.

*Spain and Portugal avoided EU fines despite repeatedly breaking budget rules.

Commissioners decided not to impose the fines over fears it would inflame eurosceptic sentiment and send a negative signal to the markets.

Earlier this month the countries were told they had not taken effective action to cut deficits below 3pc of GDP - the EU limit.

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