Sunday 25 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

* Insurer FBD switched over €150m of its investments to corporate bonds over the past year because of the low returns offered by banks and the fear that new bail-in rules could see it lose its money.

FBD chief executive Fiona Muldoon told the Irish Independent that the extremely low returns offered on term deposits by banks, coupled with fears that new bail-in rules introduced this year by the European Union could expose bank bondholders and depositors to bailing out a failed lender, meant it has shifted investments away from banks.

* The Government is veering away from introducing any increase in the minimum wage in the upcoming Budget as a direct consequence of Brexit.

Government sources say there has been a "rethink" of the minimum wage issue on the back of a series of economic warnings surrounding the impact of Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU).

* European Council President Donald Tusk will visit Dublin next month for Brexit-related talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, ahead of an informal summit of EU leaders in Bratislava.

Mr Tusk will meet with Mr Kenny, before flying to London for talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, as part of a tour of European capitals.

The Irish Times

* Spending power hit its highest level amongst Irish households in the first three months of the year as household income rose by 6pc, new research has shown.

The increased ability to spend has pumped an extra €5bn into the Irish economy.

* The Dublin unit of a US hedge fund paid just $125 in tax here last year despite having assets valued at $8bn.

According to a report in The Irish Times, the company, called Burlington Loan Management, owns assets such as stakes in Icelandic banks and loans secured against the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

* The Irish-based arm of computer giant HP posted a $140m profit last year, which represents a 3pc decline on the previous year.

The Irish subsidiary provides leases, rentals and loan facilities to HP customers to finance acquisitions of its products.

Irish Examiner

* Crimes against businesses across Ireland is costing them almost €2bn a year with one in three reportedly being victims of crime over the last year.

New figures posted by Isme show that crime is costing Irish business around €1.83bn a year.

* A budget of spending increases and tax cuts has been called on by business group Retail Ireland, which is looking for the Government to see off the effects of Brexit.

Retail Ireland said that unease is growing amongst consumers due to the decline of sterling following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

* The British government has offered a pledge to farmers in the North that it will fill in the gap left by funding from EU money.

It has promised to provide €5.21bn in funding for agriculture, universities and its regions.

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