Sunday 21 January 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

* Irish banks can ignore the Central Bank's tough new mortgage rules when they lend to customers abroad, the Irish Independent has learned.

Banks with UK operations, for example, can lend mortgages to their customers there without being bound by the home loan rules introduced by the Central Bank last year.

* A potential box office flop on its hands, in the shape of underwhelming swords-and-sandals remake 'Ben Hur' is just the latest problem for media gaint Viacom.

The MTV and Comedy Central owner is grappling with a stark choice: cut dividends and sell assets or risk seeing ratings drop on its $12bn of debt.

* State aid investigations by the European Commission involving a number of American companies, including Apple, is inconsistent with international norms and undermines the global tax system, the US Treasury has warned.

And potentially demanding back taxes from the companies concerned would set "an undesirable precedent" for tax authorities in other countries, the US said, in a strongly worded paper published yesterday.

The Irish Times

* Property tax would have to increase six-fold to cover the cost of scrapping the universal social charge, new documents from the Department of Finance show.

The department said the move to scrap USC would be a regressive one that would narrow the country's tax base.

* A German financial firm is set to buy former Burlington Hotel from Blackstone Group, the world's largest private-equity property investor.

According to a report in The Irish Times, hotel operator Dalata had entered into talks with another party for the running of the hotel.

* The US treasury has said Europe is acting like a supra-national tax authority due to its lengthy investigation into the tax Apple pays in Ireland.

The treasury is also concerned over the precedent any ruling may set against American firms paying taxes in the EU.

Irish Examiner

* The UK could still yet remain within the EU despite its decision to leave, a leading economist has said.

According to Jim Power, if events in the UK led to a new leader of the opposition party Labour party, the UK could remain.

* Paddy Power Betfair has said it's open to more acquisitions as the company tips further consolidation within the industry.

PPB chief Breon Corcoran said further consolidation is "probably inevitable" due to the company's strong balance sheet and high cash generative status.

* Apple has received planning permission for an expansion at its European HQ in Cork that is to deliver 1,000 jobs.

An Bord Pleanála gave the expansion plan the go-ahead after dismissing an appeal against the development by local residents.

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