Saturday 17 March 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's financial watchdog has found there was a potential loss to the taxpayer of Stg£190m (€223.5m) from the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loans portfolio, Project Eagle.

In a damning report, Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy raised questions over how the portfolio, at the time the biggest property sale in Irish history, was valued and marketed.

* Tipperary businessman Declan Kelly will be propelled to the premier league of Ireland's rich list next year, if the New York-headquartered consulting company he co-founded, Teneo, proceeds with a rumoured $1bn (€890bn) stock market flotation.

Established just five years ago, Teneo has quickly evolved into a global consulting firm attracting heavy hitters such as former Conservative leader and one-time foreign secretary William Hague, and Northern Ireland peace envoy George Mitchell, to its ranks of advisors.

* Ryanair's ownership structure could come under pressure following Brexit if UK investors in the airline are considered non-European Union residents for the purposes of shareholding rules.

At the airline's 20th annual general meeting as a public company yesterday, chief executive Michael O'Leary warned that in a worst-case Brexit scenario, the carrier's UK shareholders could be considered non-EU residents and could be forced to sell their shares.

The Irish Times

* The Irish economy grew by 0.6pc during the second quarter of the year, new figures have shown.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the country's gross domestic product increased by 0.6pc in the three months to the end of June.

* EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has defended her finding that tech giant Apple was given billions in illegal state aid by the Irish government.

Ms Vestager said it was the responsibility of member states to make sure their tax legislation was compliant with the European Union.

* Ryanair's profit forecast could come under pressure in the second half of the year as the airline looks to cut air fares over the coming months.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary warned its €1.4bn forecast could be hit by falling ticket prices in the winter monhts.

Irish Examiner

* Economists have urged caution around true consumer spending after the Central Statistics Office published GDP growth figures for the second quarter of the year.

In the three month period to the end of June GDP increased by 0.6pc, but was up 4.1pc on the same period last year.

* Nine members of staff at a Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm last year shared a pay-pot of $4.4m (€3.9m).

Accounts filed by BOC Aviation (Ireland) show that pre-tax profits last year rose by 10.4pc to $120.88m. Revenues at the firm increased from $292m to $308.5m. The accounts filed with the Companies Office show that the firm's nine employees each enjoyed an average salary of $488,888.

* Ireland's largest hotel operator Dalata is eyeing further growth abroad and is aiming to grow its UK room capacity by 15pc within the next two and a half years.

The company already has four hotels across the UK in London, Leeds, Manchester, and Cardiff.

Online Editors

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