Saturday 24 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

* The Central Bank is coming down hard on investment firms that are selling risky and highly complex products to ordinary consumers.

Regulators are concerned that the risks associated with credit-linked notes, a form of derivative, are not being properly explained to ordinary investors.

* A £48m (€55.6m) UK hotel investment scheme that promised lucrative tax breaks and won backing from sports stars like Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell has ended up in administration, the Irish Independent has learned.

The golfers along with Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and more than 100 other investors plunged at least £50,000 each into what was promised as a tax-efficient incentive to develop the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham.

* The first-time buyers' grant to be unveiled on Budget Day will be meaningless to the vast majority of young people searching for a home, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Purchasers of second-hand homes will not be entitled to any State aid, despite the fact that construction of new builds is moving at a snail's pace.

The Irish Times

* Ulster Bank is to continue its relationship with the Financial Services Union for another two years after both parties agreed an extension to the procedural and relationship deal.

The new extension runs until December 31 2018 and will apply to the bank's businesses in both the Republic and the North.

* UK telecom firm Vodafone is understood to be furious with the Irish Farmers' Association's decision to back Eir for the Government's National Broadband Plan.

The IFA made the announcement of its partnership with Eir at the ploughing championships, which is said to have enraged Vodafone which has supplied the IFA's telecoms arm for the past seven years.

* The Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels have been snapped up for €150m by Liberty Global's John Malone and two other businessmen.

The hotel group includes the Beacon, the Morgan, and the Spencer.

Irish Examiner

* Retail sales slipped by 4.7pc in August as a falloff in car sales, caused by a slowing of demand for 162 number plates, hit the sector.

According to new figures from the Central Statistics Office, the fall off comes after a 13.8pc rise in July as shoppers moved for new cars.

* Dublin-based agri services firm Origin Enterprises is eyeing further acquisitions after the company's profit fell by almost 26pc last year.

The company posted a €65.5m profit for the last 12 months, down 25.7pc on the previous year.

* A sell-out concert by AC/DC helped the operators of the Aviva Stadium to operating profits of €3.58m last year.

New accounts just filed by New Stadium Designated Activity Company show that the firm achieved the profits after 600,000 paid to go to 16 events at the Aviva last year.

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