Wednesday 22 November 2017

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

* International growth has been too low for too long, sparking political repercussions that could depress growth even further, the IMF has warned.

The Washington-based fund raised the possibility that persistent stagnation, particularly in advanced economies, could further fuel populist calls for restrictions on trade and immigration.

* Trillions of euro parked in Irish-registered entities contribute little to the real economy  other than the massive fees generated for professionals such as lawyers and accountants, according to new research by the Central Bank. 

The work looked at Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), a structure favoured by a host of financial firms because they pay little or no tax. Irish SPVs hold €3.8 trillion in assets - 15 times the size of the Irish economy. The report found financial services sector professionals made €100m from the administration of SPVs last year, but that there was little wider contribution to the economy.

* The Irish hotel-booking firm Roomex has raised €3.5m in a Series A round of funding.

The money is coming from Irish venture capital firm Frontline Ventures, former Hostelworld chairman Paddy Holahan and the chief technical officer of CarTrawler, Bobby Healy.

The Irish Times

* A Boston private equity firm that sold the Clerys department store on O'Connell Street last year received a €3.65m payment from the store's accounts prior to its sale.

The Gordon Brothers sold the store hours before it was liquidated and was paid the large sum in what is referred to in Clerys' documents as interest and fees.

* Almost €100m has been collected by lawyers, accountants and bankers from unregulated special purpose vehicles in Dublin's IFSC, which are typically established to pay little tax.

The figure comes from estimates from the Central Bank, which has started to increase its understanding of SPVs.

* The Department of Finance has lowered its growth estimates for this year and next due to uncertainty in the global economy and Brexit.

The department now touts the country's GDP to grow at 4.2pc as opposed to the 4.9pc estimate laid out in the Government's summer statement.

Irish Examiner

* Ireland is readying itself for the first impacts of Brexit as predictions for GDP growth have fallen by nearly half a percent for 2017.

Finance officials are now predicting the economy to grow by 4.2pc this year and 3.5pc next year.

* New research from the Central Bank has shown that increasing rents and house prices have meant the time it takes for a first-time buyer to get a mortgage has increased as too has the lump sum required.

The study shows differing levels of commitment across the country in terms of fees, and said those looking to buy in Dublin will ave to save for years to secure a deposit.

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