Business Irish

Friday 15 December 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

* A mystery buyer is thought to have secured control of more than 5pc of Anglo-Irish exploration firm Tullow Oil using derivatives that allow it to hide its identity.

Tullow Oil, with a market capitalisation of £2.6bn (€3bn), owns stakes in two prized assets - the huge TEN and Jubilee oil fields off the west coast of Africa.

* The British government has cut its growth forecast for next year in the wake of the Brexit vote, which could have a small knock-on effect on Ireland's growth prospects.

The UK economy is now expected to grow by 1.4pc next year - down from the previous 2.2pc forecast.

* GAS Networks Ireland (GNI) is planning to roll-out a network of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations across the country to encourage hauliers, the transport sector and commercial firms to switch from diesel to less-polluting CNG.

While vehicles can be 15pc more expensive to buy, GNI says fuel savings of up to 30pc can be achieved and emissions from the transport fleet sharply reduced.

The Irish Times

* The Central Bank has said it will intervene is house prices begin to soar as a reaction to changes to its macro-prudential lending rules announced on Wednesday.

Governor Philip Lane said the State's financial regulator would step in if it sees a "perverse, unwelcome interaction between excessively rapid lending and excessively rapid increases in house prices".

* Exports to the UK could fall by as much as 30pc should it leave the EU without negotiating a special trade that would incentivize trade between it and Ireland, new research has shown.

According to a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Ireland faces a threat to its exports from Brexit and other EU countries in some sectors, including the food industry.

* Ireland's biggest estate agent Sherry Fitzgerald posted  a 7pc increase in revenues last year, however profits at the company dipped due to increased hiring and new investments.

The company opened offices in Kimmage and Foxrock, while also adding an extra 10pc to their headcount.

Irish Examiner

* Ireland will be the worst hit if Britain pushes forward with its plans of a 'hard Brexit', according to new research from the ESRI.

The research shows that Ireland could lose as much as 4pc of its total exports should Britain leave the EU in such a manner.

* Opposition parties have raised concerns around changes made to the Central Bank's mortgage lending rules saying they could incur a fresh pricing surge.

Under the new plans first-time buyers will now only need to save 10pc of the cot of their new home in order to secure a mortgage.

* Pre-tax profits at the Irish arm of US orthopaedic device manufacturer, Zimmer last year decreased by 21pc to $111.2m (€105m).

Zimmer's Irish unit based in Shannon specialises in constructing artificial knees and pre-tax profits dropped as revenues decreased by 7pc from $275m to $255m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

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