Thursday 22 February 2018

What you didn't know last week with Colm Kelpie

Eircom considers an IPO

Eircom is considering a possible return to the stock markets.
Eircom is considering a possible return to the stock markets.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Eircom is mulling over a possible return to the stock markets . . . again. Late last week the telecoms company announced that it had appointed Rothschild as an independent financial adviser to look at strategic options following a tweaking of its debt maturities. "The board is now exploring a number of options with a view to further strengthening the financial position of the Group. These options include a possible listing on a public market," the company added.

'WALL OF MONEY' TO INVEST HERE

THERE's a "wall of money" looking to invest in Ireland at present, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said at the Sunday Independent Business Evening last Tuesday.

And this is why he won't be renewing the capital gains tax relief on properties that have been held for seven years in the upcoming Budget.

It was introduced in 2011 to attract international investors and give a boost to the State's then beleaguered commercial property sector.

Mr Noonan extended it for a year at the last Budget in October. But there's now no need for it.

"At the moment, there's an absolute wall of money wanting to invest in Ireland, to the extent that I'm not going to renew that incentive at the end of 2014. It's no longer necessary," he said.

ROW BREWING OVER MUELLER PAY

COULD we be on the cusp of a row between the Government and Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller over pay?

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar last week said that a €1.5m package received by Mr Mueller "jars" with reduced fees being taken by the bosses of semi-state companies.

The Government controls a 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus, and has been asked by trade union Impact not to approve Mr Mueller's remuneration package at the airline's annual general meeting next month.

Mr Mueller's pay packet includes a €400,000 bonus for exceptional performance, a €175,000 contribution to his pension and a basic salary of €475,000.

The minister has declined to be drawn on whether he would vote against the package.

DAIRYGOLD POSTS RECORD PROFITS

DAIRYGOLD last week reported record profits as the co-op prepares to enter a new era with the abolition of milk quotas.

The Munster-based agricultural cooperative made an operating profit of €27.3m last year, its latest results show, an increase of 33pc on the year before, after bad weather around the world boosted demand for milk. Sales jumped by 16pc to €847m.

MORE BANKS MOVING ON ARREARS

A LOT of the news last week was on banks, mortgages and repossessions, as the chiefs of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank were quizzed by TDs at the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

First up was Jim Brown, below, Ulster Bank's chief executive, who said it still takes too long to repossess homes from people in mortgage arrears who are not engaging with the bank.

He said it can take up to two years for a case to move through the courts.

Permanent TSB said it expects to repossess thousands of homes as it works through arrears targets, while Bank of Ireland's Richie Boucher said the lender was significantly ahead of targets to restructure problem home loans.

But up to 2,000 AIB customers will see some of their home loan written off as part of a split mortgage deal or when they opt to sell the property at a loss.

Sunday Indo Business

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