Friday 15 November 2019

What it says in the business pages

Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher Photo: Steve Humphreys
Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher Photo: Steve Humphreys Newsdesk Newsdesk

Here are the business stories that you need to know about this morning.

Irish Independent

US billionaire Donald Trump has strongly warned the Taoiseach against selling the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus, claiming it would damage the country’s tourism industry and links to foreign direct investment.

Mr Trump, who is considering a run for the White House, insists the airline provides “strategic advantages” to Ireland and “should not be given away to the highest bidder”.

The high-profile businessman claims IAG boss Willie Walsh has the interest of shareholders as his “number one priority”, adding: “I do not think this is a good deal for Ireland.

Golfer Rory McIlroy is shifting most of his operations to Dublin as he seeks to simplify the way his management company operates.

The Irish Independent understands McIlroy, who is currently the world’s top golfer, will file documents to create a new company – known as Rory McIlroy Inc – with the Companies Registration Office in Carlow today.

The new company, headed by Donal Casey, will manage all the royalty payments from the golf star’s various endorsements for Nike sportswear, Omega watches and, most recently, computer games.

A London-based property and investment firm headed by a former executive with private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is the latest in a slew of international companies targeting the burgeoning student accommodation market in Dublin.

Hattington Capital, a boutique firm that is involved in private equity deals and real estate, is planning a €25m project to build a development with almost 250 accommodation units on the site of the landmark Frawley’s store on Thomas Street in the capital.

It’s the company’s first foray into the student accommodation market either in Ireland or the UK. Hattington is understood to be on the lookout for additional sites in Dublin.

Irish Times

A trade deal between Europe and the US could create as many as 10,000 Irish jobs, a report commissioned by the Government claims.

According to a study by economic consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics, exports and imports will both surge by about 4pc and the domestic economy will receive a boost of just over 1pc.

Negotiators are working to reach a deal on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, generally known as TTIP. It is primarily an agreement to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the US and EU countries, but has encountered opposition from certain quarters of society across Europe, including trade unions.

A major cloud computing project that could have potentially cut IT costs for the State has been scrapped, according to the Irish Times.

The newspaper reports that the Government has cancelled the Government Cloud Services Catalogue almost two years into the project. The scheme was intended to provide a list of recommended IT supplies and pricing models for services such as IT security and HR management.

It had received the backing of the IT industry, however the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform says that it is no longer going ahead with the project because the economic and technical requirements “had fundamentally changed”.

The sale of a building in Dublin’s docks to Irish rock band U2 was completed at a “fair price” and was not a “secret deal”, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has claimed.

Addressing the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee, the financial advisor to the body John Crawley rejected a claim by Dublin TD Joe Costello that the building on Hanover Quay was sold for a “very small sum” in a deal that was conducted in a “very secretive fashion”.

The building that was sold was one of two similar warehouse-style buildings bought by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority for a combined total of €5.1m in 2004. One of the buildings, number 18 Hanover Quay, was sold to U2 for €450,000 in 2013.

Irish Examiner

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher has said that he is to ease back from his crisis-management style leadership and let other senior bankers become more prominent.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Bloomberg news agency, Mr Boucher also said that the bank took a “deliberate decision during the tough times that I’d be the lightning rod” for public anger during the financial crisis.

He said that while he is still  the “captain of the team”, other members of management are set to become more prominent.  “It’s important for investors that they see the length and breadth of our management team,” he said.

Greek bank deposits plunged to their lowest level in ten years in February as a political standoff between the government in Athens and the country’s creditors raised the prospect of a possible euro exit.

The deposits of households and businesses fell 5pc in February to just over €140bn, their lowest level since March 2005, according to Bank of Greece data released on Thursday. Greeks have pulled about €23.8bn from banking system in the past three months, 15pc of the total deposit base.

Greek lenders are depending on Emergency Liquidity Assistance controlled by the European Central Bank to stay afloat as depositors flee. The country’s creditors have given Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a Monday deadline to present enough details of a new economic plan to convince them to release more bailout funds.

A number of projects worth almost half a billion euros will bring thousands of jobs into Cork over the next number of years, the Irish Examiner reports.

At a briefing last night organised by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, several of the country’s biggest developers outlined several of their schemes.

These included confirmation that a €50m six story office block which had received planning permission is going ahead and an update on the €50m regeneration of Cork’s Capitol Cinema site.

Financial Times

Royal Bank of Scotland, the parent company of Ulster Bank, has agreed to offload its international private banking arm Coutts International to Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee, the Financial Times reports.

The newspaper says that UBP signed a deal for the buy yesterday and is set to pay $600m-$800m for the non-UK operations of Coutts.

State-owned RBS put its international private banking arm up for sale in August as it seeks to focus its business on loans to British households.

The company behind the Superdry fashion brand has announced a plan to broaden its appeal by through a collaboration with actor Idris Elba.

The UK actor and singer shot to fame for his role in US television series The Wire and is set to to design a premium clothing range for the company.

SuperGroup made the announcement in a strategy update to its investors, and chief executive Euan Sutherland also revealed that the firm would start paying dividends in its 2015-16 financial year. Shares in the SuperGroup rose by more than 6pc on the back of the news

Online Editors

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