What it says in the papers: business pages
HERE are the main business stories from this morning's papers:
*The Banking Inquiry will ramp up efforts to persuade the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to engage with it in the wake of comments from Ajai Chopra that the European Central Bank (ECB) pressed Ireland into committing to austerity.
The IMF has said it would not be available when the inquiry first made contact with it last December, it has emerged. But there is a new clamour to get an IMF representative before the inquiry, following comments from Mr Chopra published by the Irish Independent at the weekend.
Mr Chopra, the IMF’s former mission chief to Ireland, believed the ECB acted in an “outrageous” manner in its correspondence between its then president Jean-Claude Trichet and the late Brian Lenihan in 2010.
*Relations between the Coalition parties are at their most strained in almost a year over Labour proposals to slash the maximum term for bankruptcy.
The plans are being met with major resistance from both the Department of Finance and Fine Gael ministers, who fear any move will spark an acceleration in repossessions.
The escalating split means the Government’s much-anticipated package of measures to address the mortgage arrears crisis has now been delayed several weeks. The package was originally due to be announced in early April, well ahead of the spring statement on April 28. But it will now not be announced until after the spring statement, senior Government figures have said.
*Irish mobile technology company Movidius, which recently received €38m in one of Europe’s biggest venture capital funding rounds so far this year, could look at raising funds again in 18 months, highlighting the fast growing nature of the company.
The company is already being tipped as a potential Irish ‘unicorn’ tech firm, meaning a startup that rises above $1bn in value based on its funding.
Chris Horn, the co-founder of former Irish software giant Iona Technologies, informally works with the technology investment team at Atlantic Bridge, which helped to close Movidius’ recent funding round. He said that Movidius, which is currently designing semiconductor chips, may look at fundraising again towards the end of next year.
*Ireland’s four biggest accountancy firms took in almost €1bn in fees last year, according to new data from the Irish Times business database Top1000.ie.
The total of €993.3m taken in by the four companies, PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, in the 12 months to the end of 2014 an increase of more than 12pc on the €884m earned in 2013, the Irish Times reports.
Although the firms are not required to disclose their profitability, PwC retained its spot as the largest accountancy company in the country, taking in €329m in 2014, a near 10pc increase on the year before.
*The redevelopment of the main stadium at the RDS grounds is to cost about €35m, the organisation’s CEO has told the Irish Times.
Speaking to the paper Michael Duffy said that the RDS will be applying for a Government grant to assist in the project and said that the organisation is fully responsible for how the work is funded.
The RDS is looking to increase its capacity from 18,500 to 25,000 and host Leinster’s Pro 12 and European home matches as well as outdoor concerts.
*The Government is on track to take in an extra €2bn in tax receipts for the year, according to Goodbody stockbrockers.
In its latest quarterly ‘health check’, the company said that the budget deficit will fall to 1.9pc this year. This compares favourably with the current forecast of 2.7pc.
Goodbody estimates that the deficit will then shrink to 0.9pc next year.
*The vast majority of small businesses with websites in Ireland aren’t equipped to trade online, a survey has found, even though the market has been estimated to be worth €21bn by 2017.
While more than six-in-ten SMEs have a website, 91pc admit that they cannot process sales via the internet, according to research commissioned by IEDR, the company which manages Ireland’s .ie domain registry.
More than 500 Irish SMEs were surveyed across the country and found that more than half aren’t using social media.
*Pre-tax profits at the firm employed by the Government to deliver the material used for the contentious fluoridation of the State’s water supply last year jumped by 56pc to €1.16m.
New figures show that pre-tax profits at Chemifloc Ltd increased by €416,776 from €744,548 to €1.16m in the 12 months to the end of December last.
The firm has the contract to deliver the hydrofluosilicic acid from a source in Spain that is required for the fluoridation of the State’s water supply.
*The arrival of big data has the potential to create more than 20,000 Irish jobs over the next four years, new research has found.
EMC Ireland managing director told the Chartered Global Management Accountant conference that embracing data analytics is vital for the continued success of Irish businesses.
He said: “There are huge benefits in adopting data analytics, like granular insight into consumer behaviour and in-depth analysis of market trends.”