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What it says in the papers: business pages


HERE are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent:

***The Government yesterday bowed to mounting political pressure and established a Commission of Investigation to review transactions and lending practices at Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Finance Minister Michael Noonan brought the proposal to Cabinet on the back of allegations of inadequate corporate governance at the former Anglo Irish Bank raised by Independent TD Catherine Murphy.

The move sees Mr Noonan abandon the review of IBRC transactions by KPMG special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, which he initiated last month.

***The Government has no real plan and is too optimistic about future growth, the country’s economic watchdog warns in a report today.

In the first detailed, independent analysis of Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s Spring Statement, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has warned that the Government is breaking budget rules imposed on all European Union governments.

Forecasts fail to take full account of an ageing population, spending pressures or promised tax cuts, it warns.

***Ryanair says there will be “plenty of buyers” willing to snap up shares that Denmark’s biggest pension fund manager, ATP, said it might consider offloading because of concerns over the airline’s labour practices.

A spokesman for the fund told Danish newspaper ‘Berlingske’ that it holds a stake in the Irish airline via a fund managed by a third party.

The spokesman said ATP is now considering what to do with that investment, citing concerns about the ability of staff at the airline to organise under a union. While Ryanair doesn’t prevent staff from joining a union, it does not negotiate with unions.

Irish Times:

***British insurer Standard Life says that it can do no more to help more than 5,000 Irish customers who are stuck with a tax bill after a postal error undermined a €2.38bn shareholder payout.

According to the Irish Times, shareholders in the firm who were due payouts of 73p a share now have to pay extra charges on their payments due to letters being held up in the mail.

In a letter to almost 5,300 shareholders the company says that it is effectively down to customers to do battle Revenue, saying: “Very regrettably, I believe that we have exhausted  all the courses of action open to us.”

***Panda Power, an offshoot of the bin collection company, has launched a new electricity service that could save households almost €160 a year.

Its introductory unit price of 15.47 cent represents an 18pc reduction on standard market prices, which it claims will make it the cheapest offering currently available.

The group is investing €40m in a phased launch, initially to its 150,000 bin collection customers. The new offering will be available throughout the entire country.

***The makers of Jack Daniels whiskey have struck a deal to build a €44m distillery at Slane Castle.

US distiller Brown Forman has bought the Slane Castle Irish Whiskey brand and will invest in a new distillery on the grounds of the historic estate in Co Meath. Brown-Forman will open the Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery in 2016 and introduce new whiskeys in the spring of 2017.

Slane Castle has been the venue for some of the biggest rock concerts in Irish musical history, from Bob Dylan and Oasis to Foo Fighters last weekend.

Irish Examiner:

***Ireland is among the world’s best in terms of digital development, a  new study has shown.

The report from the Harvard Business Review describes Ireland as a  “stand out” country alongside countries such as New Zealand and Israel.

Singapore tops the pack followed by Sweden, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Ireland’s reputation as a digital hub has grown since the recession with companies such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn all establishing Dublin operations.

***The OECD has cut its global economic growth forecast for this year but says it expects lower oil prices to ensure a gradual recovery, even if weak investment remains a worry.

Growth is also being buoyed by ultra-supportive central bank policy in the big developed economies and in many places outside the United States by a stronger dollar, which makes the exports of other currency zones relatively cheaper.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a think tank funded by its membership of primarily wealthy countries, cut its 2015 growth forecast to 3.1 percent from the 3.7 percent it was forecasting last November.

***Irish home builder Cairn Homes has announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, in a move that will raise as much as €400m.

The firm, which is building houses at two locations in Dublin and has sites around the country, said it will seek to raise between €350m and €400m with the listing. If all goes according to plan, the shares will start trading on June 10.

The initial public offering means Cairn will be the first Irish construction firm to join a stock market since McInerney Holdings listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in 1997.

Online Editors