Friday 19 January 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages newsdesk

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

Irish Independent:

***Businessman Denis O'Brien made four attempts to extend a loan with the former Anglo Irish Bank and eventually got an extra 12 months to make repayments on €315m he had borrowed, the Dáil heard last night.

However, the claim was disputed by the special liquidators for IBRC, which said the the information put on the Dáil record concerning the alleged extension of credit facilities was inaccurate and misleading.

A range of issues about Mr O'Brien's banking arrangements with the IBRC were put on the Dáil record by Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty in a debate on the Commission of Investigation into various transactions, including the sale of Siteserv to Mr O'Brien's Millington company.

***Irish-based technology companies have seen a surge in venture capital funding in the first three months of 2015, new figures show.

According to the Irish Venture Capital Association, €120m was raised in the first three months of 2015, with three deals struck for €20m or more.

The investment means that Ireland's venture funding run rate remains ahead of last year's record €400m haul, itself a 40pc rise on the previous year.

***Dunnes Stores engaged in a misleading commercial practice likely to deceive customers in an advertising campaign comparing some products with rival Aldi, the High Court ruled.

Dunnes infringed consumer protection law and EU regulations, Mr Justice Brian Cregan ruled. He was giving judgment in an application by Aldi for an injunction preventing Dunnes infringing its trademarks.

Aldi is also seeking damages - while Dunnes is to consider whether to seek a stay on the judge's decision in the event of an appeal.

Irish Times:

***The Economic and Social Research Institute has warned the Government to pull back on plans to expand the budget by up to €1.5bn, saying that it is not advisable for the health of the economy.

At the launch of its latest economic commentary, the think tank said the Government should unveil a neutral budget and said the current planned budgetary policy was regrettable and not advisable.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the Government will introduce an "expansionary budget" this year and every year until 2020, "if this is deemed prudent". The Government will have between €1.2bn and €1.5bn of additional money to split evenly between new spending measures and tax cuts for Budget 2016.

***Property development firm Castlepark Building Company is interested in taking over Greystones Golf Club in Wicklow and moving it to a new site near Delgany in what could be a €100m plus deal, according to the Irish Times.

The newspaper reports that under the terms of the proposed deal, which covers the club’s 127-acre town-centre location, the club would be relocated to Bellvue Hill in delgany, between the existing Delgany Golf Club and the glen O’the Downs Golf Club.

The process is at a “very, very, very early stage” according to Greystones Golf Club secretary manager Ross Robertson.

***The deputy governor of the Central Bank told the Department of Finance earlier this year that it did not have adequate resources to effectively regulate the insurance sector, according to the Irish Times.

In a letter to Cyril Roux the assistant secretary in the Finance Department’s financial services  division Aidan Carrigan  requested that Mr Roux to provide a report setting out any issues of concern in the insurance industry.

In a reply sent on March 20 Mr Roux said that the “disjointed” nature of the regulator’s enforcement powers over non-life companies was an “impediment to their effectiveness” and needed consolidation.

Irish Examiner:

***Tánaiste Joan Burton has backed the call by outgoing Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan to burn junior bondholders at the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Ms Burton said the State would use all legal means to ensure junior bondholders at the now defunct lender would not receive payouts.

And her spokesman said she was resolute in her view that so-called subordinated debt holders "should not and will not be paid".

***A manufacturer of children's sweets, publicans and car dealers are among those who settled over €21m  with Revenue in the first quarter of the year.

Among the defaulters was the organiser of the Taste of Dublin food festival Avril Bannerton, who settled a bill of €120,000 after under-declaring income tax.

The largest settlement, for €3m, was made by Alan Miller of Stepaside in Dublin, who was also jailed for tax offences.

***Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called on his fractious Syriza party to rally behind the government as time runs critically short to unlock funding from international lenders and avert a debt default.

Tsipras made his plea as Greek negotiators pushed to narrow differences with the European Union and IMF creditors over a cash-for-reform deal on which the country's future in the euro largely depends.

The two sides were expected to continue talks through Tuesday to try to hammer out a deal, in a sign that they were moving closer to a compromise despite fierce protestations about the inadequacy of the other side's proposals.

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