Saturday 25 May 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***Businesses owed €5m following the liquidation of Clerys will be able to begin retrieving stock from the iconic department store today.

Liquidators KPMG have told some of the 50 businesses which had concessions in the Dublin store that it would be able to allow them into the building to get their goods back.

Concession holders estimate that around €3m worth of goods have been trapped in the store since the shock announcement last Friday that it was to close immediately. However, the situation regarding around €2m in cash owed to concession holders remains unclear.

***Five ‘whistleblowers’ who reported concerns to the Central Bank about leading moneylending firm Provident have been sacked, it was claimed in the Dáil.

It was also alleged that the five, who were self-employed collection agents operating in Donegal, gave detailed information to the regulator on the illegal topping-up of moneylender loans provided by Provident, the Irish Independent has learned.

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty had given information supplied by the five individuals to the enforcement section of the Central Bank, he told the Dáil.

***Irish aircraft-leasing firms placed $11bn (€9.87bn) of orders at the Paris Airshow.

AerCap’s order for 100 Boeing jets accounted for the bulk of the buying, with rival SMBC snapping up 10 passenger planes from the US maker.

The massive Irish orders helped push Boeing ahead of European rival Airbus in the battle for commercial air supremacy. AerCap’s deal to buy 100 737 MAX 8 jets is worth $10.7bn at list prices.

Irish Times:

***The Irish Government appears to have secured a reduced targets for emissions as part of the next EU climate deal, the Irish Times reports.

The deal would see Ireland reduce its greenhouse gas levels by 25.5pc on 2005 levels by 2030, according to a leaked  European Commission document cited by the newspaper.

This target is just 5pc more than Ireland’s current target for 2020 which is likely to be missed, leaving taxpayers vulnerable to possible fines after the compliance period ends.

***The new operator of the national lottery lost over €17m in the 19 month period to the end of 2014, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper Premier Lotteries Ireland, which took over the licence for the lottery on November 30th of last year, is looking to boost sales through online growth.

In the period from May 22nd 2013 to December 31st 2014  the company, which paid €405m to operate the licence for 20 years, reported a pre tax loss of €17.4m.

***Cutting the top rates of income tax and universal social charge in the upcoming is unlikely to have much of an impact on low and middle income earners, according to the economic and Social research Institute.

The Irish Times reports that in a paper to be published at today’s annual Budget Perspective conference, the think tank said that these changes would mainly benefit those in upper middle and middle income households.

The report says that the most effective way of increasing income for low level earners would be to increase social welfare payments.

Irish Examiner:

***Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras lashed out at Greece’s creditors yesterday, accusing them of trying to “humiliate” Greeks, as he defied a drumbeat of warnings that Europe is preparing for his country to leave the euro.

The unrepentant address to politicians after the collapse of talks with European and IMF lenders at the weekend was the clearest sign yet that the leftist leader has no intention of making a last-minute U-turn and accepting austerity cuts needed to unlock frozen aid and avoid a debt default within two weeks.

Financial markets, for months indifferent to wrangling over releasing billions of euro of aid for Greece, reacted with mounting alarm.

***The amount paid out earnings in the construction sector is down by 50pc compared to what it was at the height of the boom, the Irish Examiner reports.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that while wage levels have remained relatively stable since 2008 - €39,136 compared to €37,884 in 2014 - the total wage bill across the sector has dropped from €5.54bn to €2.55bn over the same time period.

The drop shows that the number employed in the construction sector are significantly below boom time levels.

***The Central Bank has warned that the cost of credit for small and medium businesses is rising here rather than falling as seen in other European countries.

In its latest macro financial review, the Central Bank also said the solvency position of the insurance sector weakened slightly last year, although all firms maintain a solvency ratio above the minimum requirement of 150pc.

The Central Bank’s macro financial review, which is published twice a year and flags up risks to the economy, warned that the competitive nature of the domestic market “is impacting firms’ underwriting profitability”.

Online Editors

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