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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:

***Greeks have begun emptying supermarket shelves and petrol stations after the government’s decision to close banks ahead of

a bailout referendum next Sunday.

Panic set in across the country as people queued at ATMs to withdraw a €60 daily limit and stockpiled goods amid rumours pharmaceuticals could run out.

Shares across Europe tumbled yesterday but there was no rout on the financial markets, as had been feared.

***Traders owed nearly €1m from the closure of Clerys are weighing whether to oppose the confirmation of Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson as liquidators.

The High Court named the KPMG partners as joint provisional liquidators of the company that operated Clerys on June 12, but the appointments need to be confirmed by the court next Monday.

A group of 15 “concessionaires” who traded in the department store say they may try to block that confirmation, but face a potential legal bill of €20,000 if they opt to fight the case.

***Irish oil and gas explorer Petroceltic, which yesterday launched a $175m bond issue to help fund its flagship $2bn project in Algeria, is expecting to launch a second, larger funding round late next year.

The Dublin-based company yesterday announced that it had made a loss of $282m (€254m) for the year to the end of December, up significantly from the loss of $19m the previous year. The company also announced plans for a $175m bond issue which will mainly be used to fund its share of capital spending at its Ain Tsila gas project in Algeria.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, CEO Brian O’Cathain said he expected the bond would be fully subscribed by mid-July, adding that the company would likely launch a second larger bond issue towards the end of 2016.

Irish Times:

***The cost overruns on the controversial Corrib gas Shell refinery project in north Mayo will deprive the State of about €600m in tax revenue, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper the €600m figure is made up of 25pc of the project’s likely cost overrun of €2.4bn, much of which was incurred due to various delays and changes that occurred during the project’s lifetime.

If the extra €2.4bn had not been spent on development costs it would have been subject to tax, which for development companies is levied at 25pc. However as with all companies Sell Exploration and Production Ireland can write off capital development costs against taxation.

***State-owned health insurance  company VHI has been given an extra month to raise the capital it needs to become a regulated non-life insurer, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper the process  is being undertaken as per an EU ruling in 2011. A spokesman for the Department of health confirmed to the newspaper that Health Minister Leo Varadkar has given VHI until the end of July to have its capital, which must be in place to comply with Central Bank rules as a regulated entity.

VHI is thought to need to raise about €100m to be in compliance with the Central Bank capital requirements although this has not been confirmed by the VHI.

***Ryanair has threatened  legal action against witnesses at a recent European Parliament committee hearing who criticised the company’s employment practices, the Irish Times reports.

According to the newspaper last month several academics and industry figures were critical of the airline’s hiring practices during a meeting of the European Parliament’s employment and social affairs committee.

The Dublin-based carrier has since written to several of those concerned and said that if they make “defamatory claims” about Ryanair again the airline will proceed with legal action against them.

Irish Examiner:

***A plan to provide 14,000 jobs for the Midlands over the next five years aims to attract at least 25 additional multinational investment projects to the region by 2019.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny unveiled the plan yesterday, saying that there would be similar strategies for other parts of the country in the coming months. The plan is one of eight targeting specific regions around Ireland which will see €250m made available to the regions over the next eight years.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said that the plan would need to deliver for the economy as a whole and for the business sector in the region in particular.

***The numbers approved for a mortgage in May have gone up, but at a slower pace than the same month last year.

Figures from the banks show 2,461 potential buyers were approved for a mortgage in May.

This was up 20pc on the figure for the same month last year, according to the Irish Banking and Payments Federation. On a monthly basis mortgage approvals rose by 4.6pc.

***The rate of insolvencies has fallen by more than 50pc in the past month some parts of the country despite a quarter-on-quarter increase, two reports have indicated.

Cork saw a 55pc drop off in the number of insolvencies this month compared to the same period last yeat while Dublin accounted for the largest number of insolvencies, according to data compiled by Vision-net.ie

However, a report by Deloitte points to a less flattering picture of the insolvency landscape as  it showed a 10pc increase in the second quarter of the year.

Online Editors