Tuesday 21 November 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***The UK government’s decision to slash corporation tax has piled pressure on Ireland in the battle to attract foreign investment.

Britain is to repeatedly cut its rate between now and 2020. Chancellor George Osborne pledged to reduce tax on profits to 18pc – a full 10pc less than when he first took office in 2010.

Although not quite as low as our rate of 12.5pc, the move will make Britain a far more attractive base to invest.

***Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s friend and advisor Alan Gray did not tell him of a key meeting with Anglo Irish bosses, hours before the 2008 bank guarantee.

Mr Gray, an economist and Cowen appointee to the Central Bank board, met with Anglo bosses David Drumm and Sean Fitzpatrick on the day of the guarantee as their bank faced running out of cash.

Mr Cowen, in over nine hours of evidence at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, said Mr Gray was the only external voice of advice he sought that night.

***Greece yesterday made a final bid for aid from Europe’s bail-out fund, as it faces a race against the clock to avoid economic collapse.

The Greek government asked for a three-year loan programme from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is guaranteed by the 19 member states of the eurozone bloc, insisting it was finally ready to implement major economic reforms.

The move must be followed up with detailed proposals by midnight today, according to a final timetable fixed by Eurozone leaders last night. A meeting of all European leaders takes place on Sunday to prepare for a possible Grexit.

Irish Times:

***There were fears last night that problems on China’s markets could go global as trillions of dollars was wiped off the value of stocks and more companies scrambled to have their shares suspended from trading.

More than 30pc has been lost from the value of Chinese shares since the middle of June, and some investors believe that the issue has the potential to become more destabilising than the current situation in Greece.

And in a shock move, regulators banned major shareholders, executives and directors from selling stakes in listed companies for six months in a desperate attempt to halt the rout.

***The PSNI is launching an investigation into allegations made by Independent TD Mick Wallace that £7m from the sale of a €1.6bn sale of Nama’s loan book in the North was earmarked for politicians

The PSNI said a criminal inquiry will be launched in relation to concerns raised over the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland property portfolio and the recent claims made by Mr Wallace.

The news comes as it emerged that Mr Wallace has refused to appear before the Dáil’s Public Account Committee to discuss the allegations he made. Nama officials are due to appear before (PAC) today where they will answer questions about the controversial sale of the biggest single portfolio since the bad bank was established.

***Digital brands DoneDeal.ie and Daft.ie are to be merged under a joint venture agreement struck between their current owners.

The new combined business will be owned 50/50 by Norway’s Schibsted Media Group, which is contributing its wholly owned Irish classifieds unit DoneDeal.ie to the venture, and by Irish group Distilled Media, which is adding Adverts.ie as well as its Daft.ie property website to the new group. Distilled Media’s other business, including the Boards.ie internet forum, is not included in the deal.

The new company, called Digital Media Ventures Ltd, had combined revenues of €9.6m in the first six months of 2015, according to Schibsted and Distilled.

Irish Examiner:

***The planned €70m redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh is poised to take a huge step forward as the GAA is about to secure key landbanks needed for the project, the Irish Examiner reports.

According to the newspaper Cork city councillors will be asked on Monday to sign off on the disposal of 6.4 acres of land at the former Showgrounds, which flanks the stadium.

The €1.6m disposal will clear the way for the development of a centre of excellence alongside the Cork stadium.

***House prices outside of Dublin are too low to entice widespread housing development, the chief executive of one of the country’s leading construction firms has warned.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner Charles Gallagher, the CEO of the Meath-based company, was relatively bullish about the prospects for the broader Irish market, but added: “There needs to be an improvement [in conditions] 30 miles outside of Dublin where prices need to go up.”

Mr Gallagher was speaking as Abbey yesterday reported a doubling in its pre-tax profits in the 12 months to the end of April to €49.1m and a 51pc increase in group revenue to €172.5m.

***Danish trade unions have said they will launch action at airports from which Ryanair flies that would effectively stop its services after they said the airline refused to sign up to national collective agreements.

In the latest salvo in the months-long dispute, which began before Ryanair even started flying from Copenhagen, the unions said they will refuse services such as refuelling at Copenhagen on July 18 and at two airports in Jutland on July 23.

The airline’s policy of employing people in countries such as Denmark, under the less generous terms of its home nation, has angered Danish labour unions.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business