Wednesday 20 June 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent:

***Award-Winning studio Brown Bag Films will add about 50 people to its Dublin base after being acquired by a major North American studio in a multi-million euro deal.

The studio will retain its brand and its existing senior management team, but will now be owned by Toronto-based 9 Story Media Group.

Based on Brown Bag’s most recently available public earnings, market sources estimate that the studio cost an eight-figure sum.

***Aer Lingus shareholders are expected to start receiving payment for their shares in the next fortnight after IAG’s deal to take over the former flag carrier cleared its final hurdle.

The long-expected deal has now been deemed “wholly unconditional” after Ryanair formally agreed to sell its shares in Aer Lingus.

Ryanair, which has owned more than 29pc of Aer Lingus for a number of years, had said it would accept IAG’s offer to buy its shares, but missed a deadline to formally accept the offer at the end of last month.

***More than 1,000 workers at a major US multinational are to have millions of euro pumped into their pension fund.

The workers at Analog Devices are set to get the boost as the company converts from a defined benefit scheme into defined contribution funds.

The 1,100 workers based in Cork and Limerick are set to see €190m invested into their retirement funds, the Irish Independent has learned.

Irish Times:

***Planning permission has been sought for the first phase of what could be one of the single largest developments in Dublin’s docklands, the Irish Times reports.

The venture, called Project Wave, will take up 10pc of the available land in the Docklands Strategic Development Zone and provide more than 50,000 sq ft of commercial buildings as well as over 250 apartments.

The scheme, which is being backed by Nama, will be located on a 2.2 hectare site on North Wall Quay. The project is to take place over three phases. The first phase would see two office blocks constructed adjacent to the Central Bank.

***Subsidiaries of Irish food giant Glanbia based in Luxembourg paid tax of just €200,000 on profits of more than €40m last year, the Irish Times reports.

One of the results of the existence of the company, which had no employees but had assets of €1.3bn, was to reduce Glanbia’s overall tax bill in Ireland and the US, according to the newspaper.

A spokeswoman for Glanbia said that the firm only uses legitimate means to “support the group’s international expansion and growth”. Earlier this year Glanbia reported group sales of €2.38bn and an effective tax rate of 17pc.

***Ireland has seen its risk status for BSE removed several weeks after the discovery of an infected animal in the country, the Irish Times reports.

Whereas Ireland had been classified as a “negligible risk status” after news of the case, the World Organisation for Animal Health has confirmed that the country has now been restored to its previous “controlled” status.

The change in status first occurred after it was confirmed that a five year old dairy cow in Louth had contracted classic, or typical, BSE.

Irish Examiner:

***Outstanding home loans in Ireland are close to median rates lenders are charging across most of the Eurozone, according to a new report from the Central Bank.

The report shows that the interest rates on outstanding home loans is about 2.7pc. However, the organisation warned that the figures do not include interest rates on new lending.

The report comes after months of controversy over the issue of mortgage rates, with critics saying that Irish lenders charge among the highest home loan rates for new borrowers in the Eurozone.

***The controversial Jobbridge scheme could be scrapped within a number of months after the launch of a review of the program by the Department of Social Protection.

A formal request for tender has been issued by the department, which is looking to conduct an external review into the jobs’ placement service. The scheme allows unemployed people to take up internships for an extra €50 a week on top of social welfare payments.

Preliminary results will be available by the end of the year with a final report due to be completed early next year.

***Sterling powered to its strongest in seven and a half years against a trade-weighted basket of currencies yesterday as higher-than expected UK inflation data bolstered bets that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in the coming months.

The numbers from the Office for National Statistics showed consumer prices rose 0.1pc in July, beating expectations that inflation would remain stuck at zero.

Core inflation, which strips out food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices, hit a five-month peak of 1.2pc, up from 0.8pc in June.

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