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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:

***The development of a second runway for Dublin Airport, a 6,000-seat event centre in Cork and improved rural broadband have been placed on a Government wish list as it prepares to tap into a multi-billion euro EU war chest.

The list of infrastructure projects was drawn up by the Department of Finance ahead of a decision by the EU authorities next month to activate a €315bn investment plan.

The fund, which is overseen by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, proposes to provide loans which cover around 20pc of the cost of projects.

***Newly fluctuating currency differences and the threat of bursting property bubbles in a number of heated markets are putting Irish property owners abroad at risk of losing tens of thousands of euro.

It means that Irish emigrants who own property are facing a “do or die” decision to save their investments if they bought in regions where prospects are now at risk as the fallout of the China crisis kicks in. At the same time, a strengthening euro is beginning to erode recent historically high currency benefits for those selling there and buying here.

***A form of debt restructuring rather than outright forgiveness should enable Greece to handle its “unviable” debt burden, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

The IMF has yet to make clear if it will participate in the third €86bn international bailout that Greece signed up to in early August, having argued in favour of a partial writedown of a debt burden it considers unsustainable in its current form.

The IMF has said previously that Greece needs a form of debt forgiveness if it is ever to get its debt onto a sustainable profile.

Irish Times:

***The HSE is to be called before the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain how pharmacies can claim multiple payments from a single medical card holder subscription.

The Dail watchdog is to probe claims that LLyods, the largest pharmacy chain in the country, claimed up to four fees in a month from a single prescription.

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Fianna Fail TD John McGuiness, who heads up the committee, says that the body will look for an explanation as to how the claims happened and over what time period they have occurred.

***New tax measures introduced in recent years has seen high-earnings individuals who have looked to maximise their income pay out more than €60m in tax, the Irish Times reports.

The high income individuals restriction, which was introduced over concerns that some wealthy people were paying little or no tax, has started to make an impact after being introduced more than eight years ago after its scope was significantly widened recently.

A breakdown of how tax shelters were used in 2013 showed that over 900 people who earned six-figure sums paid out an additional €60.4m in tax.

***The highest excise duty on wine in the EU has failed to deter Irish drinkers, a new study finding that consumption rose last year.

According to a report compiled by the Ibec-affiliated Irish Wine Association, 8.5m cases of wine were sold in Ireland last year compared to 8.3m sold in 2013, although this is still lower than the high of 9m recorded in 2009.

The research found that, at €3.19 on a standard bottle, Ireland has the highest excise duty on wine in the EU. The next highest is the UK, which is 12pc cheaper.

Irish Examiner:

***The value of new construction projects has shot up, growing by 41pc in the first six months of the year, according to a new study.

Data published by Building Information Ireland shows that work started on €2.75bn worth of projects during the first half of 2015 compared to about €1.9bn the year before.

Although the figures represent a sharp increase, they are coming from a very low base, meaning that they can be skewed by large individual projects. All regions reported increases in activity, with growth the fastest in Munster.

***China’s economy is growing at a “reasonable” pace and, despite growing pressures, the government can handle well the risks the country now faces, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at the weekend.

The premier, in remarks published late on Saturday after a special cabinet meeting, said China is continuing to steadily manage its economy.

Li said international market instability “has increased the uncertainties around the global economic recovery, and the impact on China’s financial market and imports and exports has also deepened, with the economy facing new pressure.”

***Pre-tax profits at the Irish arm of well known high street brand Zara last year increased by 33pc to €4.79m.

This followed revenues at Za Clothing Ireland Ltd jumping by 10pc from €56.76m to €62.47m in the 12 months to the end of January 2015.

Zara operates a number of stores in Dublin, including one at the Dundrum shopping centre, along with stores in Cork, Limerick and Galway. According to the directors’ report, “the directors plan to open further stores as soon as opportunities arise”.

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