Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:
***The value of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity with Irish involvement so far this year has surged to almost €100bn – nearly twice the figure at the same time last year.
And Irish law firms Arthur Cox and A&L Goodbody continue to rank among the top firms advising on the transactions, according to the data compiled for the Irish Independent by Thomson Reuters.
The number of deals either completed or in train so far this year totals 266 – up 24 on the same period in 2014.
***The number of firms refused bank loans over the last three months rose compared with the previous quarter.
A survey shows that 45pc of businesses were turned down in the second quarter, compared with 33pc in the previous quarter, according to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme).
Isme chief executive Mark Fielding (left) said he hopes the results are a blip.
***Families being hit with massive rises in Laya and Aviva health insurance plans have been warned not to accept the hikes. Instead, they should switch to other policies offered by the same insurers.
Some 65 Laya plans went up for those renewing from this month, in a move that will see families paying up to €500 more when they renew. Aviva increased its rates by 5.5pc on average for those renewing or taking out a new plan from the start of last month.
The increases were imposed despite thousands of new customers taking up health insurance for the first time in May to beat new late-entry levies.
***Finance Minister Michael Noonan is set to meet with mortgage lenders to put pressure on them to lower their standard variable rate mortgage packages, which tend to be higher than the European average.
The Minister, who is set to meet with the lenders before the budget in October, is likely to ask them why there has been no major movement on rates despite a large drop in the cost of wholesale funding, the Irish Times reports.
The Minister is likely to summon the lenders after his appearance at the banking inquiry on Thursday and the Fine Gael party think-in.
***A Galway company is in talks with a regional government in Nigeria about the possibility of establishing 5,000 housing units in the region as part of a social housing project, the Irish Times reports.
Some of the houses are being proposed to be built in a new city called “Calas Vegas” in the Cross River State in southern Nigeria. They would be designed off-site and erected in less than a week each.
The chairman of the Affordable Building Concepts International in Oranmore confirmed that his company is in discussions with the local administration of governor Ben Ayade, but declined to give further details of the project.
***Fly Leasing, the company headed up by Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington, recently leased an aircraft to Norwegian Air which is trying to set up a long haul airline service in Ireland.
Documents recently filed with the Companies Registration Office show by an Irish-registered subsidy of Norwegian Air Shuttle Fly leased a Boeing 737-800 to the firm earlier this year.
Colm Barrington is chief executive of Fly Leasing, one of several Irish companies that supply aircrafts to airlines around the world.
***China’s stock-market rout that erased $5 trillion (€4.48tn) in value is close to ending, according to the nation’s central bank governor.
With the yuan’s exchange rate versus the dollar close to stabilising and a stock-market correction almost done, China’s financial markets are expected to be more stable, governor Zhou Xiaochuan said.
His comments were made in a statement on the bank’s website after a meeting by finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations in Ankara.
***Nearly half of small and medium businesses were refused loan applications in the past three months, according to new statistics.
According to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association 45pc of businesses were turned down in the second quarter of the year compared to 33pc in the previous three months.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said that he is hopeful that the results are a blip as the results buck a trend of declining refusal rates over the past number of years.
***The European Central Bank has withdrawn its offer to assist the Dáil’s banking inquiry after claims that its comments could be used as formal evidence.
Inquiry chair and Labour TD confirmed the move yesterday, saying that the ECB was not taking part due to its lack of a legal obligation to face questioning from national parliaments.
He said: “The response is disappointing given that the Committee made every effort to accommodate the ECB and to facilitate it in reviewing and responding to statements and evidence given at our public hearings which referenced the role and influence of the ECB.”