Wednesday 22 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:

***Green REIT is reducing its borrowing levels by almost a third, as the commercial property market here moves to a more “normal” phase.

The real estate investment trust posted profits of €156.3m in the 12 months to the end of June, up sharply from €43.1m a year earlier.

Much of that growth was due to the company increasing its property holdings. Net asset value – a key measure for a property firm – rose 23pc to 134.8c per share. The company will pay a final dividend of 1.6c per share.

***Primark’s first store in the United States will open on Thursday, breaking new ground for the Dublin-headquartered chain, which first opened its doors over 40 years ago.

The store in Boston will be the first of a number that Primark is opening along the US east coast.

It’s trying to penetrate a market from which retailers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer have retreated in the past following expensive failed forays.

***Anglo-Irish exploration firm Tullow Oil could be a takeover target following a slump in it shares over the past two months, analysts at Goldman Sachs have predicted.

The speculation caused shares in Tullow, which have halved since May, to rise before they quickly retreated again as oil prices continued to decline.

It’s at least the third time since April that Goldman Sachs has speculated that Tullow, which is headed by Aidan Heavey, could be sold to a bargain hunter.

Irish Times:

***Petroceltic’s biggest shareholder Worldview yesterday failed in its attempt to limit the powers of the Irish exploration company to dispose of large assets.

The proposal by the Swiss-based hedge fund would have stopped Petroceltic directors  selling assets that would represent 25pc or more of the company’s revenues, profits or reserves. The motion was rejected by 58pc to 42pc at an EGM in Dublin yesterday.

Meanwhile Worldview also announced yesterday that it plans to call another EGM in London next month to call on shareholders to vote on a $175m bond issue announced by Petroceltic in June.

***EU agriculture ministers yesterday agreed a €500m aid package for farmers, although they stopped short of raising the intervention price for dairy products.

About 6,000 farmers, including members of the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, protested in Brussels yesterday, parking more than 2,000 tractors outside of the European Council’s headquarters.

The protest came as EU ministers met to discuss falling product prices for farmers, which have had a devastating effect on their earnings in the past number of months.

***Forty Irish bankers took home €1 million or more in earnings in 2013, according to figures from the European Banking Authority.

In its annual update on earnings, the EBA said that of the 40 big earners in Irish banking, 13 were involved in asset management, 12 in investment banking and five in retail banking.

The number of bankers earning €1 million a year or more in the EU, however, has started to fall even before the impact of a cap on bonus payments is fully felt, according to the EBA figures.

Irish Examiner:

***The Government is aiming to create 25,000 jobs in the south east of the country over the next five years under a new jobs plan for the region.

The plan aims to increase employment by 10-15pc in the region, which was very badly hit by the crash and encompasses Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton unveiled the plan yesterday after announcing 276 new jobs in Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny.

***European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy has branded the Eircom network outage that affected thousands of customers last week “unacceptable”.

The junior minister called on the company to invest in their network, saying that outages such as the one customers suffered last Wednesday threaten Ireland’s international reputation.

He said that Ireland’s reputation as a digital hub in Europe for US technology companies is dependant upon “fast, reliable voice and data connectivity”.

***Center Parcs first Irish holiday resort is to see as 750 jobs created during the construction phase of the project in what would become the biggest tourism development in the history of the State.

In planning proposals for the centre, which were unveiled at a community meeting in Ballymahon yesterday, management said that it hopes to build 500 lodges in the heart of Longford forest land.

They also say that most of the 1,000 employees to be hired for the planned opening in 2019 will be local, with an emphasis on recruiting young people.

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