Sunday 25 February 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:

***The company behind the landmark CHQ building in Dublin’s docklands, which is owned by former Coca-Cola boss Neville Isdell, has asked An Bord Pleanala to reject plans by Jurys Inn for a large extension to its nearby hotel property.

CHQ Limited has argued that the scale of the proposed development – which would raise, in part, the height of the hotel to seven storeys – is excessive.

“Our client has significant concerns in relation to the height, scale, and massing of the proposed extension to the west of the building in terms of the significant negative impact that this would have on the CHQ building,” consultants for CHQ told An Bord Pleanala.

***Sun Pharma, the fifth largest generic drug maker in the world, is considering selling its Irish manufacturing plant, which employs about 100 people.

The biggest drug manufacturer in India in terms of revenue is trying to control costs that have spiralled since it bought rival firm Ranbaxy Laboratories for $4bn in an all-share deal in March.

The Irish plant, in Cashel, Co Tipperary, was owned by Ranbaxy and was a major supplier of cholesterol drug Atorvastatin in the EU. It is estimated that it made a profit of about €9m in the 2013-2014 financial year.

***Car dealers here are about to get a substantial injection of funding to expand their businesses.

As demand for second-hand cars continues to increase, the US-based giant NextGear Capital will announce today that it is entering the motor stock funding market in Ireland.

The firm is already processing €10m of funding applications from Irish dealers and says it has established partnerships with seven wholesale sellers.

Irish Times:

***Irish property investment firm Tetrarch Capital is to look for planning permission for a multi-million euro residential and commercial development in Kildare, the Irish Times reports.

According to the paper the company is to apply for permission in the next two months to build up to 50,000 sq ft of office space in a development worth €7.5m at Millennium Park.

This is to be followed by an application to build 400 houses on the site, which is located close to Naas town and under 20 miles from Dublin city centre.

***Former 2fm head John Clarke has been signed by Radio Nova to present one of the station’s Sunday morning slots, the Irish Times reports.

Mr Clarke was originally meant to host a one-of show on Nova in July, however it was pulled shortly before airing due to legal threats from RTE regarding the usage of the name ‘Ireland’s Biggest Jukebox’.

Mr Clarke left 2fm last year as part of a shakeup of the station. His show is due to air on Sunday mornings from September 27.

***A series of proposals put forward by Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes to tackle the looming pensions crisis in the EU will be considered in the European Parliament tomorrow.

The European Commission adopted a legislative proposal last year for new rules on occupational pension funds aimed at improving how they are run while helping with long term investment.

Speaking to the Irish Times Mr hayes said: “As lead negotiator in the European Parliament for this directive, I have proposed legislative changes which will make occupational pensions more accessible, more equitable and safer.”

Irish Examiner:

***China’s investment and factory output missed growth forecasts in August, signalling a further slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

The statistics came on foot of weak trade and inflation figures. There are now fears that China’s growth for the year may dip under 7pc for the first time since the global financial crisis.

The fears of a slowdown in the Chinese economy negatively affecting other countries has prompted speculation that the US Federal Reserve may hold off on raising interest rates later this week.

***Irish exploration company Petroceltic is expected to to start drilling off the coast of Egypt next year, near a recent massive find of gas.

Last month Italian energy firm Eni reported the discovery what has been estimated as one of the largest gas fields in the world, with the Zohr field potentially holding 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The find has helped provoke interest in Petroceltic’s activity in the area, in which it has two licences around 5 kilometres west of Zohr.

***The growth in Ireland’s construction industry activity slowed down during August, although the sector did continue to expand.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – posted a reading of 56.5 in August, down from 59.1 in July. However, it was still well above the 50-point mark that indicates growth.

Ulster Bank Republic of Ireland chief economist, Simon Barry, said that the Irish construction sector experienced a further “solid” rise in activity in August, albeit with the pace of growth moderating since July.

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