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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:

***Higher earners are paying more tax in Ireland than in Sweden, the UK, Switzerland and the United States, a report will show today.

The Irish Tax Institute’s Budget Tax Study claims that a worker here earning €75,000 pays a massive €6,136 more in personal tax than workers in the UK, €1,237 more than in Spain, and around €796 more than an employee in Sweden.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pledged to slash the marginal rate of tax to below 50pc in next month’s Budget and has said he will also target the controversial Universal Social Charge.

***Volkswagen shares plunged more than 20pc yesterday, their biggest one-day fall, after the German carmaker admitted it had rigged emissions tests in the United States, and US authorities said they would widen their probe to other manufacturers.

Germany, alarmed at the potential damage the scandal could inflict on its world-beating car industry, urged Volkswagen to fully clear up the matter and said it would investigate whether emissions data had also been falsified in Europe.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday that Europe’s biggest carmaker had used software for diesel VW and Audi-branded cars that deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions and could face penalties of up to $18bn.

***Irish biotech investment fund Malin is likely to start floating some of its investee companies within the next 12 months, according to chairman John Given.

Mr Given, pictured, said the fund is focusing on helping its investees develop after amassing a full investment portfolio earlier this year. He was speaking yesterday after the announcement of Malin’s interim results, which show that it made an after-tax loss of €26.6m in the period to the end of June.

As Malin had only been operational for about three months by the end of June, the bulk of its costs for the period, about €17m, relate to the establishment and floatation of the company.

Irish Times:

***Ireland is to become one of the first countries in the world to bring in measures aimed at ensuring multinationals give more information to tax authorities.

The Government is to introduce a move in the upcoming budget that will oblige companies to give country-by-country reports of their income, the Irish Times reports.

Companies that could be affected include global giants such as CRH and Ryanair, as well as multinationals who have shifted their headquarters here for tax reasons.

***Microsoft has regained its status as Ireland's top exporter, nudging out competition from other multinationals and reclaiming the position from rival tech giant Google.

The latest Top 250 Exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland survey, issued by the Irish Exporters' Association in association with Investec, found that Microsoft Ireland's export turnover increased from €15bn in 2014 to €18.2bn in 2015, an increase of 21pc.

Google Ireland, knocked down to second place, had an export turnover of €17bn. Medtronic Ireland, Johnson & Johnson in Ireland and Ingersoll Rand rounded out the top five with combined export revenues of €37bn.

***Ireland has become the second largest exporter of infant formula to China, moving ahead of New Zealand for the first time this year.

According to figures from Bord Bia, Irish exports of infant formula to China amounted to 13,100 tonnes in the first half of the year.

This was equivalent to about 17pc of the market. The Netherlands is the largest exporter to China, with a market share of about 34pc.

Irish Examiner:

***Zurich Insurance abandoned its £5.6bn (€7.69bn) proposed bid for Britain’s RSA, after forecasting a $200m (€178m) third-quarter loss yesterday largely due to explosions at Chinese port Tianjin.

A day before a bid deadline under British takeover rules, Zurich said it would conduct a review to improve the performance of its general insurance business, instead of taking over its London-listed rival, sending RSA shares down by as much 23% at one stage.

RSA, which is pursuing a turnaround strategy under former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester, said Zurich had found nothing untoward in its “due diligence” checks on its books that would have thwarted a deal on the 550p per share terms proposed on August 25.

***Irish exploration firm Providence Resources said yesterday that it had signed a deal with oil services giant Schlumberger that may help it develop its interests off the south-west coast.

The company said Schlumberger will provide technical support to help develop areas such as the Southern Porcupine and the Goban Spur.

The move comes as Porcupine prepares to farm out the development of its Drombeg, Druid and Newgrange prospects, a process which is expected to get underway next year.

***The Apple Watch is to finally arrive in Ireland by the end of the week, more than six months after first going on sale.

The most expensive models will cost more than €18,000. Three watches will be available from Friday, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.

The 38mm Sport Watch is the cheapest model available at a price of €429 while the most expensive Edition model will cost €18,500.

Online Editors