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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:

***Developer Joe O’Reilly is set for high stakes talks with UK property giant Hammerson and Germany’s Allianz Real Estate on the future of his Dundrum Town Centre after the two firms agreed to buy loans tied to his businesses from Nama for nearly €2bn.

The two companies have agreed to pay €1.85bn for the loan portfolio known as Project Jewel. The portfolio includes loans secured against Dundrum Town Centre, a 50pc stake in the Ilac Centre in Dublin, and a 50pc stake in the Pavilions centre in Swords to the north of the city, as well as two development sites.

The loans were all advanced originally to Mr O’Reilly’s development firm, Chartered Land.

***Advisory firms Ernst & Young and KPMG, who audited institutions at the centre of the financial crisis, were among the main beneficiaries of the State spending afterwards.

Outside consultants have been paid €152m by Government bodies for advice on stabilising the banking system since the collapse in 2008.

The sums were paid by the Central Bank, National Treasury Management Agency, the Department of Finance and the National Pension Reserve Fund.

***Irish exploration company Providence Resources is considering extending its debt facility in case it cannot secure a timely farm out of the potentially lucrative Barryroe oilfield.

Announcing its half-year results yesterday, the oil and gas explorer said it is in discussions with its debt provider, US-based Melody Finance, regarding a “possible extension of the terms and maturity” of its debt facility.

Under the terms of the agreement made between the two companies, Providence is required to repay the $20m facility with the proceeds of the farm-out of the Barryroe oil

and gas field. The facility is currently due to be repaid in May 2016.

Irish Times:

***The Economic and Social Research Institute has appealed to the Government to drop its planned package of between €1.2bn and €1.5bn of tax cuts and spending increases in the upcoming budget.

In its latest quarterly economic forecast the institute said that the economy does not need further fiscal stimulus and instead called for a neutral budget.

ESRI associate research professor said that the Government should “leave well enough alone” in the budget due to the current strength of the economic recovery.

***Volkswagen has said that it will “refit” the cars affected by its cheating in US emissions tests, estimated to be as high as 11m.

The company said that it plans to keep drivers informed over the coming weeks about what sort of work may be needed on the cars. It has said that the vehicles are safe to drive.

It is estimated that as many as 80,000 Irish owners of Audis, Volkswagens, Skodas and Seats could be affected by the scandal.

***Unemployment has hit a new six year low of 9.4pc, according to new data.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of workers unemployed fell by 800 during September to 205,300.

This reduced the headline unemployment rate from 9.5pc in the previous month to 9.4pc. This figure is down from 10.9pc 12 months ago.

Irish Examiner:

***The Government’s planned €27bn capital expenditure programme, which will see increased spending on infrastructure such as roads, schools and housing, has been branded as “auction politics”.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe yesterday denied that the Coalition is spending the money of future governments in an attempt to win voters over as a slew of projects were announced, including a long-mooted rail link to Dublin airport.

However Renua leader Lucinda Creighton accused the Government of dangling projects in front of the electorate while employers group Ibec said that the plan lacked ambition and scale.

***Skills shortages are driving up wages and harming Ireland’s economic recovery, a leading recruitment company has warned.

Hays Recruitment said that employers in Ireland are “facing a serious problem in matching available candidates with unfilled jobs”.

It added: “The Irish economy emerged as the third-fastest growing of the 31 countries surveyed, however urgent skills shortages may put this economic recovery at risk.”

***Almost 900,000 people are expected to rely on the €230 per week State pension as their only source of income in the coming decades, according to a new report.

The Friends First 2015 Pension Fund Index found that 75pc of respondents are not confident that they will have enough income when they retire.

Friends First pensions and investments director Simon Hoffman said: “The postponement of financial planning is still a concern. We have an aging population and the number set to rely on the State pension as their sole retirement [income] is to be around the 890,000 mark”.

Online Editors