Thursday 22 August 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning:

Irish Independent:

***A select number of managers in the Central Bank are being paid secret bonuses, it has emerged.

The main trade union for Central Bank staff is taking legal advice over the confidential payments of more than €20,000.

Unite says the payments breach emergency laws cutting pay and banning bonuses in the public sector.

***Billionaire financier Dermot Desmond has severely criticised the planned €3.2bn merger of betting firms Ladbrokes and Coral. Mr Desmond urged fellow Ladbrokes shareholders to reject what he called a “disastrous path” for  Ladbrokes.

In a scathing letter to Ladbrokes’ shareholders yesterday, he claimed that the proposed merger between the two firms is not a good deal and suggested that Ladbrokes should be sold.

Mr Desmond owns at least 1pc of Ladbrokes and possibly more, according to a Ladbrokes spokesman. While the precise size of the holding is unclear, it is less than the 3pc level that would trigger automatic disclosure to the stock market.

***A deal to allow Northern Ireland reduce its corporation tax rate to match the Republic’s is set to spark fresh demands from Scotland and Wales for more control over their taxes.

The main political parties in the two countries have told the Irish Independent they are carefully studying the arrangement handed to the North and will seek concessions of their own.

The Government here has played down the significance of being in direct competition with Northern Ireland for foreign investors, but the potential for Scotland and Wales to challenge our 12.5pc corporation tax rate is a larger concern.


Irish Times:

***Life and pension firm Irish Life is to create 150 new Irish jobs in a major expansion as part of a five year growth strategy.

Speaking to the Irish Times chief executive Bill Kyle said the growth was a result in the growth of business at the group’s core operations such as bancassurance.

The move follows strong trading from Irish Life since it was acquired by Canadian group Great -West Lifeco from the Government for €1.3bn in 2013.

***Investment companies in Ireland need to do more to combat money laundering and terrorist financing risks, according to a new report from the Central Bank.

The study identified several measures during a series of on-site inspections last year, including doubt over whether risk assessments were being performed in a “timely manner”.

The research also found a lack of oversight from several providers carrying out anti-money laundering on behalf of its funds.

***Guinness is planning to open its experimental brewery to the public for the first time in history, the Irish Times reports.

Those who wish will be able to sample beers not yet on sale for the general public, including some that may never reach a stage of mass production, at the Open Gate Brewery at St James’ Gate.

Diageo’s global head of beer Mark Sands said there has been an experimental brewery at St James’ Gate for over 100 years, however until now it has been off-limits to the public.


Irish Examiner:

***Calls from one of the country’s leading estate agency’s for a change to the Central Bank’s rules on mortgage lending are likely to be ineffective after Finance Minister Michael Noonan signalled his support for the measures.

The Real Estate Alliance yesterday called for the rules, which include income multiple limits of 3.5 times income and loan-to-value limits of 80pc, to be overhauled.

However, Mr Noonan ruled out a full review of the restrictions until the start of next year at the earliest and said that prior to their introduction another property bubble could have been emerging.

***The former hotel and property arm of Irish insurance firm FBD is predicting record earnings of €9m for 2015, an increase of more than 50pc on last year.

FBD Property & Leisure (FBDPLL) owns three hotels in Ireland and two in Spain. It employs over 700 people across its portfolio.

As well as record earnings the company also announced it is planning to invest €7.5m in its hotel portfolio and is targeting combined operating profits of €50m over the next five years.

***Danone, the world’s biggest yoghurt maker, gave a higher sales goal for the first time in four years yesterday as it pledged to boost profitability at its fresh-dairy business, which represents more than half of the French company’s revenue.

The company said sales growth should exceed 5% by 2020 on a like-for-like basis, according to notes from analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux and Exane BNP Paribas.

Emmanuel Faber, who became chief executive a year ago, was presenting his strategy in a three-day seminar that ended yesterday in Evian in France.

Online Editors

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