Monday 19 March 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Shares in Applegreen tumbled by around 5pc yesterday as main rival Topaz announced it was being bought by Canadian giant Alimentation Couche Tard.

Topaz chief executive Emmet O'Neill will leave the company when the takeover by the Quebec-based firm closes early next year.

The deal, estimated by industry analysts to have an enterprise value of between €350m to €450m, was announced yesterday and will see the Irish company, which has been owned by businessman Denis O'Brien for the last two years, subsumed into the Couche Tard empire.

* Irish diversified services company DCC is to be promoted to the prestigious FTSE 100 index in London after a strong year of trading that has seen its shares almost double in value.

DCC was one of three companies that joined the exchange following its quarterly index review yesterday.

The other two were named as payments processor Worldpay and sub-prime lender Provident Financial. UK supermarket giant Morrisons, security group G4S and engineering firm Meggitt are also expected to be demoted.

* Irish exporters are set for a renewed boost with the euro primed to continue a three-month slide after data showed inflation across the single currency area stayed near zero last month.

The latest numbers pile pressure on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and the ECB to boost quantitative easing (QE) even further at a policy meeting today, in a bid to help revive the region's faltering economy. That will further weaken the currency.

The euro dropped 0.4pc to $1.0596 yesterday, after sliding 5.5pc since the end of August.

The Irish Times

* The Government will build a €525m buffer into its forecast for corporate tax payments next year after it was revealed in last month's exchequer returns that tax receipts before the year end would be in excess of €7bn.

Minister for finance, Michael Noonan said that he has been advised that the recent surge in corporate tax this year is likely to be repeated again in 2016.

November's returns shows that the total tax collection was €2.94bn ahead of its target for the first eleven months of the year.

* Clerys department store may make a return this Christmas as speculation about the store's future begins to grow after workers were spotted removing covering material from its windows.

Clerys was taken over by the Natrium consortium in June and the group has yet to apply for planning permission on the development of the site.

The store has been renowned for its Christmas window display and the work has led some to believe that a Christmas initiative may take place.

* Austrian privacy campaigner, Max Schrems, has issued a legal threat to the Irish data commissioner, Helen Dixon, should she 'willingly fail to perform' her duties over his complaint against Facebook.

Mr Schrems has also called in data officers from Germany and Belgium to assist in his long-running legal battle with the social network.

Mr Schrems has called on the various data commissioners to review Facebook's transatlantic data transfers to the US. The transfers operate under a framework known as 'Safe Harbour'.

Irish Examiner

* The euro has weakened in light of reports showing that inflation across the eurozone wasn't up to analyst estimates, meanwhile in America hiring has seen an increase.

Consumer price data showing the low inflation has added to the argument for extra monetary stimulus. The topic will be discussed later today when the European Central Bank meets.

Meanwhile chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has been emphasising the US central bank's approach to normalising interest rates.

* Ireland has fallen four places in a worldwide ranking of countries' public wifi. The standings show that Ireland hasn't improved the quality of available public wifi over the last year.

The fall now places Ireland in eighth across 184 countries in the survey which is conducted by assessing user speed and quality of wifi provision.

Ireland's average download speed was 11.5 Mbps which was equal with Denmark's and slightly higher to that of Belgium.

* A new survey from Chartered Surveyors Ireland has revealed that only 13 significant new home projects were granted across Dublin in recent months.

The figures put further pressure on Ireland's housing market which isn't delivering enough homes to meet demand.

Analysts are saying that the supply of new houses this year is going to be significantly less than is needed to be build over the coming years. It is understood that only 13,000 new housing units are to be built this year, 17,000 less than is said to be needed.

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