Friday 20 April 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

* Businesses run by a councillor at the centre of a corruption storm have made settlements with the taxman totalling over €330,000.

The companies, which were run by Independent councillor John O'Donnell, appeared on Revenue tax defaulter lists earlier this year and in 2011.

A preliminary review of Cllr O'Donnell's conduct was launched yesterday by Donegal County Council after he was secretly filmed seeking a payment in return for agreeing to help a company with a planning issue.

* The Central Bank will able to force the State's main banks to set aside extra cash to cope with losses if it believes credit is flowing too fast into the economy, under new regulatory powers.

Officials in Dame Street said the new rules will help identify "systemic risks" and would have mitigated the effects of the financial crash had they been in place earlier.

There are currently no signs of excessive credit in the economy, but this will be reviewed every three months, officials said.

* UK-based financial services firms could look to relocate to Ireland if Britain pulls out of the European Union, the Central Bank has said.

If this occurs, the impact on the sector here could be significant, with positive and negative consequences from an economic point of view.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's ties with the EU ahead of a membership vote by the end of 2017. In a special article along with its latest Macro Financial Review, the Central Bank said any potential shift in foreign direct investment from the UK to Ireland could lead to an increase in the size of the sector and would have an impact on supervision.

The Irish Times

* Nama has defended itself from accusations from five developers who claim that the asset management agency's homebuilding schemes breaks the European rules.

Five leading Irish developers made a complaint to the competition directorate of the European Commission saying that Nama's €5.6bn scheme breaches state-aid rules.

As of yesterday Nama was yet to receive any documentation from the EC about the complaint.

* A tax lecturer, as well as other high-profile doctors, have been published on Revenue's latest list of tax defaulters.

Mel Kilkenny, a tax lecturer at City Colleges in Dublin, who has also written a series of books on tax made a settlement of almost €285,000.

Elsewhere four doctors appear on the list that is culminated by Revenue after they conducted a series of routine audits.

* Oil prices have fallen to below $40 per barrel as cheap prices continue to unsettle world markets, causing mining and oil stocks to fall.

Prices for crude hit a low price last seen in 2009 as a glut of supply has initiated fears that the world may run out of storage for it.

With Brent oil hitting $39.81 and West Texas Intermediate hitting $36.64 some analysts are now predicting that oil may fall as low as $20 a barrel.

Irish Examiner

* The Central Bank has instructed both AIB and Bank of Ireland to hold more capital in a bid to protect themselves from another financial crisis.

The measure is being introduced to help prevent the 'boom-to-bust' economy cycle.

However, analysts are confident that the banks will be capable of covering themselves with the capital which is needed to be available in three years times.

* Consumer confidence across the country is at a 10-year high as the amount  of professional jobs coming on stream continues to rise as well as strong export growth.

That's according to the KBC/ ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index which also shows a range of economic indicators that illustrate 2016 to be another positive year of growth.

Better household finances and improved outlook has helped consumer confidence to the ten-year high.

* Luxury chocolate confectioner Lir Chocolates is set to hit revenues of over €25m this year as the firm's expansion continues.

Pre-tax profits at the company rose six-fold to over €677,000 in 2014.

The company's plant in Meath produces over 1,500 tons of chocolate and employs 250 people.

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