Tuesday 21 November 2017

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

Irish Independent

* Insurance companies are now scrutinising applications for cover for homes and businesses up to half a kilometre from water.

Thousands of property owners are already being refused cover even though State-funded flood defences have been put in place, it has emerged.

The revelation comes as Taoiseach Enda Kenny calls six insurance companies to account at Government Buildings today.

* The chairman of Fáilte Ireland has warned that the "underlying cost" of holidaying in Ireland is increasing at an "unacceptable level".

Speaking at the launch of the agency's annual review yesterday, Michael Cawley said that the weak euro is masking rising costs in the tourism sector. He said the cost of going on holidays in Ireland is "on a trend on which we would not want to continue".

The value of the euro fell consistently during 2015 compared to the dollar and sterling, making Ireland cheaper for tourists from the UK and US.

* Former banker David Drumm has failed in a second bid to be released on bail pending the outcome of proceedings to extradite him from the US to face fraud and false accounting charges.

However, a judge has signalled there will be a review of his security in prison after his lawyers argued he was being held in "intolerable and inhumane" conditions that have impacted his ability to confer with his legal team and subjected him to "safety risks".

Boston District Court Judge Richard Stearns last night affirmed an earlier decision by a lower court to deny the former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive's initial application for bail pending the hearing, which is scheduled for March 1.

The Irish Times

* RSA, Ireland's biggest insurer, has reached an out-of-court settlement with its former chief executive, Philip Smith, who awarded a record sum of €1.25m last June after winning a case of constructive dismissal.

However, the insurer has come to an out-of-court settlement with its former boss after it appealed against the sum that was awarded by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The appeal was listed for a hearing on Thursday, however, recent negotiations between the parties has resolved the issue.

*Anglo Irish Bank former chief executive, David Drumm, has failed again in his bid for bail which will see him remain in custody until his extradition hearing in March.

Presiding judge, Richard Stearns, ruled that no reversible error had been made by a lower court judge that needed adjusting.

The appeal lasted three days with Mr Drumm's lawyers arguing that the possibility of being granted bail in Ireland pending a criminal trial constituted a special circumstance warranting his release on bail.

* Volkswagen has fallen to fifth place n the new car market this year following an enormous emissions scandal that had thousands of cars recalled.

The German manufacturer had been the most popular new car-selling brand in Ireland last year, but it appears that previous controversies has taken a hit on the first 10 days of Irish trading.

VW's market share has slipped from 12.3pc down to 7.8pc, slipping down the sales charts that were topped by Hyundai.

Irish Examiner

* Returning emigrants may boost regional economic growth and be one of the major trends in the job market this year according to Morgan McKinley's Irish salary and benefits guide for 2016.

According to the barometer low cost of living in regional towns may attract returning emigrants ahead of the high cost associated with cities.

A report in the Examiner says that returning emigrants could boost commercial property in regional areas also.

* The Apprentice cosmetic skincare clinic that is headed up by Derry native, Leah Totton, clocked up revenues of in excess of €1m.

According to newly published company reports the firm, which is led by BBC The Apprentice-winning Totton saw its pre-tax profit rise to €324,540, up significantly on its first six months of trading, which resulted in a loss of just under £50,000.

After winning the Apprentice Alan Sugar invested some €332,000 in the firm.

* The European Commission has found that 35 mostly European multinational companies have received illegal tax breaks, which cut their bills by up to 90pc in Belgium.

The Belgium tax scheme has been rejected by the Commission as illegal state aid. The Commission is also investigating Ireland's arrangement with Apple.

The ongoing investigation into the Irish arrangement with Apple won't be concluded until after the General Election.

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