Wednesday 17 January 2018

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

* Investors have been advised to "sell everything except high quality bonds" by one of the world's biggest banks in a dire warning about financial risks in the year ahead.

In a bleak note to clients yesterday, researchers at the parent company of Ulster Bank said their "cataclysmic" view of the world in 2016 resembles 2008, when the collapse of US bank Lehman Brothers precipitated the global financial crash.

Global economic growth, trade and credit are all slowing and investors should sell almost everything, Royal Bank of Scotland said.

* The value of sterling against the dollar fell to a five and a half year low yesterday and held at six-month lows against the euro on the back of disappointing industrial production figures.

Manufacturing endured its largest fall in over two years in November, highlighting concerns about the UK economy's recovery.

Worries about the UK's future in the European Union and an uneven domestic economic recovery have weighed on the pound since the start of the year.

* CBRE, the commercial real estate agency, expects 2016 to be another positive year for commercial property after average transaction volumes were exceeded well in advance of year close of 2015.

Real estate services firm, JLL, and professional services firm PwC are also predicting a strong year off the back of significant growth in demand for commercial property in Dublin last year.

CBRE's Outlook 2016 report showed that 176 investment transactions of greater than €1m were concluded in the Irish market during 2015, totalling more than €3.5bn between them.

The Irish Times

* Liberty Insurance, the company that bought Quinn Insurance in Ireland, predicts a return to strong profit in 2017 and anticipates another loss this year.

The firm now believe that they are in a more competitive position after it incurred 285 redundancies.

The company's parent firm, Liberty Mutual, also said that it didn't regret acquiring the former Quinn family insurance business.

* Cider-maker C&C is blaming a series of jobs cuts at its plants in Borrosleigh in Tipperary and Somerset in the UK on the loss of bottling contracts.

The Bulmers manufacturer says that loss of contracts with Dunnes Stores and another retailers are partially to blame for its decision to close the plant, which employs 140 people.

The company is to centralise its production from Borrisoleigh and Shepton Mallet to its base in Clonmel, where it intends on hiring another 80 people.

* Mobile travel app developer MTT is to create 70 new jobs in Dublin over the next six months.

The jobs will be based in the area of software development, product management, design, quality assurance, finance, sales, account management and marketing.

The roles will be located at MTT's headquarters at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin.

Irish Examiner

* Copper Face Jacks, one of the country's most famous nightclubs, has seen its cashpile jump to over €50m last year as money continues to roll in for the firm.

New accounts filed by Breanagh Catering show that the firm made a pre-tax profit of €5m, which equates to €95,000 a week.

While the figures still look good, they represent a drop in pre-tax profits of 11pc. In 2014, the firm published a pre-tax profit of €5.55m.

* Dublin has been ranked in the top three European cities for real estate investment for the third year running according to new research published by PwC.

A report looking into the emerging trends in 2016 placed Ireland third, behind only Hamburg and Berlin.

Strong business sentiment helped push Dublin up the list as demand for commercial property locations remains strong.

* Consumer confidence has hit a ten-year high according to the latest consumer sentiment survey from KBC Bank Ireland and the ESRI.

However, surveyors say that it is too early to announce the return of the feelgood factor amongst consumers.

December's level of confidence jumped to 102.8, up from November's 101.7.

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