Tuesday 10 December 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane will not be following in his predecessor's footsteps and gifting a portion of his salary to the State, the Irish Independent has learned.

Professor Lane, who took up the post in November, is entitled to a gross salary of €254,048.

The former Trinity College Dublin academic is entitled to the same pay packet as Professor Patrick Honohan, but the latter had been voluntarily returning a portion of his salary.

* The euro strengthen on currency markets yesterday, after a report that European Central Bank (ECB) policy-makers are growing sceptical about the need for further policy action in the near term.

Reuters reported yesterday that five ECB board members had indicated their reluctance to loosen policy even as inflation expectations sink and some investors bank on more financial easing. Next week's scheduled interest rate meeting is expected to be relatively uneventful with the big test coming when the ECB releases its initial 2016 growth and inflation forecasts on March 10.

Irish exports have been boosted over the last year as a result of ECB moves that weakened the euro, but any reverse in that trend could hit the economy here.

* Warm, wet weather dented the performance of discount-clothing chain Primark in the run-up to Christmas.

Its owner, Associated British Foods (ABF), said sales at the retailer rose 7pc in the 16 weeks to January 2, but that its performance was also affected by currency headwinds.

It added that the like-for-like sales performance of the chain in the first seven weeks of ABF's financial year, which began in mid-September, was "strong", benefiting from a weaker performance in the corresponding period the previous year when the autumn was warm.

The Irish Times

* AIB says that it is ready for an initial public offering (IPO) this year ins spite of the current conditions of the stock markets.

The bank remains in 'good shape' according to its chief executive Bernard Byrne, who says that there is a strong appetite for AIB after roadshows in New York and London.

He said that investors view AIB as a good proxy of the recovering Irish economy.

* Sticking with AIB The Irish Times reports that John Rusnak, the man who cost the bank $691m, is relieved that Citibank and AIB settled thier legal action weeks ahead of when he was due to go to trial.

Mr Rusnak said that he was 'very thankful' that the trial would not be going ahead after the settlement was agreed.

The rogue trader said that he was pleased that he wouldn't have to 'dredge up old affairs as he looked towards moving forward.

* Ireland is the sixth easiest place in the world for companies to file their tax returns according to a new study published by PwC and the World Bank Group.

The survey listed Ireland after Denmark, Norway, the UK, and Finland in that order. Finland topped the study, which monitored the easiness at which companies could file and pay their returns.

The study found that an Irish company typically spends around a quarter of its commercial profit in taxes.

Irish Examiner

* Oracle and 3D4Medical provided Dublin with a major jobs boost yesterday as they stumped up a combined hall of 520 new full-time jobs.

Oracle used the opening of its new offices as a platform to announce a EMEA recruitment drive where it is looking for 1,400 cloud sales staff, 450 of whom will be based in Ireland.

Meanwhile, 3D4Medical announced the creation of 70 new jobs over the next 18 months at its global headquarters in Blackrock.

* Centrica, which is the largest energy supplier to homes in the UK, is lining up a bid for the North's power company, Viridian.

It is understood that Centrica is working as part of a consortium that will look to buy Viridian, which is awaiting offers from potential bidders.

Last year, Centrica bought state-owned energy firm Bord Gais energy for €1.1bn.

* December proved to be a challenging month for private tenants and motorists as both insurance and rent costs rose again, amounting for one of the highest annual increases in years.

According to new figures from the Central Statistics Office insurance and private rents were the two most significant increases in the consumer price index.

In December car insurance rose by 4.4pc and posted an annual rise of 31.1pc.

Online Editors

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