Saturday 16 December 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

* Persuading shoppers to stop and "dwell" awhile will be a key part of retail strategy as Brown Thomas undergoes a €10.5m revamp.

The redesign of the contemporary ladies fashion floor has been undertaken by Alex Cochrane Architects - and the exercise to develop brands follows on the heels of a €9.5m facelift for the accessories and beauty hall on the ground floor.

The project is a response to customers' changing shopping habits, including the rise of internet purchases. "We can really see it, people are shopping differently, they are shopping more savvy and they are much more aware of brands," says Shelly Corkery, fashion director of the Brown Thomas Group.

* Irish oil firm Petroceltic is expected to announce today that it has secured additional time to sell or rescue its business.

It is understood that the company will announce an additional temporary waiver from its creditors as the explorer grapples with mounting debts.

In December the Dublin-based firm announced a strategic review of its operations, effectively putting itself up for sale. It said in a trading update that it had breached agreements relating to its debt pile. The company has debts of $217.8m (€200m) and cash balances of $28.1m, although most of this cannot be readily accessed as it is held in local currencies.

* Stocks across the Middle East tumbled as the easing of sanctions against Iran raised the prospect of a surge in oil supplies to a market already reeling from the lowest prices in more than a decade. Shares in Tehran gained.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped 5.4pc to its lowest level since March 2011. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell into a so-called bear market. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks 200 of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council’s biggest companies, traded at 9.5 times estimated 12-month earnings, the lowest in almost seven years.

Iran’s TEDPIX Index climbed 0.9 percent, according to data on the bourse’s website, extending Saturday’s 2.1pc advance.

The Irish Times

* The US Federal Reserve predicted that Ireland needed a bailout six months prior to a deal being agreed in lat 2010.

After a five-year moratorium was raised from Fed transcripts, it was revealed that the US central bank was briefed on Ireland as analysts looked at the financial turmoil in the eurozone.

Fed officials believed that a €67.5bn deal would be sufficient, however they questioned Ireland's debt sustainability.

* Bank of Ireland receivers were unsuccessful in securing the premises of McElhinneys of Athboy, Co Meath over the weekend as its owner occupied the store.

Mr Sweeney, the grandson of the shop's founding owner, said on the shop's Facebook page that receivers had forced their way into the premises on Friday evening.

There was believed to be a small garda presence at the shop on Saturday.

* A partner with A&L Goodbody has suggested that one-off hotel sales should be cleared without having to go to the competition commission.

Vincent Power, who is a EU and competition partner at Goodbody, says that the change would bring Ireland in line with global practice on the sale of hotels.

Last year was a busy period for sales and acquisitions that saw notifications to the competition committee increase by 90pc.

Irish Examiner

* The European Central Bank won't say whether or not Irish banks will be included in a study of eurozone banks and their soured loans.

Irish banks hold high levels of poorly performing loans on their balance sheets and according to a report from Reuters, a number of eurozone banks are being quizzed by the ECB on non-performing loans.

Ireland wasn't listed by name in the Reuters report but it did list countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy.

* Dairy farmers have welcomed a decision by Ornua that will see it pay an additional bonus €15m to its member suppliers.

The move was announced following the co-op's decision to part ways with its stake in US speciality foods company, DPI.

That disposal is funding Ornua's decision to reward it s suppliers with the payment due in April or May of this year.

* Bord Bia has hailed the drinks sector as an exports kingpin following the publication of Irish food and drink exports last week.

Exports increased in 10pc last year to €1.26bn, which according to Bord Bia represented an increase that was strongly helped by the drinks industry.

In its report Bord Bia says that increase mirrors the increase in disposable income and the demand for luxury products.

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