Monday 23 October 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

* Petrol and diesel is being taxed as if they were champagne and caviar, it's been claimed.

The comment was made after it emerged that drivers paid almost €5bn in all motor-related taxes last year.

More than half of this made up of duties and levies on petrol and diesel, figures seen by the Irish Independent show.

* Ryanair shares soared yesterday after it said third-quarter profits more than doubled year-on-year and said it would buy back €800m worth of stock.

The airline made a €103m after-tax profit in the quarter to the end of December - the third quarter of its financial year - according to its latest trading statement.

Ryanair also announced plans for an €800m share buyback, in light of its "rising profitability and improving cashflow", and raised its passenger number guidance for its financial year to 106 million from 105 million.

* Growth across the Eurozone's manufacturing sector eased last month, suggesting the sector could be weakening.

Even though companies cut prices at the deepest rate for a year, levels of expansion in output, new orders and new export business all slowed, according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index for the sector.

And production rose at its slowest pace for four months.

The Irish Times

* The Department of Finance has dismissed claims that there is a huge difference between its calculations of fiscal space and that of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council.

The IFAC claims that there will only be €3.2bn available in fiscal space to the next government, a considerable deviation from minister for finance, Michael Noonan's claims that there would be €12bn available.

As a result, opposition parties have jumped to highlight the difference on what looks to be an important part of the political discourse over the next month.

* Google is set to overtake Apple as the world's most valuable company after it released its financial results for the final quarter of 2015.

Last night Google's parent company, Alphabet, reported a 17.8pc increase in quarterly revenue with strong mobile advertising driving the surge.

Overall revenue in the three month period jumped to $21.33bn in the three-month period that ended December 31.

* Negotiations between US and EU officials over a new data transfer deal continued yesterday after a January 31 deadline was passed without  both sides reaching a resolution.

It is understood that the major difficulty in the resolution process has been debating over US intelligence services' access to data relating to EU citizens, which has been transferred to US companies.

The commissioner with responsibility for data protection issues in the EU told the European Parliament that negotiations were close to a conclusion.

Irish Examiner

* New regulations with the ambition of protecting suppliers and re-balancing their relationship with major retailers have been signed into law.

The eagerly awaiting regulations will put more responsibilities onto the shoulders of retailers and wholesalers who have a worldwide turnover of over €50m.

Amongst the new regulations is a stipulation that says suppliers must be paid within 30 days.

* The head of the Irish Bank Officials' Association has called on the Government to retain its cap on top bankers' pay.

General secretary at the IBOA, Larry Broderick, said that bankers' pay must be put back on the agenda and that new limits for share incentives should be introduced.

Mr Broderick said that there should be some correlation between the lowest paid and the highest paid members of the bank.

* Twitter shares jumped by over 8pc yesterday amid speculation that investor Marc Andreessen and private equity firm, Silver Lake, are considering a deal for the social media site.

Spokespeople for both Mr Andreessen and Silver Lake declined to comment as speculation intensified.

The news comes after Twitter announced that it had lost four executives in January with each departing the firm.

Online Editors

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