Saturday 20 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

* International stocks tumbled yesterday with Irish shares losing more than 5pc amid volatile trading and fears about the health of the global economy.

Bank of Ireland closed down a massive 10pc, with other major stocks including Paddy Power and CRH down 6.6pc and 8.1pc respectively.

Stock indexes fell sharply, led by banking stocks in Europe and Wall Street tech stocks on persisting fears of a global economic slowdown, while benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit their lowest in a year on demand for assets deemed less risky.

* Investor confidence across the Eurozone has hit a 10-month low with the global economy now "on the brink".

And UK business confidence has hit a three-year low, even though the British economy continues to grow.

An indicator monitoring sentiment across the 19-member bloc has fallen for the second month running, the lowest level since April of last year.

* The number of high-fliers at the IDA earning over €100,000 fell by 21pc to 11 last year.

New figures released by the IDA in response to a Freedom of Information request show that the agency today employs two staff earning between €150,000 and €200,000 with an additional nine earning between €100,000 and €150,000.

This compares to two earning between €150,000 and €200,000 and 12 earning between €100,000 and €150,000 in 2014.

The Irish Times

* Irish banks had large amounts of their values wiped as part of a plunge across world markets that saw over €4bn taken off the value of Irish stocks.

The Iseq Overall index fell by 5.5pc yesterday, which was its largest one-day fall since August 24, 2010.

During the rout Bank of Ireland had €906m wiped off its market value while Permanent TSB had €155m wiped away.

* Cash buyers are responsible for 47pc of all residential property sales according to real estate firm, Savills.

According to new research from Savills, 15pc of cash purchasers in the residential housing market are first-time buyers.

Director of research of Savills, John McCartney, said that buyers are having to rely more and more on their parents as they don't have the money for a deposit.

* Minister for finance Michael Noonan has said that The Central Bank made a €1bn capital gain on the disposal of bonds held after the deal to scrap the Anglo promissory note scheme.

When pressed by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, the minister said that early figures are pointing to a capital gain figure of €1.07bn.

Fianna Fáil has outlined in its intention to hold the bonds to maturity should it be elected. The party said that it would apply to the European Central Bank to hold the bonds.

Irish Examiner

* Opposition parties have put their weight behind a new campaign group that is looking to push the cost of mortgage lending up the political agenda.

The Fair Mortgage Rates Campaign wants to get prospective TDs and ministers to commit to helping those that can't switch to lower interest rates.

The group, which is led by consumer affairs expert, Brendan Burgess, said that increased competition for mortgages will do little to benefit borrowers who are unable to switch.

* Mainstay Medical, the medical device company, has identified Germany as the launch market for its new back pain product do to launch this year.

The Dublin firm is awaiting the European CE mark, which means that its product, ReActiv8, meets regulatory requirements.

Mainstay will look to start clinical trials in the US over the comping months with the ambition of going to market there in 2017 or 2018.

* Vitol Group, the largest independent oil-trading house believes that oil prices will stay low for 10 years as Chinese economic growth slows and US shale industry acts as a cap on any rally.

Chief executive of Vitol, Ian Taylor, said that its hard to see and dramatic price increase on the horizon.

Mr Taylor says that he expects prices to bounce around the $50 a barrel mark for the next ten years.

Financial Times

* HSBC is looking towards keeping its headquarters in the UK following 10 months of debate as to whether or not the bank should make the switch to Hong Kong.

According to a report in the Financial Times the bank's chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, looks set to make a U-turn his stance that favoured a move to Hong Kong.

According to people present at private meetings the chief executive has played down the argument of moving from the UK.

* Deutsche Bank was amongst the worst hit yesterday as investors moved away from financial stocks and sought refuge in safe havens.

The Stoxx 600 index of European Institutions fell by 5.6pc yesterday with Deutsche being the biggest victim after shares slid by 10pc.

The S&P Financial Index in New York fell by 3pc by midday as the rot continued to spread across worldwide stocks.

* The head of Google, Sundar Pichai, was given $199m worth of restricted stock last year topping the pay of any other US chief executive last year.

The value of Mr Pichai's personal stake in Google has now risen to $650m.

The award to Mr Pichai is in line with Google's bew structure of giving large awards every two years.

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