Monday 18 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

* The future of Ireland's building industry is at risk due to a massive drop-off in the number of graduates emerging from construction-related courses.

Next year just 38 civil engineers will graduate in Ireland, according to three representative bodies from the sector.

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), Engineers Ireland, and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said that the country won't have enough graduates to meet the future demand of the construction sector.

* Inflation in the UK has edged up to a 12-month high, but even that hasn't helped to strengthen the pound.

With just days to go until a much-anticipated EU summit which will focus on David Cameron's proposed package of reforms for the European Union, sterling briefly strengthened in the wake of the inflation data, before weakening again to 78p.

Consumer price inflation in the UK dropped by 0.8pc on the month, reflecting post-Christmas discounts and a drop in airfares. However, the annual rate rose to 0.3pc, its highest since January of last year.

* European business organisations - including IBEC - are backing the UK Prime Minister's drive to make the EU more competitive.

The Confederation of British Industry and its counterparts in Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and 15 other European countries have published a joint open letter backing the reform package that David Cameron wants to put to the British people.

The prime minister must hammer out differences with fellow EU leaders at a summit tomorrow over a plan to reform Britain's relationship with the European Union.

The Irish Times

* The continuing fall of milk prices over the last two years has knocked €800m off the value of the dairy industry in Ireland, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA).

The ICMSA says that plummeting prices has wiped off up to €35,000 to some annual incomes.

Future markets are suggesting that the falling milk prices won't slow as prices are expected to fall by up to10pc by next week.

* A hedge fund has predicted that if Britain leaves the EU and the EU imposes trade restrictions, Ireland may follow the UK out of the EU.

Toscafund, the hedge fund founded by London-based investor, Martin Hughes, predicts that if trade sanctions are imposed on the UK it may force Ireland to leave the EU as well.

The fund says that the UK has nothing to fear if the UK decides to press ahead with its referendum on a Brexit.

* One in seven Visa transactions are now being contacted through contactless in Ireland, according to the latest figures from Visa.

Irish consumers are amongst the most prominent users of Visa cards in the EU with €1 in every €3 being spent in Ireland now being done so on the card.

The latest figures represent a surge in the popularity of the cards as, back in 2012, only €1 in €7 was being spent on the card.

Irish Examiner

* Minister for finance, Michael Noonan, was strongly against the idea of imposing solvency changes before they were introduced.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, the minister warned of unintended consequences of implementing changes to insolvency legislation, which took the banks' ability to veto repayment solutions involving someone's home away.

The minister said before the legislation came in that it would undo much of the progress made over the last number of years and said it risked having widespread negative effects on the economy.

* There is no substantial political risk to Irish bond prices, however a hung Dáil could change that depending on the length of time it will take to form a new government.

The yield on the 10-year Irish bond was trading at 1.04pc, with little deviation over the past week, despite the growing speculation of an inconclusive election.

Director of education at the Institute of Investing and Financial Trading, Peter Brown, said there is 'nothing at all' in Irish bond trading to suggest markets are worried about the outcome of the election.

* Following significant cost cutting measures, the company behind Hughes and Hughes recorded a modest profit last year.

Sivota's latest filed results show hat it made a small profit of €6,089 in the 12-month period ending at the end of February.

It represents a significant turnaround from last year where the firm posted a loss of €494,874. Lease costs int he firm fell substantially from €477,500 in 2014 to €313,333 last year.

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