Sunday 21 January 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

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

Irish Independent

* Jobs will be lost if the result of the General Election leads to “political instability” or gives a greater sway to fringe elements, the country’s top business leaders have warned in a letter to the Irish Independent.

Executives working with a range of national and international companies have joined forces to ask voters to look at the global economic situation.

With polls suggesting the country could be heading for a hung Dáil, they warn: “Ireland needs a stable government capable of making the right policy choices for the future”.  In the letter, the senior business people write that the recovery is at a “critical point”.

* Bank of Ireland bosses believe the lender can ride out the effects of a UK exit from the European Union with relatively little impact.

The country's biggest bank yesterday reported a 30pc increase in profits to €1.2bn for 2015.

After paying off the last of its expensive bailout debts this year, Bank of Ireland said it will resume payment of a "modest" shareholder dividend in 2017.

* Insulation giant Kingspan will seek to maximise its business in the UK, regardless of whether voters there decide to leave the European Union in June's referendum, according to chief executive Gene Murtagh.

Cavan-based Kingspan generates 30pc of its business in the UK, with the group yesterday reporting record revenue of €2.77bn for 2015.

"It's significant for us one way or the other," Mr Murtagh told the Irish Independent. "Whether a Brexit is negative or positive, to be quite honest I don't know.

The Irish Times

* Bank of Ireland's deficit in its defined pension scheme grew by €250m in January due to volatility in the stock markets.

According to the bank's CEO, Andrew Keating, BoI has the situation under control as the bank is still generating capital.

In the bank's full year results, posted yesterday, it had a €1.2bn pretax profit, which encouraged shares to rise by 5.3pc.

* The value of the sterling hit a seven-year low yesterday after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, decided to throw his weight behind the leave campaign.

Mr Johnson announced that he would support the 'leave' vote in the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

The sell-off yesterday made the pound the worst performing currency of the day.

* Kingspan is prepared to spend a half a billion euros to buy up its rivals in a bid to expand its business.

Sales in the firm jumped 47pc last year thanks to contributions from Belgian-based Joris Ide and Canadian firm Wicwest.

The firm's chief executive, Gene Murtagh, said the firm has a considerable appetite to continue acquiring firms.

Irish Examiner

* David Cameron took a swipe at the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in the House of Commons yesterday after the mayor decided to put his weight behind the 'leave' vote.

Mr Cameron was speaking in the House of Commons where he gave a nod to Mr Johnson's failed marriage and his supposed ambitions to succeed Mr Cameron as Prime Minister.

The British Prime Minister also said that he had Britain's interests at heart when standing against a Brexit due to his intentions to step down.

* Bank of Ireland reaffirmed its intentions to pay a dividend in 2017, the bank's first since the financial crash in 2007.

Strong profits for last year, posted yesterday, also helped claw back some of the share value that has been lost by the bank in the opening month and a half of the year.

The stock markets have reacted adversely to the possibility of another economic slowdown with many fearing for bank stock, however yesterday's results proved a welcome reprieve.

* Local residents have put up opposition to a proposed €4m JD Wetherspoon Pub and Hotel on Camden Street.

The residents are saying that enough is enough as the UK pub chain looks to build on the site of a former homeless hostel.

A number of objections have been lodged about the pub, which if launched will create 100 new jobs.

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