Tuesday 16 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

* David Drumm is due to appear before an Irish court today - almost seven years after he left behind the fallout from the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank for a new life in the US.

He was on board the Aer Lingus flight EI 136 from Boston that touched down in Dublin Airport at 5.10am.

As he left the Airbus A330 he was escorted off the land bridge so he would not have to go through the main airport T2 building.

* Banks and credit unions are imposing "punishing" rates of interest on personal loans - up to four times higher than what is charged in Britain.

Some banks here are now charging more than 12pc for loans, with rates stubbornly high, despite the European Central Bank engaging in a series of cuts to the rates that it charges banks to borrow from it.

Loans of similar amounts from banks in the UK are as low as 3.3pc. This is costing households around €4,000 more on a €10,000 loan over a five-year period, compared with Britain.

* The Central Bank is in discussions with a number of international investment companies, in preparation for an influx of investment managers into Ireland if the UK votes to leave the EU.

The regulator envisions that "there will be quite a few possible applications for authorisation in this jurisdiction", Central Bank director of markets supervision Gareth Murphy said in an interview published over the weekend, in the event Britain decides to leave.

International asset management companies would probably be among the first financial services groups to move some business to Ireland if Britain decides to leave the EU. Asset managers are concerned they will not be permitted to sell funds that are regulated in the UK into Europe in a Brexit scenario, forcing them to move the products to European cities such as Dublin.

The Irish Times

* The next Government has been warned against  removing the universal social charge and urged to implement corporation tax reform.

Social Justice Ireland has called on the next government to make multinationals pay a fairer share so through reform of the current corporation tax system.

The group said reducing USC would bring down the overall tax take in a time of global economic uncertainty.

* Employers group Ibec has deemed the Government's 50c increase in the minimum wage as a mistake and that the next Government should be wary in its approach this year.

From the beginning of January, the minimum wage was increased by 50c to €9.15 with the Low Pay Commission due to examine the rate later this year.

Ibec said there was no justification for the increase which brought the Irish minimum wage up 7pc higher than the UK's.

* Three is to invest €65m in a technology overhaul which will incur changes to its billing system and the integration of its systems with what was previously O2 Ireland.

The mobile network has signed a five-year deal with Amdocs, which will conduct the technology revamp.

Three's chief executive, Robert Finnegan, said the move will substantially reduce the firm's annual IT costs.

Irish Examiner

* New business order volumes helped activity in the construction industry increase by its fastest pace in 16 years.

That's according to the latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which showed increasing in both employment and buying activity.

Business sentiment in the industry has reached a three-month high as commentators expect further growth throughout the year.

* Keeping employees happy pays off in terms of productivity according to new research from voucher firm, One4All.

The survey shows that 70pc of workers' productivity drops off as they see out the remainder of their notice period.

It also reports that over half of employees rank a positive reputation for treating workers well as the most important factor for choosing an employer.

* British finance minister George Osborne said on Sunday that he would bring forward further cuts to public spending this week.

The minister says the world is facing the most uncertain time since the financial crisis in 2008.

He cited the slowdown in the Chinese economy with the interest rate changes and political instability in the Middle East as the reasons for uncertainty.

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