Tuesday 20 February 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

* Irish startups and high tech firms are attracting almost €20m per week in venture capital funding as investment sums into the sector continue to surge. According to new industry figures, venture capital funding in Ireland doubled in the first three months of 2016, with €237m raised here.

The haul represents a two-fold rise in Irish startup funding over the same three months last year and comes as international tech funding sees a dip in activity.

* The part privatisation of AIB is likely to be pushed out into next year, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

The original plan of floating a portion of the state-owned bank this year had been in doubt following global market turmoil earlier in the year.

* The chief executive of Stobart Air, Sean Brogan, is to leave the airline, ending his efforts to acquire the carrier through a €65m management buyout plan.

Stobart Air has been up for sale since last year, after shareholder Invesco signalled it wanted to exit.

The Irish Times

* Stobart Air chief executive Sean Brogan is to depart from the company after the board rejected his management buyout bid for the airline.

Stobart confirmed yesterday that Mr Brogan would be leaving the firm and that it would begin looking for his successor.

* Shares in Permanent TSB fell by almost 11pc on Wednesday following a trading update from the lender, which said the bank was profitable but warned of challenges ahead.

The bank cited a low interest rate environment and having to hold its residual UK mortgage book longer than expected.

* Cider-maker C&C is to enter into the Asian market after signing a distribution deal for its products into China.

The Bulmers-maker is eyeing  further expansion after it reported a 10pc fall in operating profits.

Irish Examiner

* Shares in Permanent TSB fell by over 10pc yesterday with further signs of political pressure building on banks to cut their mortgage rates.

On Wednesday Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the party would introduce a bill to put a cap on mortgage rates.

* Hutchinson's bid to create the UK's largest mobile operator was curtailed yesterday after the EU blocked the move.

The firm had planned on buying Telefonica's O2 UK mobile phone business for around £10.25bn (€12.95bn) and merge it with Three, however the deal was blocked on competition grounds.

* Expansion costs at the HMV business in Ireland last year put the entertainment retail firm into the red to record pre-tax losses of €144,000.

During the 12 months to the end of January last year, HMV Retail Ireland Ltd opened two new stores - in Dublin and Galway - and this contributed to revenues more than doubling, from €9.67m to €19.66m.

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