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

* The vast majority of Irish people want a referendum on the proposed US-EU free trade deal if it looks like it could become law, a survey suggests.

They also want a similar poll on Europe's planned trade agreement with Canada, according to the survey carried out by Red C.

* A €12bn programme to upgrade the transport network across the island should be rolled out regardless of last month's Brexit vote, according to the two main business groups in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

Employers' group Ibec, in the south, and the Northern Ireland branch of the UK's Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have jointly launched a major report setting out proposals to upgrade the all-island transport network on a phased basis in order to cope with a future population of 10 million by 2050.

* Wholesale gas prices are down 35pc on average in July 2016 compared with July 2015, according to Vayu Energy's latest Wholesale Energy Market Report, with Brexit and a weaker pound having an impact on gas prices.

There has been a 27pc decrease on Irish wholesale electricity prices in July compared to the same period last year, with wind energy accounting for almost a fifth of overall electricity generation so far in July.

The Irish Times

* State-owned Bord na Móna's profits fell by around 50pc to €35m in the year to March as earnings were hit by a €23.6m impairment charge for two Edenderry power stations.

According to a report in The Irish Times, the firm repaid €10.1m in a dividend with the majority going to Government.

* Wrightway Underwriting us to refund the outstanding premiums of 14,000 motorists that were hit by the collapse of Gibraltar-based insurer Enterprise Insurance.

According to a report in The Irish Times, the cost to Wrightway, which is essentially owned by Zurich Insurance, remains unclear.

*  Irish consumer and business confidence has been hit by Britain's decision to leave the European Union, new figures have shown.

According to Bank of Ireland's Economic Pulse, consumer and business sentiment fell to its lowest reading so far this year.

Irish Examiner

* Improving the N20 road, which links Cork to Limerick, should be an immediate priority to improve transport links across the country.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, a new document compiled by Ibec has highlighted the road as one of the most pressing issues Government must address.

* Irish firms are getting in on the Pokemon Go craze by luring players to their shops with the reward of a large amount of Pokemon.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner, companies are dropping "lures", which attracts Pokemon to their location, to entice customers towards their stores.

* Overseas investors are looking at British firms that are available at a cheaper price thanks to a dropoff in sterling following the Brexit vote.

Over $34.5bn has been spent on nearly 60 deals with UK companies since June 23 according to new data from Reuters.

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