Wednesday 23 October 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

Here are the business stories you need to know about this morning:

Irish Independent:

***A global online car booking service and one of Japan’s biggest banks have both tapped John Moran to work as a consultant, the Irish Independent has learned.  

The former Secretary General of the Department of Finance stood down from his top civil service post in May last year, after just two years in the role, to pursue other interests.

The Limerick man confirmed this weekend that he is now acting as a consultant to online taxi service Uber, which is targeting a major push into Europe; and to Nomura, the Japanese banking giant that took control of the remains of Lehman Brothers’ European and Asian units following the infamous collapse of the one-time global investment bank.

***Regulators have been asked to review passenger charges at Dublin airport in a move that could allow the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to charge airlines more per travelling passenger.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) determines the maximum charges per passenger that can be levied by Dublin Airport on airlines using the facility.

Last year, CAR set charges for the period 2015-2019. The DAA has now formally sought a review of the 2014 decision and interested parties have until 5pm, November 20, to respond.

***Global stocks are set for a short-term sell-off today after Islamist militants’ attacks across Paris, but few strategists expect a prolonged economic impact or change in prevailing market directions.

If anything, any initial damage to economic confidence, tourism and trade within Europe will likely reinforce the European Central Bank’s resolve to easing monetary policy further next month, they reckon.

That will keep pressure on the euro exchange rate and support other European asset markets.


Irish Times:

***Businesses across Cork have initiated legal proceedings against the ESB regarding €90m in flood damages caused in the city in 2009.

The six-year statute of limitations is due to expire this Thursday.

According to the Courts Service website 93 cases were lodged in the last week, with 21 last Friday alone. A court found in October that the ESB was 60pc liable for flood damage caused at UCC during flooding.

***Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund is to withdraw several billion euros from asset management companies over the next five years so that the cash can be used to boost the economy.

About €3bn of the fund’s €7.9bn is tied up in investments such as bonds, commodities, equities and absolute return funds managed by international asset managers.

These holdings will be divested by 2020 as part of the body’s mandate to invest in projects and companies that can grow the domestic economy and create jobs in Ireland.

***The Government’s decision to impose rent controls could slow the construction of residential property, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The Government has recently introduced measures to kick start house-building by streamlining building codes and launching rebates for qualifying for qualifying projects.

However, speaking after its fourth post-bailout monitoring mission to Ireland the IMF said: “Some of the new gains, however, may be offset by new administrative measures to stabilise rents which, by reducing rates of return on investment properties could dissuade construction.”


Irish Examiner:

***Over 80pc of credit union appeals to lift lending restrictions reviewed by the Central Bank have been approved.

Under the rules credit unions are limited to lending up to 30pc of their loan book over the next five years and 10pc over the next ten years. This makes mortgage lending unviable.

Many credit unions have been critical of the restrictions, which they say are unreasonably onerous. Figures provided to Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath show of the applications reviewed by the Central Bank 83pc have had their lending restriction lifted.

***US inflation figures to be released tomorrow could be the final factor that convinces the federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.

Strong employment figures in November heightened expectations of the Fed’s first rate increase in almost a decade.

If prices are shown to be steadily rising it could harden that view. Reuters polls put inflation at 1.9pc year-on-year, unchanged from its previous reading.

***Spiralling medical indemnity insurance costs are one impediment to attracting leading physicians into Ireland.

That is according to the directors of the Galway Clinic as they report that last year the clinic recorded a 2.6pc drop in pre-tax profits going from €13.15m to €12.8m.

The drop in pre-tax profits came in spite of revenues at Galway Clinic Doughiska Ltd increasing by 1pc going from €85.83m to €86.85m.

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