All posts in Business News

19 Mar 2014

‘No firms hit by tax clampdown’

Not a single company has contacted the tax authorities to say they have been affected by changes announced in the budget as part of Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s clampdown on international tax avoidance.

In October’s budget, Mr Noonan included a measure that required any company incorporated in Ireland to be tax resident either in this country or another jurisdiction.

Multinationals had been exploiting a loophole in the Irish tax system that enabled them to incorporate companies here that were not tax resident in any other state.

19 Mar 2014

NAMA set to sell-off property loans worth over €300m as demand rises

THE country’s bad bank – the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) – is set to sell-off property loans worth over €300m as demand rises.

The asset sale known as Project Spring and linked to developer Gerry Conlan, will be sold at a discount, news agency Bloomberg has reported.

In February, the bank said it would sell property portfolios worth €250m or more every quarter of this year.

These assets include hotels, offices, apartments in Ireland and the UK.

The assets for sale that are linked to Conlan will not include the Mount Carmel hospital, it is understood.

18 Mar 2014

Microsoft’s boss may unveil Office for iPad on March 27

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Satya Nadella may unveil an iPad version of the company’s Office software suite on March 27, a source familiar with the event told Reuters, and use his first big press appearance to launch the company’s most profitable product in a version compatible with Apple Inc’s popular tablet.

Nadella, who replaced longtime CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, will address the media and industry executives in San Francisco on March 27.

Investors for years have urged Microsoft to adapt Office for mobile devices from Apple and Google Inc, rather than shackling it to Windows as PC sales decline. But the Redmond, Washington-based software giant has been reluctant to undermine its other lucrative franchise, its PC operating software.

18 Mar 2014

Bank of Ireland first to allow yuan transactions

Bank of Ireland has become the first Irish bank to allow business customers make payments in Chinese yuan.

Until now, Irish companies have been unable to receive or make payments in this currency. The facility will allow Irish companies to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, the bank said. Irish exports to China have risen by over two-fifths in recent years – from €251m in 2010 to €354m in 2012. This figure is expected to reach around €600m by 2016.

About 200 Irish companies export to China, while 100 Irish companies have a physical presence there.

18 Mar 2014

German court confirms legality of euro zone bailout scheme

Germany’s Constitutional Court confirmed on Tuesday the legality of the euro zone’s bailout fund, upholding a preliminary ruling from the height of the debt crisis in 2012 that gave an initial green light to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The court in Karlsruhe reiterated that the €700bn fund did not violate the rights of the Bundestag to decide on budgetary matters as long as the lower house of parliament had sufficient oversight powers over the ESM.

“Despite the liabilities assumed, the budgetary autonomy of the German Bundestag is sufficiently safeguarded,” said the court in a statement after its chief judge, Andreas Vosskuhle, read out the verdict.

14 Mar 2014

Deflation ‘ogre’ threatens to derail Europe’s fragile recovery

ARE we facing a deflation crisis?

That’s the big question plaguing Europe’s smartest economists today.

The news that Irish consumer prices have swung into their first annual fall since 2010 is just the tip of the iceberg in a problem that threatens to derail Europe’s recovery and hurt retailers from Dublin to Dusseldorf.

IMF boss Christine Lagarde describes deflation, categorised as a general decline in prices, as nothing less than “an ogre, which must be fought decisively.”

14 Mar 2014

Borrowing costs fall again after first bond auction in four years

THE cost of borrowing fell to a record low yesterday as the National Treasury Management Agency auctioned off government bonds for the first time since 2010.

The NTMA has resumed regular bond auctions partly to prove its return to business as usual. Debt auctions are considered the ultimate indicator of how safe a sovereign’s market access is, as they rely on steady interest from a large pool of investors.

In syndicated debt sales (the process the NTMA used to complete its January bond sale) banks put the effort into rallying up bidders and have more time to do it.

14 Mar 2014

RBS looking at merger options for Ulster Bank

UK state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland has commissioned investment bank Morgan Stanley to advise it on potential merger opportunities for its Irish unit, Ulster Bank, the business’s chief executive was quoted as saying today.

Ulster Bank, which is the biggest bank in Northern Ireland and the third largest in the Republic of Ireland, has racked up losses of £2.5bn over the past two years.

It accounts for less than 4pc of RBS’s assets but was responsible for 20 percent of its bad debt charges last year.

13 Mar 2014

Government raises €1bn in post-bailout bond auction

THE Government has successfully raised €1bn in a post-bailout bond auction.
The yield on the 10-year bond was 2.967pc while the bid to cover ratio was 2.9 times with total bids of €2.8bn.

“The completion of today’s auction marks Ireland’s full return to the markets for the first time since September 2010 and brings to a successful conclusion the NTMA’s programme for a phased return to the markets carried out over the past two years,” said John Corrigan, chief executive of the NTMA, which manages the country’s debt.

13 Mar 2014

Five ways to stop your company getting stung over social media gaffes

They say it’s good to talk. But is it always good to gossip online?

Not if you’re the head of a company seeking to avoid legal difficulties from loud-mouthed employees on social networks.

Here are five ways to guard against your lawyers having an active time because of inappropriate staff Facebook or LinkedIn chatter.

1 Watch out for staff references to confidential material on Facebook or LinkedIn