What Friday's papers say

Investment firm's Dublin plans; wages warning; homes probe to be widened

10th March, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times leads with a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General, which says that an offer from the Christian Brothers to transfer land worth €127m to the state as part of its contribution towards redress for people abused in institutions it ran was "withdrawn". The offer was made in 2009.

- The paper says Transport Minister Shane Ross will be granted one of his main demands for entering government, with the reopening of a Garda station in his constituency set to be announced within weeks as part of a pilot scheme which would see six stations reopening.

- In business, the Irish Times says Legg Mason, a global investment firm with more than €670 billion of assets under management, plans to set up a fund management company in Dublin to maintain access to investors in the EU after Brexit.

- The paper reports on comments from Michael Stanley, the chief executive of builder Cairn Homes, who has warned that there is an "extraordinary imbalance" between office and residential construction in Dublin, with developers currently building offices which would accommodate 40,000 workers, but building apartments which would house only 1,600 people.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times says ECB president Mario Draghi has declared victory over deflation and moved a step towards winding down the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy, sending the euro and German bond yields higher as investors bet on the end of crisis-era stimulus measures. He said the ECB no longer had a "sense of urgency" to take further stimulus action.

- The FT says New York and London are fighting to be the main international listing venue for Saudi Arabia's initial public offering of its state oil company, emerging as clear frontrunners in what is set to be the world's biggest ever flotation.

- In companies news, the paper says Sir Martin Sorrell's pay-out from advertising agency WPP's executive share scheme fell 34 per cent last year, though he is still set to receive a bumper package of more than €40m. His €70m package last year drew criticism from investors and campaigners.

- The FT says Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel has rejected an unsolicited €20.9 billion takeover bid by US industrial chemicals rival PPG Industries, and is instead looking at spinning off its speciality chemicals business.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent leads with yesterday's CSO growth figures, which it says show that Government spending - led by wages - raced ahead of growth in the domestic economy last year. This came as Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe warned that a growing clamour for wage increases must be balanced against limited available finances.

- The paper says the Government is coming under increasing pressure to fight for designated special status for Northern Ireland within the EU during Brexit talks, with an Oireachtas committee report yesterday concluding that this must be done to ensure Northern Ireland remains part of the single market.

- In business, the Irish Independent says internet giant Amazon is planning to build a €1 billion data centre campus in Dublin, as it tackles a global surge in the use of its services, as well as its own online shopping network. The company has submitted plans to build the centre in Mulhuddart.

- The paper reports on a survey from the Irish Exporters Association, which shows that two-thirds of exporters go through Britain to get their produce to customers on mainland Europe and further afield. 40 per cent said using a longer route would hit the quality of their product.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner says the Government wants to set up a South African-style truth commission to publicly record the wide-scale abuse in mother and baby homes. The paper says it now looks certain that the scope of the commission will be widened to include all homes across the country.

- The paper says employers could see the amount they contribute to a national training fund almost double by 2020 in a Government plan to raise an extra €200m a year for third-level education. An increased contribution was a key proposal in last summer's Cassells report on funding for higher education.

- The Examiner says councillors in West Cork have criticised a Government-driven directive on street furniture, claiming it could jeopardise food and drink providers in dozens of locations along the Wild Atlantic Way.. Under the proposals, consuming food outside cafes, pubs and restaurants would be permitted only where 1.8m of footpath clearance remains.

- The paper says Cork's business leaders have criticised opponents of the city's €140m flood defence plan amid fears that their "last-minute" intervention could delay the largest scheme of its kind in the history of the state.

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