What it says in the papers

Rent measures row; Fed rates rise; fishing deal welcomed

15th December, 2016
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times leads with what it calls a "high stakes dispute" between the Government and Fianna Fáil over Housing Minister Simon Coveney's rent control plans. As Fianna Fáil opposes aspects of the plan, Coveney and the FF counterpart Barry Cowen held talks to try to solve the dispute.

- The paper reports on a warning from the Economic and Social Research Institute that the economy runs the risk of overheating next year on the back of a spike in residential construction. It now expects up to 18,000 homes to be built next year, much more than previously forecast.

- In business, the Irish Times says the Master of the High Court has queried whether AIB's largest shareholder - the Minister for Finance - is aware of the extent of the bank's litigation in repossession and debt cases. Master Edmund Honohan noted that about half of 98 cases before him on Tuesday were taken by AIB.

- The paper says figures from New Era, which oversees state-owned businesses, show that companies such as ESB and Bord na Móna paid almost €430m in dividends to the exchequer in 2015/2016.

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with last night's US interest rates rise, saying the Federal Reserve forecast a faster pace of tightening next year as it responded to a US economy that is gathering momentum and the prospect of further stimulus from Republican tax cuts.

- The paper says the British minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis, has admitted he does not know whether Britain could abort its departure from the EU once it has triggered the Article 50 divorce process in March.

- In companies news, the FT says Punch Taverns is at the centre of a bid brawl over its assets after receiving two competing takeover approaches - one from brewer Heineken and another from the pub group's co-founder - which sent its shares soaring 38 per cent.

- The paper says the European Banking Authority has dramatically reduced its estimates of the extra financing EU banks must raise to meet new standards on loss absorbing capital.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent also leads with the rent controversy, saying the Government was last night plunged into crisis, with plans for a cap on the brink of collapse after Fianna Fáil refused to back Housing Minister Simon Coveney's strategy.

- The paper reports on new figures from the Insolvency Service of Ireland which show that a record 499 people were declared bankrupt last year - a 760 per cent rise on two years previously.

- In business, the Irish Independent reports on research from Barclays Bank Ireland, which shows that 64 per cent of Irish retailers are more confident about Christmas trading this year than they were in the run-up to Christmas 2015.

- The paper says Aengus Kelly, the chief executive of Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm AerCap, has sold $4.3m worth of shares in the New York-listed business. He is left with more than 2.3 million shares.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner also leads on the rent proposals, but it says the Government's measures look set to pass through the Dáil today after Simon Coveney faced down a backlash from Fianna Fáil.

- The paper says fishing groups have welcomed the EU's new deal for Ireland on next year's quotas, but have said any short-term success at the negotiating table simply masks the need for "bigger battles" ahead.

- The Examiner reports on accounts from Windmill Lane Pictures Ltd - the television and film production company involved in Love/Hate and Brooklyn - which show that it last year reduced its pre-tax losses by 69 per cent to €207,098 and expects to return to profit next year.

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