What it says in the papers

Central bank's mortgage rules review; Alzheimer's drug fails trial; Independent Alliance anger at Kenny; Tullow stake mystery

24th November, 2016
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times leads with the Central Bank's decision to relax some of its mortgage restrictions, highlighting governor Philip Lane's pledge that the bank would intervene in the event of runaway house price inflation that might arise from tweaks to its rules and a planned rebate scheme for first-time buyers.

- The paper reports on new Economic and Social Research Institute research which finds that Ireland's exports to the UK could drop by more than 30 per cent if the country leaves the EU without agreeing a special trade deal.

- In business, the Irish Times also reports on separate ESRI research presented at a tax conference yesterday, which finds that imposing a French-style wealth tax on Ireland's super-rich would yield only an extra €22m a year in revenue.

- The paper quotes accounts for Ireland largest estate agent as showing that Sherry FitzGerald recorded a 7 per cent rise in revenues last year, but profits fell due to investment in extra staff, new offices and its technology systems.


- The Financial Times leads with British Chancellor Philip Hammond's autumn statement, saying he used it to create a £27 billion fiscal shock absorber to insure the country's economy against the shock caused by Brexit.

- A column by the paper's Martin Wolf on Hammond's statement says nothing can disguise the reality that Brexit is likely to make an economy blighted by low and stagnant productivity still weaker. He says the forecasts released yesterday show that Brexit effects on Britain's fiscal prospects are "quite severe".

- In companies news, the FT reports that an experimental Alzheimer's medicine has failed a large clinical trial, wiping more than $10 billion off the market value of its developer Eli Lilly and dealing a setback to the hunt for a drug to delay the fatal disease.

- The paper says Brevan Howard, one of Europe's largest hedge funds, has started to reverse several years of poor returns after capitalising on market moves before and after the US election.


- The Irish Independent also leads with the Central Bank's changes, saying the move is expected to lead to a huge increase in home building, but has sparked fears of even bigger rises in property prices.

- In a report headlined 'end of an era', the paper reports that RTÉ has announced it is to outsource all of its TV programming for young people to the independent sector amid a "challenging financial environment".

- The Irish Independent carries a piece from leading law firm Matheson partner Joe Beashel, who has warned that mixed messages from Ireland are putting efforts to secure post-Brexit foreign direct investment at risk. He says any perception that that Ireland is "talking down" its capacity to cater for companies considering moving here could leave decision-makers rattled.

- The paper reports that a mystery bidder is thought to have secured control of more than 5 per cent of exploration firm Tullow Oil, using derivatives that allow it to hide its identity. Tullow owns two prize assets off the west coast of Africa.


- The Irish Examiner also leads with concerns raised by opposition parties that changes in Central Bank mortgage rules risk inadvertently causing a fresh house price surge if they occur alongside the Government's previously announced help-to-buy tax break scheme.

- The paper says Independent Alliance ministers have accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of acting in "bad faith" over a blazing row at Cabinet involving Transport Minister Shane Ross. The paper says independent ministers believe they are "being bounced" into having a unified Government position on a bill on Ireland's neutrality in the Dáil.

- The Examiner says UCC is to trigger its largest capital investment programme of €241m after it signs a €100m loan agreement with the European Investment Bank tomorrow.

- The paper quotes new accounts as showing that operating profits at the Radisson Blu hotel at Dublin Airport increased by 44 per cent to €2.59m last year, despite a slight fall in revenue. The profit rise came as its costs fell.

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