Saturday February 29, 2020

What it says in the papers

More EU tax probes?; MPs denounce Green; ISE chief's Brexit plan worry; Garda talks 'constructive'

21st October, 2016
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times leads with an interview with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in which she refuses to rule out further state aid investigations into Ireland's tax arrangements with multi-national companies. Vestager said her staff were currently looking at 1,000 tax rulings from across Europe, up to 300 of which are understood to be from Irish tax authorities.

- The paper says the Revenue specifically asked for a measure published in yesterday's Finance Bill. It means tax evaders with offshore income and assets have been put on notice to pay any outstanding liabilities by May 1 before Revenue makes greater use of international information to launch a crackdown next year.

- In business, the Irish Times leads with reaction to yesterday's ECB meeting, as the euro fell to a four-month low against the dollar after ECB chief Mario Draghi signalled that the bank was likely to taper its quantitative easing (QE) programme rather than end it abruptly.

- The paper reports that Irish property fund Iput has received planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for a €45m redevelopment of Fitzwilton House on the Grand Canal in Dublin. Iput plans to demolish the existing building and construct a new office development.


- The Financial Times reports that the House of Commons has demanded that businessman Sir Philip Green be stripped of his knighthood, after MPs lined up to denounce the Topshop tycoon as a "billionaire spiv" who was "not particularly good at retail". The vote was triggered by the fall-out from the collapse of BHS, which has cost 11,000 jobs.

- The FT says Britain's Brexit Minister, David Davies, has warned the EU not to use the country's departure from the union to weaken the City of London, suggesting that such a move could backfire and destabilise "fragile" European markets.

- In companies news, the paper reports that US bank Morgan Stanley is stands to make a record $120m in fees for providing less than four months of advice to Monsanto on the US agribusiness company's $66 billion takeover by Germany's Bayer.

- The FT says the US Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing for a root-and-branch review of the rapidly growing exchange traded funds industry amid concerns that massive flows into ETFs may be exacerbating volatility in financial markets.


- The Irish Independent quotes the head of the Irish Stock Exchange as warning that she has not seen any "cohesive or coordinated" plan to capitalise on the Brexit vote. Deirdre Somers told a Dublin seminar Ireland was in danger of blowing a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to attract further investment to the financial services sector here.

- The paper says a clampdown on Airbnb is imminent, with local authorities set to issue new guidelines on when a house or apartment ceases to be a residence and becomes a commercial premises. This comes after Housing Minister Simon Coveney backed an An Bord Pleanála ruling that a Temple Bar apartment in Dublin constituted a business.

- In business, the Irish Independent has learned that grocery giant Musgrave and supplier Unilever remain locked in negotiations over planned price increases, with the Irish company behind the SuperValu and Centra chains resisting price rises.

- The paper says CG Hotels, which owns the Radisson Bul hotel at Dublin Airport, is seeking permission for a new seven-storey 144-bedroom hotel, which would be the third hotel at the airport.


- The Irish Examiner says crunch talks to avert a policing crisis could continue over the weekend as the first day of garda industrial action begins this morning. It quotes sources as describing a meeting yesterday between the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors and Department of Justice officials as 'constructive'.

- The paper says UCC has published online an expert review which criticised the statutory Smiddy report recommending the merger of Cork city and county councils. The paper had earlier revealed that the report identified several flaws in the Cork Local Government Review Group's 2015 report.

- The Examiner reports on accounts which show that the staging of Mary Poppins was one of the hits which helped the new owners of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Crownway Entertainment, to record operating profits of over €1m last year.

- The paper says 10,000 Dunnes Stores workers have received a fresh 3 per cent pay increase, which amounts to a cumulative 12 per cent rise over the last four years.

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