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Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 18, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 18, 2014 - 11:32 AM

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Irish Independent

The Chief Executive Officer of Aer Lingus, Christoph Mueller, will be leaving the airline next year.

t was announced this morning that the departure had "been agreed between Aer Lingus and Christoph Mueller".

Mueller, who was appointed in 2009, is due to step down as CEO and director in May 2015.

Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington commended Mueller for service over that time.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch criticised G20 governments for trying to introduce measures to prevent companies using low tax states such as Ireland.

"Do we really expect overseas companies to voluntarily bring profits back to be taxed at 35pc to 40pc in the United States, when the corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5pc?" Mr Murdoch asked at a conference on business growth. "This is not the way to achieve economic growth."

The 80-year-old blamed excessive financial regulation for stymieing free markets and urged Group of 20 governments to "take a back seat" to allow businesses to drive economic growth.

Spanish football club Real Madrid retained its title as the world's most valuable
Soccer clubs held the top three positions with the European champions valued at $3.44bn (€2.54bn), topping the list for the second consecutive year. They were followed by La Liga rivals Barcelona at $3.2bn and Premier League club Manchester United at number three at $2.81bn, 'Forbes' said.

Major League Baseball's New York Yankees occupy the number four spot valued at $2.5bn while the NFL's Dallas Cowboys are worth $2.3bn.

Rounding out the top 10 were baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers ($2bn), soccer's Bayern Munich ($1.85bn), NFL'sNew England Patriots ($1.8bn), NFL's Washington Redskins ($1.7bn) and NFL's New York Giants ($1.55bn).

Irish Times

Chris Johns: For many businesses, first-mover advantage is everything. Entry barriers come in many shapes and sizes but few work better, or for longer, than simply being first. Market access and penetration, customer loyalty, brand awareness and employees with unique skills can be among the benefits of being first. Of course, there are examples where this doesn’t seem to hold, where copying someone else’s business model – competition – results in their obliteration or, at least, in a significant erosion of their monopoly power. But pole position is usually the best place to be.

Being first involves vision and risk. Indeed, visionaries are often big risk takers. And, consequently, regularly come unstuck. When things go wrong, it can be hard to discriminate between chancers and true visionaries who were just unlucky. It has been said that a key aspect of Irish corporate life is that we never bother to try to make this distinction: you get one shot at success and you are out of the game, permanently, if you fail. This is our culture and, until recently, one that has been hard coded into our bankruptcy laws. Even with the changes that we have made to those laws, it will be a long time before we truly understand the difference between recklessness and risk.

Britain’s big banks could be broken up after the country’s new competition watchdog said it plans to launch an 18-month investigation into services for small business customers and personal current accounts.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday there was a lack of competition among banks and proposals that lenders put forward to increase transparency and make it easier to switch did not go far enough to meet the needs of personal consumers or small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The CMA - which was formed as Britain’s new competition watchdog in April - can order structural remedies, such as breaking up banks considered too dominant, and behavioural remedies, such as improving information given to customers.

Dublin-based Shire and US drugmaker Abbvie plan to announce a $53 billion merger on Friday, according to sources.

Shire, which sells drugs for rare diseases, said earlier this week it was ready to recommend a deal to shareholders after AbbVie increased its offer.

AbbVie, which is based in Chicago and makes top-selling arthritis drug Humira, boosted its bid for Shire to £53.20 per share on Sunday. Shire has rejected four previous bids.

The sources cautioned the deal could still take longer to complete and the deadline for an offer could be extended.

Irish Examiner

The numbers of Nama debtors declaring themselves bankrupt has climbed by 37.5% in the past year, new figures show.

According to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, a total of 77 Nama debtors have now declared themselves bankrupt.

This compares to 56 owing the agency a total of €8bn in June of last year — a rise of 21 in 12 months.

In a written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, Mr Noonan stated that 12 have been declared bankrupt in Ireland, 63 in Britain and the North, and two in the US.

Mr Noonan said that “Nama is aware of 44 debtors being discharged from bankruptcy in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Europe

Euro Projects: A Malaysian Airlines civilian jet crashed on Thursday in eastern Ukraine. According to news agency reports it was hit by a missile. The Ukrainian leadership and separatists are accusing each other of causing the crash. Commentators call on a hitherto hesitant West to force the Russian president to make the rebels accept peace negotiations.

High death toll down to lack of resolve: There's no such thing as controlled warfare, the state-run Austrian liberal Wiener Zeitung concludes, commenting on the plane crash: "The plane tragedy in eastern Ukraine in which around 300 people died is a lesson for all those who believe the fatal dynamic of violence and counter-violence can be dosed as they see fit and according to political demands. ... Now we see all the more clearly the extent to which the West, and Europe in particular, has failed by not intervening resolutely. It made appeals and did some manoeuvring and negotiating - all in the hope that Moscow wouldn't cross certain lines of escalation and would restrain the separatists. It couldn't and didn't want to believe that just a few hundred kilometres from the EU's external border a war is raging. The rising death toll among civilians is the high price we are paying for this political lack of resolve."

Only Moscow can end the chaos: Russian President Vladimir Putin could have ended the bloody rebellion of the pro-Russian separatists long ago, meaning he shares responsibility for the tragedy and must now take action, the conservative London daily The Times insists: "Vladimir Putin has enjoyed more than a decade of mounting notoriety as a spoiler and maverick in international affairs, but his place in history may be defined in the next few days. He must immediately and categorically disown the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, a self-appointed clique of extremists on a mission to tear Ukraine apart. He must pull back any Russian heavy weaponry close to the Ukrainian border. ... Nearly 300 lives have been lost, and one man still has the power to stop the chaos. That man is Mr Putin."

28 reasons against tough sanctions: The European Council tightened sanctions against Russia on Wednesday because Moscow has so far failed to meet the EU's demands regarding Ukraine. The left-liberal German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung sees 28 reasons why the threats issued so far have failed to impress Putin: "The Italians want what the Germans already have: a gas pipeline that connects them with Russia and circumvents Ukraine. The French don't want to lose the approximately one billion euros from the sale of two warships to Russia. And the Austrians don't want to hurt trade relations with Russia. From this perspective there are 28 reasons why the EU is more reluctant than the US to get tough on Russia. The 28 EU states always put what they see as their national interests first. ... If Putin isn't stopped, the European Union will have failed - at least as a community with shared values."


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