Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - August 28, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Aug 28, 2014 - 3:38 PM

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Irish Independent

Tanaiste Joan Burton has dropped a Labour Party plan for a valuable tax break for squeezed middle-income families with children.

Her predecessor, Eamon Gilmore, put a child tax credit on the table as a key Budget demand from the junior coalition partners to ease the burden for hard-pressed taxpayers.

Mr Gilmore hoped it would win favour with families across the country as Labour struggled to regain support.

However, Ms Burton is no longer demanding the tax measure in the negotiations for October's Budget.

A US Judge will decide next month if bust developer Sean Dunne gets to withdraw from bankruptcy proceedings in America.

The court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, as well as creditors NAMA and Ulster Bank, yesterday outlined plans during a brief hearing in Connecticut to oppose the surprise application by the former 'Baron of Ballsbridge.'

In a shock move last week, the former developer applied to withdraw his bid for bankruptcy in the US on the basis that he "did not have the resources" to continue to defend creditors' objections to him walking away from his debt.

The European Central Bank has hired BlackRock Solutions to provide consultancy services in its preparations for a programme to buy asset-backed securities (ABS), an ECB spokesman said today.

BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, will provide advice on the design and implementation of a potential ABS purchase programme, but all final decisions will be taken by the ECB itself, the spokesman said.

BlackRock declined to comment on its mandate with the ECB.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on Friday the central bank's preparations for outright purchases of ABS were "fast moving forward and we expect that it should contribute to further credit easing."

Irish Times

Poorer people in Ireland pay out a greater share of their income in tax than their richer counterparts, according to new research.

The finding, contained in a report by the Nevin Economic Research Institute, runs counters to the notion that Ireland’s tax code is progressive, in other words, one in which the tax rate rises as income increases.

The institute’s research, which is based on data from Central Statistics Office’s most recent household budget survey, found Irish households pay 24 per cent of their income in taxes, both direct and indirect.

Paddy Power’s operating profit fell sharply in the first half of the year after a run of unfavourable sports results, but the Irish gambling company said a second-half rebound should deliver full-year earnings growth.

Paddy Power, which has more than doubled its annual profits since 2009 on an overseas expansion and a strong performance online, leads the industry in smartphone and tablet betting.

Its operating profit fell 20 per cent to €60.1 million, or 14 per cent on a constant-currency basis, after warning earlier this year of a “horrific run of sports results”. “There has been an extraordinary run of results. We always say to people that the run of results can go against bookies. Every separate event is a new coin toss,” chief financial officer Cormac McCarthy said.

Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest distiller, plans to eliminate jobs as it seeks to generate €150 million of savings following a slump in demand in China.

The cuts, which represent about 900 jobs or 5 per cent of the Paris-based distiller’s workforce, are part of a programme of measures to help the company operate more efficiently, chief executive officer Pierre Pringuet said.

Pernod reported an 8 per cent drop in annual earnings as currency fluctuations and a Chinese government clampdown on conspicuous consumption weighed on revenue growth.

Earnings before interest, taxes and some one-time items totaled €2.06 billion, the maker of Absolut vodka said.

Irish Examiner

Ryanair has predicted that as much as 30% of its customer base will be made up of business travellers within the next five years.

The low-cost operator yesterday formally unveiled its much-anticipated new product offering specifically aimed at those travelling on business trips; a market segment traditionally ruled by the likes of British Airways and Lufthansa.

‘Ryanair Business Plus’ is the latest element of the airline’s ‘Always Getting Better’ customer service improvement programme; which has already seen a lowering of booking fees, an easier to use website, a loosening of baggage restrictions and the launch of a new ‘app’ to enable easier booking via smartphone and tablet devices.

The new service allows users a greater baggage allowance — of up to 20kg — fast-tracking through security at selected airports, premium seats, the option of changing their flight at short-notice free of charge and priority boarding. Prices start at €69.99.


Euro Topics: The fighting continues unabated in Ukraine even after the crisis meeting in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. Moreover the US government has reported the presence of a Russian military convoy in the south-east of the country. The summit achieved nothing, commentators write, concluding that part of Donbas is already lost.

The war rages on: The meeting between the Ukrainian and Russian presidents failed to produce any results, the liberal Portuguese business daily Jornal de Negócios laments: "Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko greeted each other in Belarus, but the whirlwind of war continues to advance and destroy any hopes of peace. ... The insecurity that this war brings forms the decisive framework for political negotiations on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. In the short term they will also be influenced by the new balance of power which emerges from the election of the parliament in Kiev and next week's Nato summit in Cardiff."

Part of Donbas is already lost: The Ukrainian army is too weak to hold on to eastern Ukraine and Poroshenko's government has only one option, the left-liberal German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes in view of the reported invasion by Russian soldiers: "For better or for worse, it must tell the population that the part of the Donbas that's still in the hands of the pro-Russian forces is lost - either because reconquering it would cost too many lives and only exacerbate the tensions with Moscow, or because negotiations really were carried out with the separatists but they hardly stand a chance of resulting in the implementation of Poroshenko's peace plan. This plan foresees amendments to the constitution, the protection of the Russian language and new jobs in the region, and that's as it should be. However it would entail the separatists handing the decision-making authority over Donbas back to Kiev. And by the looks of things there's precious little chance of them doing that."

France's left committing political suicide: With the French cabinet reshuffle the Socialists are doing their utmost to commit political suicide, the left-liberal French daily Libération believes: "In 2014 the French left is committing hara-kiri. It's slitting its belly open just like the German left did in the 30s. The worrying economic conditions, a catastrophic social situation, terrible results in the by-elections and ominous opinion polls all seem to sound the death knell for the party. Certainly, France was in pretty bad shape even before François Hollande became president and Manual Valls prime minister. But now it's even worse off. ... François Mitterrand was perhaps not really on the left, but no one doubted his stature as president. Today the majority is falling apart. ... The left in this country is a desperate minority, only held together by sturdy institutions."

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