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Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 10, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Nov 10, 2014 - 2:11 PM

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Irish Independent

A TWO-tier water charges system - aimed at distinguishing between larger households and those with just a single adult occupant - is to be put in place until at least 2017.

The move will see a special lower fixed rate extended to groups such as widows, single workers and lone parents who make up just under a third of households in the State.

And a higher fixed charge, believed still to be in the region of €280 to €300, will apply to all other households for a period of a minimum of two years.

However, this rate would apply before an anticipated €100 support measure is granted.

Perhaps the most interesting release this week comes on Thursday, with the publication of the October inflation figures.

This week's data will probably be released too early to capture the sneaky hike in the cost of public transport imposed on passengers, but may reflect falling energy prices.

If so, we may well see annual inflation running at an even lower rate in October than the 0.3pc seen in September, and another month-on-month decrease in prices.

Last month both measures of inflation used by the Central Statistics Office showed that we are now seeing month-on-month deflation thanks to falling transport costs.

We are not alone; month-on-month deflation hit five other peripheral Eurozone countries in September. Greece, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia all showed deflation on persistently-depressed household demand while Portugal and Cyprus showed no inflation.

One in five buyers believes they can secure a house without the full 20pc deposit that the Central Bank will enforce when planned mortgage limits kick in next year.

Nationally, the number of residential and commercial property transactions will hit 50,000 over the next 12 months.

The findings are from a major study of property buyers commissioned by Allsop Space auctioneers.

The research, based on a survey of buyers, suggests the number of property deals in the coming year will be almost double the 26,500 recorded in 2013.

Allsop Space is best known for its regular public auctions of property. Started during the worst period of the crisis, they have been credited with finding a floor for prices.

Irish Times

Beef farmers who began a two-day protest outside the headquarters of Kepak in Co Meath, say they “have nothing to lose” in their dispute with processors over prices.

Members of the IFA who yesterday gathered at Kepak’s headquarters are part of a mass protest outside 14 of the State’s main beef processors said they were determined to protest for “as long as it takes” and would escalate their action if the processors did not concede on price.

The 14 plants include those owned by Kepak, Dawn and ABP.

Distressed small and medium sized companies which are now recovering and are potentially viable continue to find it difficult to obtain finance, according to the 14th report reviewing the accessibility of credit for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and farms.

The report, from the Credit Review Office, points to two main challenges: the credit requirements of the real economy as growth returns; and the challenges posed in refinancing some businesses and farms as the banking market contracts.

To date, the Credit Review Office has received 520 formal applications, of which 361 have reached final conclusion. Of these, the office upheld 56 per cent in favour of borrowers, resulting in €29.7m credit being made available to SMEs and farms, helping to protect /create 2,091 jobs.

Uber is in fundraising mode again to bring in about $1 billion to finance its rapid international expansion, said people familiar with the situation.

Uber’s talks with new and existing investors are at such early stage that it is premature to indicate a valuation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Travis Kalanick, the car-booking company’s co- founder and chief executive officer, is seeking a higher valuation than the $17 billion Uber got in its $1.2 billion fundraising from investors led by Fidelity Investments in June, one of the people said. The Financial Times earlier reported that Uber is in discussions to raise a new round of $1 billion or more.

Irish Examiner

Shannon Airport’s strong momentum across 2014 has continued into the final month of the autumn, with passenger numbers for October showing a 28% increase on the same period 12 months ago.

The biggest gains in passengers through the terminal were again on European services, which were up by 63% on the same period 12 months ago thanks to a range of nine attractive routes that were launched for the summer season.

Eight of those were on the European market, which resulted in a 111% increase (from 20,347 to 42,950) in passengers to and from the continent last month compared to October 2013.

Europe

Euro Topics::  Hundreds of thousands gathered on Sunday in Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some commentators criticise reunited Germany for isolating itself in recent years. Others voice surprise that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev backed Russia's current policies in his speech.

Germany has fewer friends than in 1989: The reunified Germany has isolated itself internationally more than people could have imagined in 1989, the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments: "The NSA affair, in which the German leadership hoped to be treated by Washington like others as a loyal ally, will probably have done the most crop damage. ... Germany has major differences of opinion with all the other big countries in Europe: with France and Italy over fiscal discipline and reform policy, with the UK over the future of European integration. ... The fact that the German government had to rely on support from Finland or the Netherlands in the euro crisis shows how much has been lost. ... Finally the Ukraine crisis has damaged relations with Russia, perhaps permanently. ... For a country that had hoped to make it big in the western, and perhaps even the international mainstream, this is an experience that should give it pause for thought."

Gorbachev has got it all wrong this time: At the celebrations commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the West is responsible for the world being on the verge of a new Cold War. What will he say next? the liberal daily Mladá fronta Dnes asks: "If any other Russian had said these words, he'd be dismissed as an opportunist who doesn't want to blow his chances under Putin. Here, however, it could be that despite everything, the legendary former Soviet leader has remained a dyed-in-the-wool communist. Or he's defending Putin out of fear that otherwise he won't be able to go on living a peaceful life in Russia. ... The Cold War isn't coming back because of the US, and certainly not under Obama. It's Putin's fault. ... Either Gorbachev is so ideologically blind that he can't see that or he's so afraid that he doesn't want to see the truth."

Sarkozy can play the victim again: The chief of staff of France's presidential palace, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, announced on Sunday that the former French prime minister François Fillon forced him to speed up investigations against ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy for cronyism. Even though there is no indication that the accusations of government interference in judicial matters will hold water, Sarkozy will capitalise on the affair, the left-liberal daily Libération writes: "Hemmed in by scandals, confronted with mediocre poll results and contested even within his own camp, Nicolas Sarkozy could not have dreamed of such a blessing. He can once again cast himself as the victim of a conspiracy. Regardless of what Fillon asked Jouyet to do, nothing points to the Elysée having intervened in any of the investigations against Nicolas Sarkozy. Since the election of François Hollande, the judiciary has been demonstrating - in investigations into the left and the right - an independence the likes of which we have never seen in the Fifth Republic."


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