Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 17, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Nov 17, 2014 - 3:01 PM

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Irish Independent

Families will still be able to reduce their water charges if they have a meter, even with the new simplified system of bills that will be capped at a maximum amount.

The Government is to unveil a new water charges plan this week in the wake of heightened tensions following the violent scenes when Tanaiste Joan Burton was confronted by demonstrators.

The Coalition will announce two new maximum rates of water charges on Wednesday - roughly €80 for a one-adult household and about €180 for all other households.

The Troika is in Dublin today for the second post-bailout review.

Representatives will be in Ireland for four days.

The State is subjected to twice-yearly surveillance missions until at least 75pc of the bailout loans are repaid under EU budgetary rules for countries that have left official support programmes.

The representatives will hold discussions with senior officials from the Departments of Health and Justice, as well as Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and the Central Bank.

GLEN Dimplex has teamed up with Germany's biggest energy companies to launch a new business that hopes to change the way the world consumes electricity.

Glen Dimplex chief executive Sean O'Driscoll said the technology they have developed will disrupt the energy business in the same way mobile phones disrupted the telecoms industry.

Ireland's largest industrial manufacturer has poured around €30m into the venture, according to industry sources, though Glen Dimplex would not confirm this, in exchange for a 25pc stake.

The three other companies backing the venture read like a who's who of the German energy industry - MVV Energie, BayWa and Greencom Networks. Together they are thought to have invested in the region of €100m.

Irish Times

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has warned investors not to buy AIB shares at the moment or they will lose money.

Speaking in Limerick at the launch of AIB’s refurbished flagship branch and self service lobby on O’Connell Street, Mr Noonan said shares in the bank are currently overvalued.

“The value attributed to the shares in the stock market at the moment would put a nominal value of €55bn on AIB, it’s not worth that. So the shares are overvalued but it’s because of the restructuring.

“So I am issuing a kind of a warning to investors. Wait until it’s restructured before you buy. If you buy now you will lose money.”

Lucy Kellaway of the FT: In the early 1980s I spent the most hateful year of my working life in the foreign exchange dealing room of what was then Morgan Guaranty in London.

It was beastly for three reasons. First it was boring. The currencies went up – and then they came down again, but they seldom did so in a way anyone seemed able to predict. Secondly it was stressful, as if you got it wrong you lost an unconscionable amount of money. Fortunately, I was never trusted to trade myself; instead my role was to ring up big companies and try to persuade them to buy and sell currencies with us. But mostly what I did was not very much. I sat there and watched the traders being alternately very idle and very frantic.

The only thing less anticipated by this reporter than heavy downpours in Austin, Texas, was Simon Le Bon’s lively attempts at convincing the 5,000-strong DellWorld 2014 crowd of nerds to dance to Duran Duran. He mostly failed.

Talk focused a lot around big data, the cloud and disruption. Unsurprisingly, it was almost impossible to find anyone, anywhere, prepared to say anything negative about Dell or its founder and chief executive. But then again there’s plenty of reasons for Michael S Dell to be happy right now.

He reacquired 75 per cent ownership of his business in October 2013 – spending $24.9 billion buying it back from shareholders – so it is an exciting time to be in the organisation.

Irish Examiner

Luxembourg’s government was taken by “complete surprise” by the amount of files revealed last week in a report detailing hundreds of secret corporate deals that allegedly helped multinationals dodge taxes during Jean-Claude Juncker’s tenure as prime minister.

The publication of a “tsunami” of more than 500 so-called tax rulings executed by the government between 2002 and 2010 “totally astonished” Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna, he told journalists at a briefing yesterday in Luxembourg.

“This was an attack on our country like it has never seen before”, Gramegna said at the briefing with Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel. “Not for one second did I know documents would be leaked and that as a government we would have to answer for what happened in the past.”


Euro Topics:  Russian President Vladimir Putin left the G20 summit in Brisbane early on Sunday. According to reports in the Russian media Putin had complained that the leaders at the summit were pressuring him too much over the conflict in Ukraine. The West must stick to its hard line vis-à-vis Moscow even after the summit, some commentators say. Others warn that the confrontation could lead to a deadlock.

West must not ease pressure: The G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, on the weekend highlighted how hardened the fronts are in the Ukraine crisis, the left-liberal Sunday newspaper The Observer writes, calling for the West to stick its guns: "At least the Soviet Union had a distinct ideology based on ideals, however deluded they proved to be. Putin's only principle seems to be national and personal aggrandisement. ... Increased financial pressure coupled with intensified diplomatic action and bolstered Nato support for European countries bordering Russia could convince Moscow that the costs of its antisocial behaviour are too high to bear. As for Putin, world leaders should stop treating him as if he were somehow one of them. Putin and Putinism are a throwback to a more polarised and aggressive era. He must not be allowed to drag the world back to the past."

Merkel and Putin go their separate ways: German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced strong criticism of the Russian president in a foreign policy speech in Sydney and warned that Russia is seeking to enlarge its sphere of influence. The G-20 summit in Australia marked the breakup between Russia and the West, but above all between Putin and Merkel, the liberal daily Eesti Päevaleht writes: "Any head of state who travels to a summit accompanied by four warships is going to receive a cold welcome. In fact it's surprising that reactions to this sabre-rattling were as mild as they have been! But even Angela Merkel, who in past years had special ties with Putin in a wider sense, had to admit in the end that 'enough was enough'. Even her (considerable) patience was at an end. The result is a definitive separation from Russia. ... In its relations with Moscow it seems that even the hitherto idealistic and starry-eyed West is finally seeing the light."

Sweden's cities need low-income housing: Sweden's cities are increasingly divided into residential areas that reflect social background. This segregation should be countered, the liberal daily Expressen argues: "In many European countries measures have been taken to combat this segregation with low-income housing. ... [However] this system of providing low-income housing for economically weak households has a bad reputation in Sweden. Critics say it coops up disadvantaged groups in separate neighbourhoods. This has been countered in Finland and the US, for example, by reserving low-cost housing for people with lower incomes in up-market areas, and at the same time reducing the rents. ... Already those who live in 'bad' neighbourhoods are stigmatised. ... [We must] begin to talk seriously about how to bring different groups of people together instead of keeping them living apart."

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