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News : International Last Updated: Jul 2, 2014 - 12:08 PM


Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 02, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 2, 2014 - 9:42 AM

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Irish Independent

ULSTER Bank has joined a US bankruptcy official in questioning the marital status of bust developer Sean Dunne and socialite Gayle Killilea.

In court filings seen by the Irish Independent, the lender describes Ms Killilea as Mr Dunne's 'wife or ex-wife'.

The bank is supporting moves by a US bankruptcy official to compel Mr Dunne to divulge details of family law proceedings involving him in Ireland and Switzerland.

The US-based ex-developer, who has filed for bankruptcy with debts of €695m, has previously revealed Ms Killilea sued him over a $44m (€32.5m) debt after he failed to honour a 2005 agreement to give her €100m.

However, he declined to go into further detail, citing Swiss court rules surrounding family cases.

The couple were married in 2004 and have three children, but bankruptcy official Richard Coan last month openly questioned whether they were still husband and wife.

Although Ms Killilea told the press they were still very much married, the couple has not formally responded to the claim in the US bankruptcy court.

Tullow Oil reported a €306m ($415m) pretax write-off in net exploration in the first half of 2014. after disappointing results in Mauritania, Ethiopia and Norway.

The oil and gas producer attributed the loss to disappointing results in basins in Mauritania, Ethiopia and Norway.

However, the Irish explorer maintained its full-year production guidance of 79,000-85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

People should only work for four days a week to reduce their stress levels, allow them to take more exercise and see their families, a leading public health doctors has said.

Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said we're suffering from a “maldistribution of work” where some people work far too hard and others not at all. Reducing the working week to four days would redress the balance, he argued.

“We need a four-day week so that people can enjoy their lives, have more time with their families, and maybe reduce high blood pressure because people might start exercising on that extra day,” he told The Guardian.

“When you look at the way we lead our lives, the stress that people are under, the pressure on time and sickness absence, [work-related] mental health is clearly a major issue.

Investment bankers are jostling to win plum roles from the founding Lee family of Samsung Group, South Korea's top fee-payer, as it prepares to hand the baton to the next generation in a restructuring that could land more than €73m ($100m) in advisory fees alone.

Foreign and Korean investment banks are bringing in their chief executives and top dealmakers to pitch for a glut of deals as the $407bn Samsung Group untangles an empire that ranges from electronics to financial services.

Banks' top executives have long courted the Samsung Group as it's among Asia's top fee-payers. Citigroup's chief executive Mike Corbat flew to Korea last year to meet with Samsung management, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, while last month Asia-Pacific head Stephen Bird travelled to Seoul.

A spokesman for Citigroup declined to comment.

Now, as the group's restructuring accelerates, Korean and foreign investment banks are assembling large teams, sending their CEOs to pay their dues at Samsung HQ and boosting research coverage of the group to try and win lucrative work from the conglomerate.

Irish Times

Martin Wolf: I admire the Bank for International Settlements. It takes courage to accuse its owners – the world’s main central banks – of incompetence. Yet this is what it has done, most recently in its annual report. It would be easy to dismiss this as the rantings of a prophet of doom. That would be a mistake. Whether or not one agrees with its pre-1930s view of macroeconomic policy, the BIS raises big questions. Contrariness adds value.

One can divide the BIS analysis into three parts: what caused the crisis; where we are now on the way out of it; and what we should do.

Credit boom
On the first, the perspective is that of the “financial cycle”. This analysis goes back to the work of Swedish economist Knut Wicksell at the turn of the 20th century. The core idea is that if the rate of interest is too low, a boom driven by expanding credit and rising asset prices may ensue.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin overlapped with his cabinet colleague Richard Bruton in South Korea. Mr Howlin was attending a United Nations conference on public service reform and said the Koreans were very interested in what Ireland has achieved in the past three years in this area.

“Through necessity, as I told them. They are interested in the economic aspects of reform and how we can drive a change agenda and at the same time downsize,” Howlin said before the Irish-Korean Business Networking dinner in the Grand Hyatt in Seoul.

What Mr Howlin was most keen to learn more about was Korea’s expertise in the area of e-government. A UN report showed that Korea has topped the charts in terms of e-government, for the third time in a row.

A group of backbench Dublin Government TDs last night warned Ministers they would become “rebellious” if central funding for local authorities is diverted from councils in the capital towards rural areas.

Four Labour TDs for Dublin – Kevin Humphreys, Robert Dowds, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Brendan Ryan – tabled a Dáil motion on the issue, and said councils in urban areas must not be “ripped off”.

Mr Humphreys also said home values in Dublin were increasing, which would lead to higher rates of local property tax (LPT).

Central government grants to Dublin councils for housing and other areas face being cut and redirected elsewhere in the State because of the higher property tax return in the capital.

The Bewley’s Group has described today’s landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding its upward only rent clause as “immensely disappointing” saying it had only wanted to be treated fairly by its Grafton Street landlord Ickendel Ltd.

The company, which is controlled by developer Johnny Ronan, was successful in its appeal against a High Court decision last March that supported reducing the rate to reflect market conditions.

Bewley’s, which has been owned by the Campbell family since 1986, saw its rent liability increase to an “oppressive” €1.46 million in 2007.

Irish Examiner

Problems with how companies are recognising deferred tax assets as well as the quality of credit risk disclosures are among the issues highlighted by the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) in its annual report.

The IAASA regulates the nine accounting bodies in the State which between them have 32,641 members and 1,603 statutory audit firms.

As it stands, individual complaints over auditing standards are handled by the relevant accounting body.

The IAASA will review how these accounting bodies deal with these complaints.

The IAASA will directly examine financial reports of public companies to ensure that they comply with accounting standards.

These companies are selected on a rotational basis.

Even though the companies that have been reviewed are made public, the IAASA legally cannot disclose individual findings against companies.

However, this will change when the full measures of the Companies Act 2012 are introduced.

Over 2013, the IAASA completed 32 examinations of financial statements and raised 131 issues with these accounts.

Europe

Euro Topics: While the Iraqi army has launched a major offensive centred on the city of Tikrit to halt the advance of the Isil troops, the latter proclaimed an Islamic state on Sunday and appointed their leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi as caliph. The Sunni extremists are on the verge of irreversibly redrawing the borders in the Middle East, some commentators say, and warn that jihadism could spread to Europe.

Borders no longer apply in Middle East: The proclamation of the caliphate has made the current borders in the Middle East redundant, Iran-born author Kader Abdolah writes in the left-liberal Belgian daily De Morgen, and points to who has been waiting for just such a thing to happen in the region: "America, England and Europe will give this violent group time to extend the borders of its caliphate to Iran. It will take a few years, but then we will have a reorganisation of the Middle East. ... A caliphate is a rusty dagger that can be used to kill and draw new borders. Yet Isis is the signal of liberation for the Iraq's Sunnis. It is a synonym for happiness for the Kurds in Iraq who have been fighting for independence for decades. Isis's supporters are despicable but they have taken the lid off a stinking pan that has been simmering for a long time."

Caliphate madness could spread to Europe: Self-proclaimed caliph and Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will create a totalitarian state in Iraq, the right-wing Swiss conservative Basler Zeitung predicts, and warns of the consequences for Europe: "What the chroniclers of ancient Islam wrote seems worryingly current today. ... The Islamist state proclaimed by Baghdadi negates all the principles that define a modern state. The totalitarian Islam system, which knows no separation between state and religion, leads to the oppression of the citizens in a caliphate. ... The militia of the Islamist state are comparable with the hordes of long ago in terms of brutality and intolerance. Just as they did in the seventh century, they combat all other interpretations of Islam and fanatically insist on absolute adherence. The problem is not confined to the Middle East. The caliphate madness could spill over to Europe if Baghdadi isn't stopped before it's too late."

Why a Brexit would be good: In the debate over Jean-Claude Juncker's nomination as Commission president the real issue was whether the Eurozone can become emancipated within the EU, and therefore a Brexit would be good, argues columnist Wolfgang Münchau on German news portal Spiegel Online: "Like many Germans the British also underestimated the extent to which a monetary union demands political and economic integration. ... The Eurozone against the rest - this is now the decisive organising principle. It used to be right against left. Now that has changed. ... Without causing it, the diplomatic wrangling over Juncker has made it clear that Britain has become a peripheral state of the EU. Now the challenge is to give this new reality formal definition. For the Eurozone Britain's exit would have an advantage. It would help shape the next phase of political integration without having to take London into account. The politicisation of the Eurozone will advance, no matter what."

Europe capitulates to immigrant smugglers: Thirty dead bodies have been discovered in an overcrowded refugee boat off the coast of Sicily, the Italian coastguard service reported on Monday. This latest refugee tragedy is above all the result of the inaction of politicians, the left-liberal Italian daily La Repubblica comments: "We Europeans have given criminal gangs a monopoly on Mediterranean crossings. We are thus killing thousands of innocent people and helping new transnational mafia organisations get rich. We, who would be outraged to see animals crammed together like this on their way to the slaughterhouse, allow people to be driven onto boats with belt lashes. What the survivors abashedly refer to among themselves as a 'journey' few will want to remember can be described as the eye of the needle in today's world. Those who embark on this journey know what they risk. It means voluntarily entering a stowage space that can become a gas chamber after you have long since been robbed of everything else."


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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