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News : International Last Updated: Jul 11, 2014 - 4:53 PM


Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 11, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 11, 2014 - 11:41 AM

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Irish Independent

UTILITIES firm NTR has reported a profit of €31.4m for the financial year 2014, its first such year since 2008.

It reported a loss of €16.2m the previous year and the return to profitability was a result of a combination of strategies including cost reduction and cash generation..

Profit before non-recurring items and foreign exchange impacts was €7.9m while non-recurring items amounted to €30m.

EBITDA grew by 138pc year on year to €45.8m as a result of a full year of operations of the 201MW Post Rock wind farm and a strong operational performance by both the Group’s wind and water treatment assets, together with the removal of €8m in central overheads. Revenues grew to €45.6m in the same period, an increase of 29pc.

Last week's slew of data on the state of the economy contained many nuggets. Among them was the sheer scale of Ireland's services exports, the value of which last year exceeded the value of manufactured goods exports for the first time.

Dan O'Brien says: In this regard Ireland is unique. While most countries have seen their services exports increase, reflecting the rise and rise of services provision in economic activity, in no other sizeable economy are they in excess of 50pc of GDP, as is the case in Ireland.

It is impossible to say how much further this trend will go, but the possibilities appear endless given that the rise to dominance of services is a very long-term trend.

While this trend has spared many of us from the back-breaking work our forefathers did on farms and in factories, there are growing concerns about it. If services jobs disappear, just as jobs in agriculture and manufacturing in the past, what will replace them?

Finfacts: Irish Economy: Ireland's ephemeral services export boom

Irish Times

Opposition TDs have condemned as farcical and a joke the guillotining of debate on a Bill that contains potential liabilities of €4 billion in State guarantees.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill establishes a “bank” to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with capital funding, which will be provided by the German state’s promotional bank KfW, the European Investment Bank and the National Pension Reserve Fund.

The Bill, which passed all stages yesterday, was criticised by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, who said the Government was leaving the credit decisions about SMEs in the hands of the banks, which had “starved the economy of the essential new lending it requires”.

Women accounted for seven out of 10 public liability insurance claims last year, according to new figures released by the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board is the independent statutory body which awards personal injury compensation after motor, workplace and public liability accidents. It is self-funded predominantly through fees charged to those who are responsible for such injuries.

In previous years, women have accounted for a far higher proportion of awards made than men. This trend continued last year with women accounting for 71.4% of total awards made, as opposed to 28.6% for men.

Slips, trips and falls were the most common accident type, accounting for 67% of total awards. They included accidents on wet floors/surfaces, uneven/broken pavements, drains and manholes. The resulting injuries included fractures, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and lacerations. They resulted in awards of under €38,000.

Miriam Lord: A real crisis has finally hit: how to get a country star on to centre stage; Meanwhile, the ship of State drifts along on the tides, lights ablaze and with loud country music blaring from somewhere inside.

Is there anyone at the helm?

Who will keep us away from the rocks?

Never mind that.

There’s a reshuffle going on and Government jobs to be handed out and a cowboy in Nashville pronouncing on the state of Irish planning laws.

Any thoughts Garth on the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill?

Former property dealmaker Derek Quinlan, one of the most swashbuckling players of the boom-time Irish economy, has said that he doesn’t see himself ever returning to live in Ireland.

In an interview with US magazine Vanity Fair about the long-running shareholder battle for the five-star London hotels Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley, Mr Quinlan said: “I don’t see myself living there again.”

The former wealth manager, who is working to reduce his vast debts after the Irish property crash and banking crisis, moved to Switzerland for personal and tax reasons in 2009 and later to London.

Irish Examiner

Enterprise Ireland has warned about the divergence in size of Irish companies and feels that domestic firms still need to become more competitive.

Despite its newly published 2013 annual report showing a very strong performance from its client companies, Enterprise Ireland said yesterday that competitiveness, leadership and lack of scale remain challenges for Irish enterprises.

Speaking at the publication of the report, chief executive, Julie Sinnamon said: “We have a small number of large companies in Ireland and a large number of small companies. We need more mid-sized firms. Lack of scale remains a big challenge for Irish enterprise. Our companies need to grow in scale both in Ireland and in international markets.”

Europe

Euro Topics: After indications of a further case of US espionage on its territory, the German government asked the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country on Thursday. The US can't expect eternal gratitude and must understand the Germans' anger, some commentators write. Others see the move as a diplomatic affront and evidence of a new German anti-Americanism.

Doubts about shared values: Germany and the US are on the brink of a war of diplomacy that could expose how bad relations are between the two countries, the conservative German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: "The West's enemies are the only ones who will be delighted over a spat between Germany and the US. Because it means quarrelling and paralysis between two close allies who - despite all the differences of opinion and mentality - share similar or even identical goals and interests in many areas. And who always claim that their alliance, their 'friendship', is based on a stable foundation of shared values and beliefs. But doubts about that are growing on both sides of the Atlantic, and that is the real explosive factor in this affair."

Malta betrays Europe with China deal: The governments of Malta and China on Wednesday concluded an agreement on intense economic cooperation. Malta is becoming a servant of Chinese interests in Europe and betraying its EU partners, columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia criticises in the liberal-conservative daily The Malta Independent: "The Labour Party and its people in government do not have any sense of belonging to the European Union, no sense of possession, loyalty or being part of a bloc that pulls together in mutual interest against the real 'barranin' like China who threaten Europe's interests. Instead, Joseph Muscat and his men see the European Union as something Malta can use and take advantage of, to the point of siding with an outsider and working to further that outsider's interests even if this might go against the interests of the European bloc."

Low interest on savings spurs buying in France: The French government announced on Thursday that it would lower the interest rate on the widely used, state sponsored Livret A savings account as of August 1 from 1.25 to one percent. That will do the economy good, the Catholic daily La Croix predicts: "We want economic growth to revive, cheap loans and more housing to be built. But we're annoyed when the interest rates on our savings drop. That's why fixing the interest rate on the state-sponsored Livret A savings account is a delicate matter for any government. The Livret A is the symbol of saving by the average Joe, and there are almost as many of these accounts as there are people in France. So the cut is also a psychological signal meant to encourage the French to consume more, or to invest their money instead of hoarding it. They are known to have a high level of savings, which is associated with fear of the future. ... Let's hope that the message will be widely understood. Especially by the wealthy."


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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