Are Irish Business Leaders Still Cutting Costs?

The majority of senior business leaders in Ireland are swapping their scalpels for bar graphs, as they move away from cost-cutting in favour of promoting future growth, according to a new survey of Irish firms.

The annual IndEx Partners survey of senior business leaders, entitled ‘Changing Times Leadership Survey’, queried over 200 companies in Ireland about leadership trends and found that more than six in ten business leaders are favouring …

‘No firms hit by tax clampdown’

Not a single company has contacted the tax authorities to say they have been affected by changes announced in the budget as part of Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s clampdown on international tax avoidance.

In October’s budget, Mr Noonan included a measure that required any company incorporated in Ireland to be tax resident either in this country or another jurisdiction.

Multinationals had been exploiting a loophole in the Irish tax system …

NAMA set to sell-off property loans worth over €300m as demand rises

THE country’s bad bank – the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) – is set to sell-off property loans worth over €300m as demand rises.

The asset sale known as Project Spring and linked to developer Gerry Conlan, will be sold at a discount, news agency Bloomberg has reported.

In February, the bank said it would sell property portfolios worth €250m or more every quarter of this year.

These assets include …

Microsoft’s boss may unveil Office for iPad on March 27

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Satya Nadella may unveil an iPad version of the company’s Office software suite on March 27, a source familiar with the event told Reuters, and use his first big press appearance to launch the company’s most profitable product in a version compatible with Apple Inc’s popular tablet.

Nadella, who replaced longtime CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, will address the media and industry executives in San …

Bank of Ireland first to allow yuan transactions

Bank of Ireland has become the first Irish bank to allow business customers make payments in Chinese yuan.

Until now, Irish companies have been unable to receive or make payments in this currency. The facility will allow Irish companies to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, the bank said. Irish exports to China have risen by over two-fifths in recent years – from €251m in 2010 to €354m in 2012. This …

German court confirms legality of euro zone bailout scheme

Germany’s Constitutional Court confirmed on Tuesday the legality of the euro zone’s bailout fund, upholding a preliminary ruling from the height of the debt crisis in 2012 that gave an initial green light to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The court in Karlsruhe reiterated that the €700bn fund did not violate the rights of the Bundestag to decide on budgetary matters as long as the lower house of parliament had …

Deflation ‘ogre’ threatens to derail Europe’s fragile recovery

ARE we facing a deflation crisis?

That’s the big question plaguing Europe’s smartest economists today.

The news that Irish consumer prices have swung into their first annual fall since 2010 is just the tip of the iceberg in a problem that threatens to derail Europe’s recovery and hurt retailers from Dublin to Dusseldorf.

IMF boss Christine Lagarde describes deflation, categorised as a general decline in prices, as nothing less than …

Borrowing costs fall again after first bond auction in four years

THE cost of borrowing fell to a record low yesterday as the National Treasury Management Agency auctioned off government bonds for the first time since 2010.

The NTMA has resumed regular bond auctions partly to prove its return to business as usual. Debt auctions are considered the ultimate indicator of how safe a sovereign’s market access is, as they rely on steady interest from a large pool of investors.

In …

RBS looking at merger options for Ulster Bank

UK state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland has commissioned investment bank Morgan Stanley to advise it on potential merger opportunities for its Irish unit, Ulster Bank, the business’s chief executive was quoted as saying today.

Ulster Bank, which is the biggest bank in Northern Ireland and the third largest in the Republic of Ireland, has racked up losses of £2.5bn over the past two years.

It accounts for less than 4pc …

Government raises €1bn in post-bailout bond auction

THE Government has successfully raised €1bn in a post-bailout bond auction. The yield on the 10-year bond was 2.967pc while the bid to cover ratio was 2.9 times with total bids of €2.8bn.

“The completion of today’s auction marks Ireland’s full return to the markets for the first time since September 2010 and brings to a successful conclusion the NTMA’s programme for a phased return to the markets carried out …