Europe

The French fiscal administration has launched an in-depth probe into the wealth of former Renault-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, French daily Liberation reported on Sunday, citing sources. Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, is facing financial misconduct charges, which he denies.

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Some €875 million – or 7.3 per cent – of all performing loans to small and medium businesses have a “high vulnerability” suggesting their ability to repay in the event of a downturn would be threatened, according to Central Bank research, the Irish Times reported. The research, conducted across three banks in the Republic (AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster), found that there is more than €12 billion in outstanding loans to SMEs.

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Italy risks further infuriating European Union finance chiefs after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was in favour of a broad reform that would cut taxes, Express.co.uk reported. As the two sides brace to collide yet again, Mr Conte said he agree with deputy prime minister and far-right leader Matteo Salvini, who is calling for significant tax cuts. Mr Salvini has threatened to bring down the Italian government should his proposals not be met.

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The chairman of the largest Irish estate agency has said it is time to “shout stop” about the Central Bank’s mortgage lending restrictions and has called on the regulator to relax its rules to release “the genius of capitalism”, the Irish Times reported. Mark FitzGerald, the chairman of Sherry FitzGerald, said the Central Bank’s macroprudential rules, which cap new mortgages according to loan-to-value and loan-to-income limits, are “too binding”.

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Five more people have been arrested in the investigation into the collapse of British cafe chain Patisserie Valerie after accounting irregularities were discovered last year, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Sunday, the Irish Times reported. The new arrests bring the total detained to six. Patisserie Holdings’ former finance director Chris Marsh, who had helped grow the company from eight stores to more than 200, was arrested and released on bail over the scandal last year. Police did not name those arrested this month.

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Earlier this month, following the collapse of merger talks with Commerzbank in April, Deutsche Bank’s share price hit the lowest point of its 149-year history. Fitch, a credit-rating agency, cut the bank’s rating to two notches above junk. In May Christian Sewing, its chief executive, promised “tough cutbacks” in the ailing investment-banking business, with plans to be laid out alongside half-year results on July 24th. But on June 16th a leak in the Financial Times revealed the outlines. The cuts (which Deutsche has not confirmed) go well beyond its investment-banking arm.

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Pressures are clearly building for a once-in-a-decade blitz in the stock market by the end of next year. Though the market has experienced some choppiness lately, last year’s turmoil is generally viewed more as a fleeting nightmare than as a cautionary tale, the Financial Times reported in a commentary. Nonetheless, investors should pay heed as the sell-off exposed some alarming fragilities. In essence, the market has flashed a sneak preview of its true crash potential.

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A multi-million euro aid package has been agreed to support Irish beef farmers who have been hit by market uncertainty because of Brexit . EU member states on Thursday voted in favour of a proposal from the European Commission to make €50 million available to farmers, which can be matched by national funds to take the total to €100 million. The move comes as State authorities estimate that farmers have lost over €100 million over the last 12 months due to a drop in prices, with margins in the beef and veal sector having fallen by between 11 to 19 per cent.

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Over €39.82 million remains unpaid to the Revenue Commissioners in taxes, penalties and interest from tax defaulters who were named last year and in 2017, the Irish Times reported. Figures provided by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe show that €15.5 million remains unpaid by published tax defaulters in tax, penalties and interest from 2018. In a written Dáil reply to Joan Burton TD, Mr Donohoe confirmed that a further €24.2 million remains unpaid in taxes, penalties and interest from the 2017 lists of published tax defaulters.

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