Ireland

An Garda Síochána are investigating a series of loans raised on peer-to-peer lending websites last year after a Co Kerry company closed its doors without repaying its six-figure debts, The Irish Times reported. The company, Premier Irish Golf Tours, raised several hundred thousand euro on crowdfunding websites last summer. The websites connect individual lenders with businesses that want to raise money. Correspondence sent to the lenders on one of the sites, Linked Finance, shows that the Garda are investigating the company after a complaint by the website.

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China’s surprisingly weak trade data brought a four-day rally in European shares to a halt on Monday, with luxury goods and technology stocks leading the drop as investors fretted about slowing global growth and weaker-than-expected earnings, The Irish Times reported. Trading volumes fell below average on the Irish market on Monday with the Iseq overall index dipping 0.54 per cent. The smaller Iseq 20 index was led lower by Swiss-Irish baking group Aryzta which dropped 8.4 per cent to €1.05. Traders noted the stock has been quite volatile of late, moving between 95c and €1.15.

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The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to a group of companies that provides 70 online education courses to more than 4.5 million students globally, The Irish Times reported. Shaw Academy Ltd, and two related firms – Shaw Education Group plc and Academy of Financial Trading Education Ltd – sought the protection of the courts after its largest creditor made demands last week on the group to repay loans of €5.7 million.

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Efforts to boost take up for examinerships appear to have failed, with insolvent Irish firms shying away from the process despite the chance it offers them to continue trading, Independent.ie reported. Just 3pc of insolvencies were examinerships in 2018, the same figure as in 2017, according to figures compiled by Deloitte. Deloitte said the level of examinerships was unexpectedly low. Examinership gives an insolvent firm a 100-day grace period from its creditors, within which time it can seek to come up with a scheme for survival.

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The Republic is set to test the market for the first time since the European Central Bank (ECB) ended its €2.6 trillion stimulus programme last month, The Irish Times reported. Market sources said that the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) plans to raise about €3 billion through the sale of 10-year bonds as early as Wednesday. The NTMA said on Tuesday that it had hired brokers at BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davy, NatWest Markets and Societé General to manage a benchmark bond sale, without given financial details.

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The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is set to press ahead with plans to allow credit unions to hike up the cost of the loans they offer their customers, in spite of opposition from some Government ministers, The Irish Times reported. Credit unions are currently limited to charging customers an interest rate of 1 per cent a month on their personal loan, thus ensuring access to loans at a reasonable rate for customers of credit unions.

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The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) expects to return a surplus of €3.5 billion to the exchequer by the time it completes its work in 2020 or 2021, The Irish Times reported. An update from the agency on Thursday shows it has generated €44 billion from its operations since it was established in 2009, largely from asset and loan sales as well as rental receipts from properties controlled by debtors and receivers. Some €3.3 billion in cash was generated last year, according to Nama. Its remaining portfolio of assets had a carrying value of €2.3 billion at the end of last year.

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Ireland is likely to issue an increasing number of authorisations for financial groups seeking to move operations to Dublin from London ahead of Britain’s March 29 departure from the EU, as worries grow about a no-deal Brexit, the Financial Times reported. Dublin wants to become a hub for previously UK-based institutions to service EU clients and the shift by financial services companies has been accompanied by similar moves by groups in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and the law.

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Perrigo rebounded yesterday as the deadline to appeal a $1.86 billion Irish tax bill approached. News of that bill sent Perrigo stock tumbling nearly 30 percent last week, Investor's Business Daily reported. On the stock market today, Perrigo stock jumped 11.5 percent to 40.70 in higher-than-average volume. The pharmaceutical company has until Friday to appeal the tax bill.
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For the past 20 years, the border has existed on paper alone: Britain and the Republic of Ireland are both members of the European Union and its common marketplace. So people, goods and livestock can come and go as they please, traversing the mostly invisible line without tariffs or bureaucratic hindrance. But Britain’s looming exit from the European bloc, known widely as Brexit, threatens to make the old border real again — a factor that has long collided with any prospect of a smooth divorce, according to a New York Times analysis.

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