Weekend Business Papers

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Business Papers – The Main Talking Points

·   The Business Post leads with news on Paschal Donohoe rumoured move to the IMF

·   The Sunday Independent says an Irish briquette firm is in talks to power to data centres

·   The Sunday Times says property firm Kennedy Wilson is mulling a sale of the Shelbourne Hotel

·   The Financial Times says X is trying to attract small and medium-sized business advertisers

·   The Wall Street Journal says stocks enjoyed their best month in more than a year

“One of music’s greatest lyricists.”

— President Michael D. Higgins on Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, who died last week

Business Post

“Taoiseach scrambles to quell talk of Donohoe move to IMF” is the cover splash on this week’s Business Post. With rumours swirling that Paschal Donohoe is in talks to take the top job at the International Monetary Fund, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has come out and insisted Donohoe is staying put. “He wants to stay as president of the Eurogroup and TD for Dublin Central,” said Varadkar. However, an unnamed Fine Gael minister quoted in the story said it would be “irresponsible” for Donohoe to rule himself out of the IMF job “given its prestige and the status it would bestow on the country”.
“Fears multinational downturn would spark Irish ‘brain drain’” headlines this week’s other cover story. Daniel Murray reports on a government report warning that a significant downturn in Ireland’s multinational sector could spark a brain drain among the most highly educated young workers. It comes after last week’s revelation that the Irish economy has slipped into a technical recession.
Developer Johnny’s Ronan’s 23-storey tower on Dublin’s Tara Street is in jeopardy, according to a story on page three. Killian Woods and Catherine Sanz report that accounts published by Ronan Group Real Estate said there is “material uncertainty” over the group’s ability to progress with the project. According to the story, the development agreement with CIE for the tower has lapsed and will need to be extended.
In brief
·   Turnover reached €99m at Bewley’s last year with after-tax profits of €778,000
·   Food inflation will tumble next year, says John Paul Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland
·   BeyondBMI, which is developing a digital obesity clinic, has raised €1m in seed funding
The Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here.

The Sunday Independent

“Briquette firm in talks to supply data centres’ power” headlines the top business story in the Sunday Independent. It’s reported that Shamrock Renewable Products, which produces carbon-neutral fireplace briquettes, is in talks with data centre operators about selling power from a €125m willow-burning power station it intends to build in Co Meath.
Also on this week’s business pages cover is a picture of Conor McGregor alongside the headline “UFC fighter McGregor eyes heavyweight Guinness in stout war”. According to a report on the inside pages, McGregor’s stout brand, Forged Stout, is set to double its headcount over the next 12-18 months from the current level of around 60.
This week’s paper also contains the results of the first opinion poll since last month’s Dublin riots, and it makes for bad reading for Sinn Fein. The party is down to 28% support in the poll with Fine Gael on 21% and Fianna Fail on 19%.
In brief
·   83% of Irish workers over 40 are considering retraining due to AI, says US tech firm ServiceNow
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here.

The Sunday Times

“Kennedy Wilson weighs up €260m sale of Shelbourne” headlines the top business story in the Sunday Times. Linda Daly reports that the US property fund Kennedy Wilson has appointed is seeking buyers for a 50% share in the hotel. However, she also says sources claim Kennedy will consider selling the entire property. The US firm bought the landmark Dublin hotel nine years ago for €138m.

“Revenue deal for pandemic debtors” headlines another of this week’s top stories. Jon Ihle reports that Revenue is offering to “slash” minimum down payments on warehoused COVID taxes for businesses that set up phased payment arrangements.
It’s bonus season, and stockbroker Davy is “facing a dilemma” on how to make its staff bonus payments this year. It’s reported that the firm is in a quandary over whether to spread the bonus pool across the entire workforce of 900 or to give the lion’s share of the cash to staff in its market-leading private clients division.

In brief
·   Sales at the Irish arm of TK Maxx rose 20% to €240.3m in the year to last January
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here.

The Financial Times

“X shifts ads strategy after Musk out­burst over alleged black­mail” is the top company headline in the Financial Times. The top headline in the Financial Times reports that X is taking steps to appeal to smaller and medium-sized businesses to strengthen its advertising division, which has faced challenges. This move comes in response to Elon Musk’s criticism of the major brands that have chosen to boycott the platform, urging them to reconsider their stance.
Barclays is explor­ing a plan to drop thou­sands of cli­ents at its invest­ment bank as part of a stra­tegic over­haul to boost profits and cut £1bn of costs. It’s reported that the company is under pres­sure to reduce its reli­ance on invest­ment bank­ing and return more capital to investors.
There was good news for infla­tion in the euro­zone, which fell far more than expected in Novem­ber. Eurozone inflation was 2.4% for the month, the slow­est annual pace since July 2021. The news relieves con­sumers and has fuelled hopes that interest rates could soon be cut.
The FT is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here.

The Wall Street Journal

“Stocks log the best month since ‘22” headlines the top story in the Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that the “Santa rally” has come early, with all three major US stock indexes ending November at least 8% higher.
Tesla revealed the pri­cing for the cheapest model of its new futuristic-looking “Cyber­truck”, which is finally hitting the market. Prices for the entry-level vehicle would start at $60,990, with the company saying it had received more than 1m pre-orders.
The WSJ is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here.

Shay Dalton 

All views are strictly my own brief interpretation of the articles in the various publications and are not intended to be comprehensive. Please feel free to forward to friends or colleagues and get in touch if you wish to add contacts to the mailing list.