The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 11 April 2021

April 26


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The 1% Podcast
We pulled together a short recap episode for you this week, featuring some clips from some of the best moments in the podcast’s seventh season, where I spoke to
  • Gary Keegan
  • Dan Hill, PhD
  • Dr David Coleman
  • Pat Byrne and
  • Patrick McKeown
  • The Business Post says FBD wants to deduct the cost of pandemic supports from insurance payouts
  • The Sunday Independent reports on plans for a €3bn wind farm off the coast of Bray
  • The Sunday Times says company owners are personally liable for warehoused PAYE bills
  • The Financial Times says French wine harvests will be cut by up to 90% due to severe frosts
  • The WSJ reports that GM is halting production at some of its US plants due to the chip shortage
 “I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human.”
—Grand National Jockey, Rachael Blackmore
“FBD seeks to deduct value of pandemic state supports from payouts,” is the headline over this week’s top story. Peter O’Dwyer and Lorcan Allan report that FBD is seeking to deduct the value of wage support schemes and other government assistance programmes from any payouts made to business owners. The news comes following a High Court ruling earlier in the year which found FBD was liable to make payouts to more than 1,000 business owners for losses related to Covid-19.
Could the use of rapid antigen tests offer businesses a safe way out of the current coronavirus lockdown? Daniel Murray reports that the government is to begin piloting the use of the tests in third-level colleges ahead of a potential wider deployment. Meanwhile, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Employment Leo Varadkar has said that businesses should consider using the tests as part of their reopening efforts in the coming months.
Turning to page two and it’s reported that employees in the Irish arm of cryptocurrency firm Coinbase, which is due to go public on the Nasdaq next week, could be sitting on $45m worth of share options based on a recent valuation of the company’s shares. It’s not clear exactly how many employees will benefit from the options.
There are a couple of good news stories on the jobs front on page nine. Firstly, Emmet Ryan reports that CurrencyFair plans to treble the number of people it employs over the next three years from 150 to 450 staff. Separately, Ryan also reports that ServiceNow, the US software business which last week announced 300 new jobs for Dublin, could create a further 200 roles in the capital by 2023.
In brief
·   Davy has been paid €14.2m by the NTMA for bond trading services since 2014
·   Bank of Ireland is changing its ID document policy so asylum seekers can open bank accounts
·   Circle of Light, a fibre-based drinks producer, has a pipeline of 20 products in development
·   US investment firm The Capital Group has increased its stake in Kingspan from 4.14% to 5.32%
·   Irish-founded supply chain company LansilGlobal plans to open a base in Europe
·   43% of Ireland’s electricity consumption came from renewable sources last year
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Plans are advancing for a €3bn wind farm off the coast of Bray Head according to the top business story in this week’s Sunday Independent. The paper reports that Ocean Winds has applied for a licence to build the huge energy project which it hopes to complete by 2030.
Also on the front of the business pages it’s reported that the IDA has received planning permission to construct a 3,500 square metre industrial facility at the IDA Business & Technology Park in Raheen, Limerick. A similar building is planned for Waterford with the aim of attracting foreign investment.
Turning to the inside pages and Ferghal O’Connor reports on new survey by Dublin City University which finds that organisations are struggling to keep pace with the new skills needed in their workforces. Less than a third of firms surveyed said they were confident in their ability to meet their future skill needs.
In brief
·   BT Arnotts is to take pitches from Irish start-ups and brands who want to retail at its store
·   US payments firm Boku has obtained a payments licence from the Central Bank of Ireland
·   Conroy Gold and Natural Resources has found promising signs of zinc at its prospect in Armagh
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Company owners personally liable for warehoused PAYE” is the business splash in this week’s Sunday Times. Niall Brady writes that thousands of family businesses are facing a “tax shock” after Revenue confirmed that the owners are personally liable for PAYE bills that were “warehoused” during the pandemic.
Also this week it’s reported that education group Folens is closing in on a deal to buy out Hibernia College, an online provider of primary and post-primary teacher training. The paper says the deal represents a further expansion of Folens into online learning.
Some property stories and Spencer Place Residential, a built-to-rent development being constructed by developer Johnny Ronan and Colony Capital, has been put on the market with a €220m price tag. Separately, it’s reported that US property group Hines is planning to build 1,600 apartment scheme beside Croke Park
In brief
·   Loyola Group is to bring Fight Club Darts, a fast-growing entertainment concept, to Ireland
·   Graham Byrne, former MD of Cardinal Capital, has taken over as CEO of P2P lender Flender
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
The FT is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here > 
Car manufacturer General Motors is to halt production at some of its US plants due to the current supply crunch in microchips according to this week’s WSJ. The paper reports that the car maker intends to curtail production at its Tennessee and Michigan plants.
Netflix has struck a multi-year deal with Sony Pictures for streaming rights for its theatrical movies according to another top story. Under the terms of the deal, Netflix will get first dibs on streaming movies Sony is making.
Finally, China has slapped a massive $2.8bn fine on tech giant Alibaba for abusing its dominant position over rivals and merchants on its ecommerce platform. The record fine comes amid a wave of government scrutiny of the tech industry. Reacting to the fine, Alibaba said: “Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination”.
The WSJ is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here > 
All views are strictly my own brief interpretation of the articles in the various publications and 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.
Have a good week,
Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists 
T: +353 1 661 0444
M: 086-8562176
A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2
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