The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 18 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 insurers are facing a new wave of legal actions over Covid payouts
  • The Sunday Independent reveals Dolphin Capital’s payments to brokers before it collapsed
  • The Sunday Times reports on a warning that BOI’s buyout of KBC will hurt consumers
  • The Financial Times reports that China’s economy has continued its strong recovery
  • The Wall Street Journal reports on more problems with Boeing’s 737 Max jet
“I think we need to do a better job for employees.” 
— Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, in a letter to shareholders.
“Insurers facing new round of legal action as more businesses sue over Covid” is the splash on this week’s Business Post. Peter O’Dwyer reports that insurers are facing a “fresh wave of litigation” over their refusal to payout on Covid-19 business interruption policies with hospitality firms plotting to bring new tests cases to the courts.
Also on the cover of this week’s paper is news of a major stimulus plan for Ireland’s beleaguered hospitality sector. In an interview with the paper, Taoiseach Mícheál Martin said the government was putting together a package aimed at keeping the 180,000 people working in hotels, pubs and restaurants in jobs.
A sector that doesn’t have to worry about job losses is the civil service, and in another front page story it’s reported that the country’s highest paid civil servants are actually in line for pay increases. Aiden Corkery reports that 18 secretaries general, who already earn in excess of €200,000 p.a., are in line to get rises of up to €38,000 as part of the restoration of cuts taken during the financial crash.
On page three, Rosanna Cooney and Aaron Rogan have an update on the case of Richard O’Halloran, the Irish businessman currently detained in China. They report that progress has been made on securing O’Halloran’s return to Ireland writing that a “legal and financial” solution is being worked on.
There’s lots of comment and analysis in this week’s business pages about the shock news that KBC is seeking to exit Ireland by selling up to Bank of Ireland. According to the Business Post’s analysis, negotiations between the two sides are “well advanced” and could be completed “within months.”
In brief
·   West Wood Club has invested more than €300,000 to create more outdoor exercise areas
·   Scooter rental company Dott has called for car parking spaces to be given over to e-scooters
·   Cork-based payment platform Trustap is seeking to raise up to €8m by the end of the year
·   Business software company Clearworld plans to hire up to 30 staff by the end of the year
·   An hourly train service between Dublin and Belfast could be running by 2024 said Translink
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Dolphin paid out millions to Irish investment brokers,” is the headline over the Sunday Independent’s top business story. Ferghal O’Connor reports that the firm made payments of up to €100,000 to “various well known brokers” in the year before it collapsed leaving 1,800 Irish investors out of pocket. O’Connor also reports that former director of the company, Cormac Smith, has begun two separate housing projects in Cork.
Another Cork property story also makes the front of this week’s business pages. Sean Pollack reports that semi-state company Bord na Mona is looking to sell a 4.5 acre site at Monahan Road in Cork which industry sources say could attract bids of up to €10m.
Returning to banking and finance, Samantha McCaughren reports that AIB’s corporate finance team will move over to Goodbody when the bank’s deal to buy the stockbroking firm closes. According to market sources cited in the piece, it will mean AIB Corporate Finance will cease to exist.
In brief
·   Sales of Irish protein bar Fulfil have hit more than 120m just five years after it was launched
·   Total Health Pharmacy and Haven Pharmacy have agreed to merge
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“€9bn KBC buyout will hurt consumers warns lending boss,” heads up the top business story in the Sunday Times. Niall Brady talks to Fergal McGrath, chief executive of non-bank lender Dilosk, who is calling for non-banks to play a much greater role in mortgage lending. “It is in the interest of the consumer that the mortgage market is not highly concentrated in one or two pillar banks,” he says.
Brian Carey reports that Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, the state-backed private equity company, has put Derry online education company Learning Pool up for sale. The company, which claims to have 5.5.m active learners, could have a likely price tag of €160m.
Conor McMahon writes that Tayto Park, the theme park in Ashbourne Co Meath, has lodged a planning application to build another rollercoaster. The theme park has sought approval for a 254m long 11.6m high “junior rollercoaster” to accompany is 32m high Cu Chulainn wooden rollercoaster.
In brief
·   Luxury footwear brand Kurt Geiger recorded €22.1m in Irish sales in the year to February 2020
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 > 
This week’s Wall Street Journal reports on Boeing’s announcement that its 737 Max jet has yet more problems causing dozens of the aircraft to be removed from service. Boeing said that it had uncovered an electrical problem with the jet that could affect how the backup power source operates.
The US economic recovery is accelerating according to another top story. US retail sales – a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online – jumped by 9.8% in March as businesses reopened and consumers began to spend again.
Finally, it was a good week for Wall Street’s biggest banks after they reported “blockbuster” results. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all reported record quarterly profits which the paper said are “the latest proof that in both good times and bad, Wall Street can still thrive.”
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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