The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 21 February 2021

April 9


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The 1% Podcast with Dr. David Coleman
How To Raise Happy & Successful Children
Many of us strive for our children to be a ‘’happy child’’. Clinical Psychologist and expert in child psychology, Dr David Coleman, recently explained to us, on The 1% Podcast, that what is healthier in the long term is to encourage an ‘’emotionally literate child’’ who can regulate their feelings effectively. He talks about how it is important for children to be able to experience and process negative emotions as well as positive ones, and the role of positive parenting plays in this. 
We can hear more about this, as well as building self-esteem and independence, dealing with bullying, and embracing mistakes during the full episode. This is a must listen for parents, future parents, individuals who work with children and anybody interested in the link between our life as children and our mental health in general.
  • The Business Post claims Covid-19 business support schemes will be extended until July
  • The Sunday Independent reports that a total of 13 Dublin pubs sold for €41m during 2020
  • The Sunday Times says Finance Ireland is circling Ulster Bank’s business banking book
  • The Financial Times says ride-sharing platform Uber has been hit by a landmark UK ruling
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is to raise the wages for 425,000 employees
“Given all that’s going on in the world, I don’t think putting me up on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”
— The ever-modest Dolly Parton politely turns down an offer of a statue of her to be erected in her home state of Tennessee.
“Business support schemes will be extended to July in new Covid plan,” is the cover splash on this week’s Business Post. According to the scoop, the wage subsidy scheme, the pandemic unemployment payment and the grant scheme for shut-down businesses will all be extended until the end of June.
Also on the front page, it’s reported that PTSB may need a €500m cash injection from the taxpayer if it is to take on the small business loans and mortgages from Ulster Bank which said it was leaving Ireland. As Ian Guider’s piece explains, the government is the largest shareholder in PTSB, owning 74% of the bank with an outside investment to fund the deal seen is “unlikely”.
There’s more on the plight of Irish businessman, Richard O’Halloran, who has been barred from leaving China since February 2019 over a legal dispute. Rosanna Cooney and Aaron Rogan report on the diplomatic efforts to help the so-called “economic hostage” with the news that Micheal Martin has written to Chinese premier Li Keqiang and appealed for him to review the case “on compassionate grounds”. Martin’s intervention comes after both President Michael D. Higgins and foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney also called for the case to be reviewed on humanitarian grounds. There is a full-page interview with O’Halloran on page 20 of the paper.
There is a rare picture of packaging tycoon Michael Smurfit heading up a story on page three. Roisin Burke reports on a speech Smurfit gave to the Smurfit Graduate Business School in which he said risk-taking was essential to business success. “There is no such thing as success without risk,” Smurfit said. “It doesn’t exist. I gambled the business two or three times.”
If they ever reopen, pubs and nightclubs could be allowed to serve customers for longer. That’s according to a report by Michael Brennan who writes that Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee  is drawing up a new law to allow pub opening hours to be extended post-Covid-19. McEntee is also exploring the creation of a new licence to serve alcohol in venues such as sporting arenas, trains, racecourses, theatres and art galleries in a bid to encourage more of them to run events at night. 
Turning to page nine and legal affairs correspondent Rosanna Cooney has an interesting story about a “landmark ruling” by the Court of Appeal which she says makes it easier for businesses to fire poorly performing employees. Described as “one of the most important employment law decisions in Ireland in years” the judgment restricts the circumstances under which an employee can sue over dismissal during their probation. “The employer is free to terminate for no reason, or simply because they don’t think it’s working out, as indeed the employee themselves can,” says Ronnie Neville, employee partner with law firm Mason Hayes & Curran.
Staying with employment matters, on the same page Aaron Rogan reports that Facebook has defended the working conditions of its content moderators. It comes after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar wrote to the company about concerns raised by workers that they were being psychologically traumatised by the jobs. In its response, Facebook said it had a dedicated team of clinical and counselling psychologists to support its moderators adding adding that they also had paid health insurance.
In brief
·       The UK should be on the government’s “red list” of countries, says epidemiologist Dr. Gabriel Scally
·       Kerry Group reported €797m in profits on €7bn of revenues in 2020, writes Ian Guider
·       Irish start-up Grandpal, an app that targets the elderly, is to raise €1m in seed capital
·       RTE has called for a “digital tax” on social media platforms to help fund journalism in Ireland
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Dublin pub market holds firm as private equity drives sales,” is the headline over this week’s top business story. Ferghal O’Connor reports that despite Covid-19, a total of thirteen Dublin pubs sold for a total of over €41m in 2020 compared to 16 transactions in 2019 totalling €57m. The figures were contained in the 2020 Linsey/Morrisey’s Licensed Premises report which said that private equity firms were driving the sales. However it was a different story for pubs outside Dublin, with no notable sales recorded in the cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny.
Also on the front of the business pages, Sean Pollack reports that there is a “scramble” to win business from soon-to-leave Ulster Bank. Pollack writes that although AIB and PTSB are in negotiations for some of Ulster Bank’s loan book, other operators, such as Avant Money and digital bank Revolut will also be hoping to hoover up some of Ulster’s ex-customers.
Ireland is now the fastest-growing data centre market in Europe, according to another top story. Ferghal O’Connor reports on the “Data Centre Developments in Europe” report which found that Ireland’s data centre market was expanding at the fastest pace, with a growth rate of 121%.
In brief
·   Stock trading app Freetrade is planning to launch its platform in Ireland
·   Australian analytics software company CIM is to add a further 85 people to its team in Ireland
·   US shipping software giant expects to expand its footprint into Ireland this year
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
“Finance Ireland in bid to buy leasing arm of Ulster Bank,” is the headline over this week’s top business story. Niall Brady reports that non-bank lender Finance Ireland is circling Ulster Bank’s business banking book in a move he says will trigger a bidding war with state-controlled PTSB.
In another top story, Brian Carey reports that Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Paddy Power Betfair, is to ban credit card betting in Ireland from the beginning of April. Carey writes that the move, which has already been made in the UK, comes before the government establishes a gambling regulator.
In an interesting move, it’s reported that former Bank of England governor, Mark Carney has joined the board of digital payments giant Stripe. Stripe was founded by Irish bothers Patrick and John Collison in 2010 and is mooted to be worth a staggering $100bn.
In brief
·       Center Parcs resort in Longford recorded sales of €33.6m during its first year of operation
·       Liberty Global, owner of Virgin Media, is finalising a review of its long-term strategy in Ireland
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 > 
Walmart has promised to raise the wages of 425,000 of its employees according to this week’s Wall Street Journal. The retail giant, which posted strong holiday sales, said it would increase average pay for its US workers to above $15 an hour, up from an average of $14 an hour in January 2020.
North Korea look like it is up to no good again after it was accused of hacking banks and companies in more than a dozen countries as part of scheme to steal $1.3bn over the past five years. The US Justice Department said North Korea was increasingly focusing its criminal activity on the world of cryptocurrencies and have recently built a host of malicious cryptocurrency apps.
And finally, in what may may explain North Korea’s interest in crypto theft, last week saw Bitcoin trade above $50,000 a coin for the first time in its history. Bitcoin hit a record high of $50,584.85 earlier in the week before falling back below the $50,000 level. 
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 & stay safe. 
Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists 
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