The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 24 May 2020

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THE 1% PODCAST – Highlights Season 4
That’s a wrap! Season 4 of the One Percent Podcast is now in all podcast stores.
We pulled together a recap episode for you this week, featuring short clips from some of the great moments in the podcast’s fourth season. We were fortunate to have incredible leaders from across industries, disciplines, and fields share their stories and perspectives this season – and we wanted to share them with you as we wrap up Season 4 and look ahead to the fifth season.



  • The Business Post says insurers accept that some businesses have a case for Covid payouts
  • The Sunday Independent reports a third of brokers say home buyers’ deposits are at risk
  • The Sunday Times says the Covid-19 wage subsidy will be cut for workers on less than €350pw
  • The Financial Times claims that the Covid-19 pandemic has set the cost of buying a pet soaring
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that China has scrapped its annual GDP target for the first time



“Just what I need is a lawyer in the family.”

– US President Donald Trump congratulates his daughter Tiffany on graduating from law school.






“Insurers accepted some businesses had a ‘strong case’ in private meeting” is the headline on one this week’s top stories. The paper reports that industry group Insurance Ireland accepted in a private meeting, with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, that some businesses had a “strong case” for their Covid-19 claims to be paid out under business interruption policies. The paper also reports that Donohue and his officials described FBD’s position on business interruption insurance as “questionable”.

In another front page story it has emerged that RTE made a €12m bid for a stake in the embattled digital publisher Maximum Media. Aaron Rogan reports that the national broadcaster made an offer of €10m – €12m for a 49% stake in Maximum in 2018. The offer was made before the company’s financial woes were revealed and luckily for RTE, it was not accepted.

Staying with Maximum Media and there is a two-page spread on the inside pages looking at the rise and fall of the company. Aaron Rogan writes that in the last fortnight founder Maximum’s founder Niall McGarry has lost control of the company as it prepares to enter examinership. Meanwhile, Ian Guider rubs salt into the wound writing: “There has been no shortage of suitors for Maximum Media over the years, and McGarry will rue the lost opportunities to cash in on his creation.”

On page three of the paper is the familiar face of controversial Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. Under the headline “Ryanair customers due €1bn in refunds” Peter Dwyer reports that the airline is on the hook to return up to €1bn to customers after their flights were cancelled due to Covid-19. It comes as Ryanair plans to resume 40% of its flights from July 1.

On the same page Michael Brennan reports that the government is extending the redundancy payment break for companies in a bid to avoid them being forced out of business due to Covid-19. The length of the extension is not known, but according to the piece it could be stretched out for at least two months.

Irish exports of microchips to China tripled last year to €5.4bn, according to a report by Daniel Murray on page six. However, there are fears the business could be in jeopardy after Donald Trump announced a ban on the sale of microchips made by US firms to Chinese tech giant Huawei, regardless of where they are made.

In Brief

  • Artemis Investment has upped its stake in drinks group C&C to more than 12%
  • Hedge fund Abbey Capital paid out more than €16m in dividends last year
  • Food group Greencore can borrow up to £300m from a UK government Covid-19 fund
  • The state-backed Valley Healthcare Fund has secured a €110m debt facility
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“One in three brokers warn Covid is putting buyer deposits at risk” is the headline on the top business story in this week’s Sunday Independent. Samantha McCaughren reports on a survey by Brokers Ireland that a third of Irish mortgage brokers are aware of cases where mortgage applicants who have signed contracts to buy a new home are at risk of losing their deposit for reasons linked to Covid-19.

Also on the front page, Ferghal O’Connor reports that Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh has said that he expects 70% of his restaurant chain’s business to return – in a “best-case scenario”. McDonagh said that social distancing was going to be difficult for the restaurant sector and that “a lot of businesses will fold”.

On page two of the business section it’s reported that digital bank N26 says it believes that “disruptor banks” like itself and Revolut will have as many customer accounts as the main banks in just five years. It comes as Revolut announced last week it had passed the one million customer mark in Ireland while N26 has over 100,000 customers here.

In Brief

  • Irish-based Intrepid Spirits has acquired a majority stake in vermouth firm Regal Rogue
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The government is set to cut the Covid-19 wage subsidy for workers earning less than €350 per week according to this week’s Sunday Times. The paper says Paschal Donohue is set to implement the cut from next month after a warning that it was stopping some staff returning to work.

Ex-FAI chief John Delaney has coughed up over €20,000 to pay a legal bill incurred by the Sunday Times. The bills follows Delaney’s failed bid to secure an injunction against the paper last year and comes after the paper took a case to recoup its legal costs.

The top story in the business pages is that the government is under mounting pressure to follow the lead of other European countries and provide a low-cost “backstop” for up to €15bn of trade credit under threat due to Covid-19. According to the report, more than 1,000 Irish companies use trade credit insurance to mitigate the risk of not being paid by Irish and international customers.

Up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk in Ireland’s motor trade unless the government introduces emergency measures. That’s according to the several leading members of the Irish motor industry who are calling for the government to cut the tax paid on new cars.

In Brief

  • Bookmakers in Ireland will reopen their shops on 29 June, three weeks after racing resumes
  • Boparan Restaruant Group has taken ownership of Carluccio’s Dublin city restaurant
  • US fund Apollo has postponed the sale of three Irish hotels in a deal said to be worth €184
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >




The cost of buying a pet has soared due to Covid-19 according to the front of this week’s FT. Under the witty headline “Pet prices soar as pandemic loneliness sparks serious outbreak of puppy love” the paper reports on a buyer from Kent who agreed to pay £1,000 for a dog before lockdown was imposed before being asked to stump up an extra £800 when he went to pick up the animal or lose it to another buyer.Consumer goods giant Johnson and Johnson has announced that it is to stop selling its baby talc in the US and Canada. It comes after sales slumped following a wave of litigation claiming the powder causes cancer. The company said it would continue to sell the talc in the UK and the rest of the world.Airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce has said it was cutting nearly a fifth of its workforce – 9,000 jobs out of 52,000. The company said the job cuts would include factory closures and is expected to deliver savings of £1.3bn.

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 reports that China has scrapped its annual GDP target for the first time in more than a quarter of century citing “factors that are difficult to predict”. According to the paper, dropping the target is a “humbling moment” for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Hertz, one of America’s largest car rental companies, continued its fight for survival as it filed for bankruptcy protection last week. The company is struggling under a $19bn debt pile and has nearly 700,000 idle vehicles due to the pandemic.

Finally, Argentina has defaulted on its debts for the ninth time in its history after it failed to make a $500m interest payment to bondholders. The paper writes that the default comes as the country “grapples with a new cycle of economic contraction, runaway inflation and a hard-currency squeeze.”

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.
Stay safe & well.


Shay Dalton 
Managing Director – Lincoln Recruitment
A: 5 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2




© 2020 All Rights Reserved – Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

About the Author

Shay Dalton

Shay Dalton

Managing Director 16498583

Shay Dalton is the Managing Director of Lincoln Recruitment Group. Shay is a qualified ACCA Accountant with over 20 years’ experience specialising in the placement of senior positions across a broad spectrum of Accountancy and Finance positions within the industrial and financial services sectors. Having been involved in the establishment of some of the most respected financial recruitment brands in the Irish market, Shay subsequently set up Lincoln Recruitment Specialists in 2008. He also hold’s an MSc in Organisational Management and is a member of BPS, qualified to conduct and interpret psychometric testing as well an EQi testing.

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