The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 26 April 2020

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THE 1% PODCAST – Motty Varghese
Motty Varghese is 
a sleep physiologist and behavioural sleep therapist at the Sleep Therapy Clinic at St James’ Hospital in Dublin. A good night’s sleep is seemingly the most humble of desires, but it’s the one thing that many of us have a hard time getting.
Motty shared some insight into the struggle for sleep, the effects of sleep on perferformance as well as some science-backed tips and advice.


  • The Business Post says a Covid-19 “tracing app” will be ready for launch next month
  • The Sunday Independent reports that  Ireland’s forestry industry is facing a serious crisis that could see the country’s saw-mills run out of wood 
  • The Sunday Times claims armchair investors are rushing to open online share trading accounts
  • The Financial Times reports that Facebook is launching a multi-person video-chat feature
  • The Wall Street Journal says 4.4m Americans sought unemployment benefits last week




“Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?”

– Donald Trump asks if it possible to cure Covid-19 by injecting disinfectant into the body.





“Covid-19 tracing app ready for launch by next month, says HSE” is the splash on this week’s paper. The app, considered a key part of the next phase of battling the virus, is at an “advanced stage of testing” and should be ready to roll out next month. It will gather information on the geographic spread of the virus and collect the phone number, age, sex and symptoms of people believed to be infected.Also on the front page, Michael Brennan reports on some of Green Party’s demands for their participation in new coalition government. Under the headline “Greens want emergency funding to be withheld from ‘high-emitting’ firms” Brennan reports that airline, cement plants and power stations would be shut-off from any Covid-19 rescue funding – unless they pledge to reduce their emissions.In another top story, it’s reported that the government must not “socialise” losses that would otherwise be borne by banks or landlords in supporting businesses. That’s the view of Ed Sibley, deputy governor of the Central Bank, who in a radio interview said policymakers should not burden the taxpayer with the losses of private businesses, as happened during the last financial crash.

An Post is to launch a “green loan” scheme according to a story on page three. Daniel Murray reports that the postal operator is launching the scheme so consumers can finance the costs of retrofitting their houses for higher energy efficiency and the purchase of electric cars.

As in previous weeks there is lots of comment and analysis devoted to the coronavirus crisis. In an opinion piece, former secretary general of the Department of Finance John Moran says SMEs need a bailout to prevent an “economic zombie apocalypse”. “We need to move rapidly to establish a multibillion euro Small Business Resilience Compensation Fund,” he writes.

Meanwhile, Peter Dwyer has an interesting piece looking at what Irish hospitality will look like in the age of Covid-19. He talks to Alan Campbell, owner of the Bankers Bar in Dublin City centre who says he is thinks pubs might be able to reopen in time for Christmas. He acknowledges, however, that things won’t return to normal. “It’s hard to get your head around how the Irish pub is going to look in 2021,” he says.

In Brief

  • Group revenue at food nutrition firm Glanbia rose by more than 20% in the first quarter of 2020
  • Italian hedge fund Helikon has built up a €15m stake in Irish housebuilder Glenveagh
  • CRH has said it is too soon to say if it will pay an interim dividend to shareholders this year
  • Consultants Analysys Mason have won a €7.5m contract under the National Broadband Plan
  • Irish property agency BidX1 has begun licensing its online auctioneer platform to other agents
  • Irish campsite booking platform Campsited has raised over €900,000 in fresh funding
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Ireland’s forestry industry is facing a serious crisis that could see the country’s saw-mills run out of wood by mid-June. The industry claims a more stringent licensing system for essential work such as planting, felling and thinning has caused a drastic slowdown in forestry activity.
In another front page story, it’s reported that “Hickey’s Pharmacy in clash over rent with property giant Hines”. Ferghal O’Connor reports that Irish chemist chain Hickey’s has told property giant Hines, the landlord of its Grafton St outlet, that it can only pay 10% of its rent until after the Covid-19 crisis. The news comes amid calls for the government to do more to help the retail sector.
On page two of the business pages, Sean Pollack reports that Press Up, one of Ireland’s leading hospitality groups, is to launch a new online off-license service called Siopa Vino. The new service will be available through takeaway platforms including Deliveroo and Just Eat from this weekend in Dublin.
In Brief
  • Aer Lingus is outsourcing its Dublin Airport catering division to Dubai National Air Transport Association


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“Rush for shares as new retail investors aim to bag a bargain,” is this week’s top business. Niall Brady reports that “armchair investors” are rushing to open online share trading accounts in the hopes of picking up bargain stocks amid the virus turmoil. The story is based on anecdotal evidence from “stockbroking insiders”.

Ecommerce giant Amazon has leased its first warehouse in Dublin and is finalising plans to rent more space in the capital. That’s according to a report by Gavin Daly who writes that the move would allow Amazon to expand its Irish operations significantly.

Life companies are yet to mark down property funds to reflect declines in the value of commercial real estate, according to financial advisers. Assets in property funds managed by insurance companies such as Irish Life, Aviva and Zurich are valued once or twice a year and advisers believe the funds should close to new investment until their assets can be revalued.

In Brief

  • Stock exchange Euronext has recorded a 11% increase in Dublin revenues to €35.7m in 2019
  • Teelings Whiskey Distillery is using the current lockdown to upgrade its visitor exhibition
The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >




This week’s FT reports that Facebook is launching multi-person video chat features across many of its apps. The paper says that Facebook’s move is a dash to compete with Zoom, Google and Houseparty which are being used by billions across the globe to socialise during the coronavirus crisis.

Netflix is cashing on the current global lockdown with more people turning to the streaming service to entertain them through the crisis. The company said it had added 15.8m subscribers in the first three months of the year, more than twice as many as forecast.

The sales of household cleaning products may be up, but the coronavirus crisis is having the opposite effect on the personal grooming market. Consumer goods group Unilever has said that sales of personal grooming products was down 3.1% on a year earlier with Covid-19 confinement meaning that people are putting off washing their hair, shaving and even using deodorant.

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The Wall Street Journal leads with the news that 4.4m Americans filed new unemployment claims last week as the coronavirus continued to hurt the labour market. It brings the total number of claims in the US for the past five weeks to 26m.

Turning to aviation, and the current pandemic is expected to delay the return of Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX jet until the autumn at the earliest. It comes as regulators’ work to approve the jets for passenger service has been hampered by stay-at-home orders.

Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt an unholy blow to the finances of one of the world’s biggest institutions – the Catholic Church. The suspension of church collections, closure of museums and drop-off in rents has meant that the church has had to slash expenses and tap emergency financial reserves. “The principal problem for the Catholic Church is that it is asset rich, but cash poor,” said the Rev. Anthony Stoeppel, who teaches church finance at St. Patrick’s Seminary in California. “The pope could in theory sell St. Peter’s Basilica but unless he does so, he doesn’t have that money.”

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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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