The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 30 August 2020

October 19


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  • The Business Post says the state is trying to secure 2m doses of an early coronavirus vaccine
  • The Business Post reports that Simon Coveney is the front-runner to succeed Phil Hogan
  • The Sunday Independent says Aer Lingus has slashed its voluntary redundancy package
  • The Sunday Times reports that new mortgage lender Avantcard will “cherry-pick” its customers
  • The FT says one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds is shorting Lloyds Banking Group
  • The WSJ reports that Walmart has joined Microsoft’s bid for video-sharing app TikTok







“I broke no law, or no regulation, but I should have given more care to the guidelines and advice.”

– Former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan’s equivocal resignation statement over the Golfgate scandal.







Minister for foreign affairs Simon Coveney has emerged as the “clear front-runner” in the race to replace Phil Hogan as European Commissioner, according to this week’s top story. With the prospect of a hard Brexit on the horizon the paper says the government is seeking to put forward a senior politician with hands-on experience of Brexit.

The ESB could be brought in to help with the rollout of the National Broadband Plan according to another front page story. Peter O’Dwyer reports that the government is investigating whether the ESB could be drafted in to assist with getting the plan rolled out quicker than initially envisaged.

On page two Rachel Lavin has a story reporting on what form the economic recovery will take. After talk of a “v-shaped”, “u-shaped” and even a “Nike swoosh shaped” rebound, Ireland’s economy is actually headed for a “K-shaped” recovery. That’s according to Gerard Brady, chief economist with business group IBEC, who says that a K-shaped recovery is one where some segments of the economy recover quickly while others continue to decline. “You can see it between sectors, as well as within different parts of individual sectors that are doing better than each other,” says Brady.

With the country’s ale houses remaining firmly closed due to Covi-19, pub owners have reacted angrily to last week’s announcement of a €16m government relief package. The long-awaited package means pubs can receive a minimum of €5,600 and a maximum of €35,000 to help them when they eventually reopen. However pub owners are not happy. Liam Flannery, owner of Flannery’s Bar in Limerick said the package was “measly” and a “disgrace”. And Ronan Lynch, owner of the Swan Bar on Dublin’s Aungier Street didn’t mince his words either saying: “Bullsh*t again…this falls way short.”

Turning to banking and Ian Guider reports that Ireland’s main banks are considering a possible “technology joint venture” to counter the rise of digital challenger banks such as Revolut. In what appears to be a case of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” the banks are working on a plan to speed up payments and transactions in a move they believe will allow them to regain the edge over new digital banks, which have amassed over one million customers in Ireland.

Sports betting company Flutter, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair, surprised the market last week by reporting a 49% increase in revenues for the six months to the end of June. Despite the widespread cancellation of global sporting events, Flutter benefitted from a surge in online betters and poker players seeking amusement during lockdown.

In Brief

· Dublin medical device maker Trinity Biotech is developing a 12 minute Covid-19 antibody test

· Irish ready-made meals producer Ballymaguire Foods plans to expand its Dublin plant
· A crisis in forestry licenses is putting Irish pallet manufacturers at risk, writes Rosanna Cooney

· Health tech group The Webdoctor has raised €1.85m giving it a valuation in excess of €20m

The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >




“Aer Lingus slashes terms of voluntary severance package” is the headline on this week’s top business story. Ferghal O’Connor reports that a new voluntary severance scheme launched by the airline is “significantly worse” than previous schemes. He gives the example of a 55-year-old Aer Lingus employee with 30 years’ service on a salary of €46,900 who would get a severance package of €93,000 under the new scheme compared to the €165,000 that was on offer last year.

Also on the front of the business pages it’s reported that Demot Desmond has invested over €2m in Spotlight Oral Care, a dental hygiene company based in Galway. The company was founded in 2016 by sisters Lisa and Vanessa Creaven.

If you ever wondered why the EU is so unhappy about Ireland’s corporate tax rate an interesting report by Sean Pollack explains it. He writes that nearly a third of profits from the EU-based affiliates of US-owned multinationals in 2018 were made through those located in Ireland. The report comes after the publication of new research by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In Brief

· Irish music tech start-up Andrson has launched a $5m Series A funding round

· DAA chief executive Dalton Philips has said the company is “heading into a wall” economically

· Luxury fitness health club Eden One in Ballsbridge is targeting 1,000 members by year end

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Avantcard, the new player in the Irish mortgage market, will limit its cheap mortgage deals to higher-earners according to this week’s top business story. Niall Brady reports that the Spanish-owned consumer financial specialist will “cherry-pick” the mortgage market by limited its cheaper rates to public servants, medical professionals and other high earners in secure employment. According to the report, the move harpoons hopes of a mortgage price war.In another top story, Brian Carey reports that Elliott Management, an activist fund manager headed by billionaire Paul Singer, has been linked to a bid for troubled Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta. According to the story, the bid is still at an early stage.

In the main paper it’s reported that a government consultation into flexible working and the introduction of a four-day week will take into account the rise in working from home as a result of Covid-19. The Department of Justice launched the consultation process last December as part of Future Jobs Ireland, a government economic framework plan.

In Brief

· Pensions expert Jim Connolly has left Goodbody to join AIB’s private banking division

The Sunday Times is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >





One of Europe’s biggest hedge funds has built the largest short position ever against Lloyds Banking Group, according to the top story in Companies & Markets. The paper says that Marshall Wace’s 0.51% short position highlights the belief among investors that UK banks still have further to fall even after a torrid first half of the year.

Coca-Cola is to become the latest multinational to cut thousands of jobs, according to another top story. The company it to offer a voluntary severance package to 4,000 employees in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico after sales in bars, restaurants and other venues plunged when they were forced to close due to Covid-19.

In news of job more job losses, UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to cut 2,890 jobs, or almost a third of its workforce. The company said its UK headcount would fall to 6,000 after sales dropped to levels not seen since a decade ago.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that retail giant Walmart has joined Microsoft in its bid to buy popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok. The paper says Walmart’s entry comes as a surprise as the interested parties grapple over what to pay for the app. TikTok’s owner ByteDance is asking about $30bn for its US operations, but bidders thus far have not been willing to meet that price.

Despite the current economic woes, US stock markets have been enjoying an unusually strong summer. US stocks rose every day last week leaving the Dow Jones Industrial Average just 46 points away from turning positive for the year, a position not seen since February.

Finally, American Airlines Group said it would cut 19,000 workers on 1 October, in what the paper says is the “first big wave” of job losses for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other airline jobs over the coming months. In total, US airlines have warned they could be forced to lay off up to 75,000 in the autumn.

The WSJ  is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >


THE 1% PODCAST – Enda McNulty 
Listen here 


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 5 and look ahead to the sixth season.

Here are some of the guests and clips from Season 5 featured in this wrap-up episode:

+ Suzanne Dempsey (Deputy CEO and the Director of Nursing at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin) speaks openly about the challenges of leading in extraordinary times.

+ Bryan Burnstein (Director of Performance Science for Kitman Labs, formerly Head of Performance Science at Cirque de Soleil) gives an up-close account at what some of the best teams are doing to support their athletes and how to build a high-performance culture.
+ Kingsley Aikins (CEO of The Networking Institute) talks about his life’s work bringing people together regardless of geographical location under the one umbrella of promoting Irish interests.
+ Ade McCormack (Technologist & Author) in this session, we explore the importance of attention in respect to individual performance and the challenges faced in these increasingly distracting times. We also explore the implications of this on organisational performance.
+ Enda McNulty (All Star, leading performance coach and motivational speaker) we deep dive into leadership, team performance, and mental toughness and his work with some of the Irelands leading athletes and organisations.
We’re hard at work planning Season 6 which will kick off in c 2 weeks.





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/



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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