The Best of the Weekend Business Papers 4 April 2021

April 9


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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 mandatory hotel quarantine will be expanded to include EU countries
· The Sunday Independent reports that US firm MongoDB took a €1.8m hit on its Dublin office
· The Sunday Times says plans for a six-acre retail site in Dublin central have been scaled back
· The FT says the cost of Scottish independence has risen since the referendum in 2014
· The WSJ reports that US hiring surged in March boosting hopes of a strong jobs recovery
 Our plan is to return to an office-centric culture as our baseline. We believe it enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively.”
— Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy
Donnelly to insist on hotel quarantine list changes despite FG opposition,” is the cover splash on this week’s Business Post. Michael Brennan reports that health minister Stephen Donnelly is to “push back” against Fine Gael resistance to expanding mandatory hotel quarantine to include EU countries and that he will press ahead with plans to include France, Germany and Italy on the list. Meanwhile hotel group Tifco has been asked to increase the number of available beds from 650 to 3,000.
“Microchip exports increase 500 per cent in five years,” is the headline over an interesting report on page four. Daniel Murray writes that Irish exports of microchips have grown fivefold in the last five years to become Ireland’s fourth largest good export. Apparently the vast majority of the microchips go to China accounting for nearly 60% of all Irish exports to the country.
On the same page, it’s reported that orders worth more than €7.5m have been generated on, the platform set up by two entrepreneurs at the start of the pandemic. The company’s clients, who range from bakeries to Michelin-starred restaurants, pay between €19 to €169 a month to display menus, take orders and handle payments.
Turning to page seven, and Roisin Burke reports on the sale of Dublin-headquartered business EShopWorld to French-Swiss group Ascendia for an estimated €1bn. Burke speaks to EShop’s “elated” founder Tommy Kelly who said that despite his massive payday he doesn’t intend to sail off into the sunset. “For us, we’re very early in the next phase of our journey,” he said.
In brief
·   Government borrowing will have to increase if the PUP support is extended beyond the summer
·   Irish drinks firm SynerChi is expanding into Britain and other international markets
·   Ulster Bank’s Jane Howard will stay on as ceo despite the recent €37m tracker mortgage fine
The Sunday Business Post is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
US firm in $2.1m Dublin office hit is the headline over the Sunday Independent’s top business story. Sean Pollack reports that US-based tech company MongoDB has taken a $2.1m hit after it failed to secure a tenant to take over the lease of its former office on Shelbourne Road.
Also on the front of the business pages it’s reported that Stafford Bonded, a family business involved in the alcohol storage business, has been granted planning permission to build a €57m whiskey maturation facility in Waterford. The development will include a new on-site office and conference rooms for clients and whiskey tenants.
Turning to the inside of the business pages and Samantha McCaughren reports that psychological issues are the number one medical reason for income protection claims by Aviva Life & Pension customers. Claims related to psychological issues accounted for 25% of all of Aviva’s income protection claims with claims for orthopaedic issues accounting for 24%.
In brief
·   The renovation costs for fire safety issues of Montrose student complex could cost $26m
·   Dutch venture capital firm Finch has set up a Dublin-based vehicle to target Middle East deals
The Sunday Independent is a digital subscription. We encourage you to support quality journalism and subscribe or buy the physical newspaper. Subscribe here >
Hammerson deals blow to retail on Dublin Central site,” is the business splash in this week’s Sunday Times. Linda Daly reports that Hammerson, a UK-listed property group, has scaled back plans for a six acre site on Dublin’s Henry and Moore streets by switching the mix away from retail towards offices and residential units.
It was a good week for Bob Etchingham and Joe Barrett, major shareholders in forecourt operator Applegreen. Brian Carey reports that the pair netted a “probable €50m” as part of a recent sale of the quoted company. Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, a unit of the large US private firm of the same name, financed the sale at a price of €5.75 a share.
TikTok, the Chinese social media giant has chosen the Sorting Office at Grand Canal dock as its European HQ according to story by Linda Daly. Under the headline, “TikTok dances into Sorting Office,” it’s reported that TikTok will initially have up to 2,000 workers and may eventually employ as many as 5,000 in Ireland.
In brief
·   Boylesports has headhunted Mark Kemp, managing director of the Tote UK, to become its ceo
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 > 
US added 916,000 jobs in March as hiring accelerated,” heads up one of the top stories in this week’s WSJ. The paper reports that US hiring surged in March in what economists say could be a “sustained run of job growth.” Meanwhile US unemployment fell to 6.0%, a pandemic low.
After months of hype, food delivery company Deliveroo had a disappointing debut when it floated on the London Stock Market last week. Shares in the company dropped 26% on their first day of trading amid investor concerns over whether it could maintain its Covid-19 momentum.
Finally, Microsoft has agreed to build a custom augmented-reality headset for the US Army in a huge deal worth almost $22bn. The devices will be based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headset and overlay digital content onto a person’s view of the real world to help soldiers make more informed decisions when confronting adversaries. 
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 great Easter break,
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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