Monday, June 11 08:23:49
Bank of Ireland considers Independent News & Media to be one of its "most challenged corporate relationships", according to a file note of a meeting on April 5th between the bank and members of the media company's senior management, including former chief executive Gavin O'Reilly.
This reflected concerns around the indebtedness of INM - E426 million at the end of December 2011 - and the fact it was trying to negotiate a second financial restructuring with its banks since 2009. The file note, seen by The Irish Times, states the banks expressed concerns about the ability of management to deliver the required loan repayments. The April 5th meeting had been sought by Mr O'Reilly after he became aware of a conversation that had taken place on March 13th between INM's then chairman James Osborne and Pat Gaynor of Bank of Ireland.
In a file note presented by Mr Osborne to an INM board meeting in March, the former chairman said Mr Gaynor had informed him that "the overriding view of the bank was that substantial changes to management were required". Mr Gaynor said the bank would not officially say this but he was authorised to convey this message to Mr Osborne.
This prompted Mr O'Reilly to contact the bank for an explanation of the comments to Mr Osborne. A face-to-face meeting was held on April 5th at the bank's office on Burlington Plaza. INM was represented by Mr O'Reilly and company secretary Andrew Donagher, while Tom Hayes, Pat Gaynor and Tony Martyn attended for Bank of Ireland. According to INM's file note of the meeting, the bank's view was that "INM's management was seen as operationally good but needing strategic support".
Bank of Ireland said Mr Gaynor's earlier comments to Mr Osborne were intended to convey the bank's view that the strategic management of INM needed to be strengthened. This was intended as "informal assistance" and at no point was there a request from the bank for "regime change". The Irish Times
The European bailout of Spain will proceed without direct aid for the country's banks, dealing a blow to Dublin's campaign to ease the terms of the Irish bank rescue. Euro zone finance ministers resolved at the weekend to respond favourably to Spain's request for up to E100 billion in emergency aid to rescue its crippled financial sector.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said it would provide "much-needed confidence and stability in the euro zone" and was particularly important for Ireland's economy. Emergency loans will be set aside for Spain's banks and prime minister Mariano Rajoy will not be compelled to adopt policies in addition to the austerity programme already approved by EU ministers.
However, the country failed to overcome German objections to a proposal for the funds to go directly to the banks and remain off the Spanish national debt. France, Italy and the International Monetary Fund backed Spain, and the Government hoped that any such departure would create a precedent to be followed by Ireland.
With no sign of any breakthrough in the push to restructure the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note scheme, the Coalition saw big potential to develop an alternative approach if Spain secured direct bank aid.
But Berlin refused to yield, saying the Spanish state must assume responsibility for repayments to the EFSF and ESM bailout funds.
"Spain carries the liability . . . has oversight of its banks and will distribute it," said German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble. The development comes one week after Berlin rebuffed the Government's attempt to reopen the bank debt deal after the treaty referendum. It led the Opposition to call on the Government to intensify its push for a better banking deal. The Irish Times
An explosive report has claimed that Ireland has so many empty houses that it would take up to 43 years to fill them all. Deutsche Bank figures suggest that there are 289,451 empty houses in Ireland, including almost 60,000 vacant holiday homes. This represents a vacancy rate of 15 per cent. As the Deutsche Bank map shows, the empty properties are highly concentrated around the Atlantic coast with Kerry and Donegal particularly badly afflicted.
This glut of empty homes will have a major impact on future property prices. "Demand for housing is the key factor as to how long it will take for this oversupply to be reduced, and aside from demand for second homes the key driver should be population growth," Deutsche Bank notes. Based on 2011 figures which showed population growth of just 13,000, and the average number of residents per house, the bank estimates that it could take until 2055 for the glut of houses to be worked through. The Irish Independent
After one year in operation, the Hauste Group, based in the Cork Airport Business Park, has seen its cloud-based business solutions rewarded with a turnover of E1m and profits of nearly E500,000, writes Trish Dromey Set up to take advantage of the ever expanding demand for cloud-based business solutions, the Hauste Group in Cork has, after its first year in business announced profits of E428,000 on a turnover of E1.22m.
In early 2011, the company started out by targeting the retail sector in the UK with a cloud-based solution which allows orders and invoices to be processed electronically. "Since then, we have processed 7m transactions with an invoice value of E800m," says Hauste founder and chief executive Tony Duggan.
The company now employs a staff of 13, increasing to 20 in September, and its customers include large retail outfits in the UK such as the Ideal Home Shopping channel and household names such as Ronseal, Lindt, Casio, and Energiser.
Having achieved significant growth in its first year, Hauste is now aiming a great deal higher. "We are targeting a turnover of E5m this year and, halfway through the year, we are on track to achieve this. By 2013, we expect to grow turnover to E25m. This rate of growth is consistent with that projected by Bloomberg for cloud-based enterprises," says Mr Duggan. The Irish Examiner