Friday, October 19 08:19:24
Fitch has become the second ratings agency within a week to signal an improved outlook for Ireland's credit rating. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Fitch analyst Gergely Kiss said the agency could be approaching a point where it would remove its "negative" outlook on Ireland's BBB+ rating. He said, however, that it could still be some time before the rating itself would be improved. Such a move would rest on any deal the Government could secure with its euro partners on easing its debt burden.
Similar indications on the Irish debt outlook were made last week by an analyst with rival rating agency Moody's Investors Services. "There are a constellation of factors weighing on - first from the wider euro zone crisis and now the weakening US and UK economies," said Fitch's Mr Kiss. He added that the Irish outlook looked weaker than it did even a few months ago. Mr Kiss said he believed a banking deal would be agreed but flagged uncertainty over when this would happen and how substantial it would be. He later told Bloomberg that he expected that the promissory notes used to bail out Anglo Irish Bank would be included in any new arrangement. The Irish Times
A former executive of Independent News and Media (INM) has sued the company for damages, alleging the decision to dismiss him from his E300,000 a year position was unlawful. Karl Brophy claims the company's largest shareholder, Denis O'Brien, was behind his ousting. After being offered his INM position by former chief executive Gavin O'Reilly and in a context where he had previously written articles "not particularly flattering" of Mr O'Brien, he told the court he sought assurances from Mr O'Reilly that if Mr O'Brien took over the company, he would "not be the first up against the wall with a blindfold on, which is what actually happened".
He claims he was told last April his continued employment would be "problematic" because of recent coverage in Independent titles concerning Mr O'Brien. Mr Brophy had said he had no role in this coverage but he was never given an opportunity to deal with it, his counsel said. Mr Brophy, appointed director of corporate affairs and content development in 2010 by Gavin O'Reilly, also claims, just after the dismissal decision, he was told it was because he was perceived as being too close to Mr O'Reilly and because of the newspaper group's coverage of Mr O'Brien and the Moriarty tribunal. The Irish Times
The head of Canadian social media company Hootsuite says his firm is very likely to open an office in Dublin as it expands into Europe. Ryan Holmes, who founded the company in 2008, said there was a "very good chance" he would open up here as the company moves beyond its North American base. "We have 230 employees at the moment and recently opened a small company in London. "As I am learning about the European, Middle East and African markets, and I'm learning a lot about Dublin in particular and Ireland overall, I think there is a very good chance we will open an office here.
"That is a product of being here and seeing people and hearing new stories," he added. Mr Holmes was speaking to reporters at the launch of the 'Founders' summit, which is following on from the Dublin Web Summit (DWS) that concluded yesterday. Hootsuite is a website and application that allows users to "curate" their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts from one site. It has around five million users, including a host of Fortune 100 companies. The Irish Independent
Few topics generate as much anger as bankers' pay. There has been predictable anger after the Irish Independent broke a story earlier this week about the appointment of Mercer to examine the E500,000 cap on bankers' annual pay. Mercer's appointment is the latest step in a carefully co-ordinated plan to end the pay cap imposed in the wake of the financial crash. The Canadian benchmarking will look at pay scales at all levels in the "covered banks" that benefit from explicit state support, including AIB, Bank of Ireland and the former Anglo Irish Bank.
The bankers obviously hope that Mercer will conclude that the salaries are too low and act as a barrier to hiring top talent. The debate about salary caps is a little academic at times. As our graphic shows, only one chief executive among the big three banks earns anything close to the cap; the other two earn much more. The Irish Independent