Wednesday, March 06 08:18:36
The Central Bank of Ireland met with the country's main lenders yesterday to begin a process that it hopes will lead to a voluntary framework on how "multi-borrowed distressed borrowers" are dealt with by credit institutions.
This will encompass the thorny issue of mortgage arrears, which is the biggest source of debt for many individuals.
The regulator is seeking to agree a set of "general principles" that would be applied by lenders when dealing with borrowers who are in arrears with their repayments and owe money to a number of institutions.
Such cases usually involve secured and unsecured lending and the Central Bank is seeking to establish a protocol among lenders to deal with this issue.
This could prove a divisive issue within the financial industry.
Banks hold a stronger hand, given that they often hold security over certain assets such as properties or motor vehicles. The Irish Times
Food group Origin Enterprises said it delivered a "solid" financial performance in the first half of its financial year, but unseasonably wet weather over the winter impacted its UK agri-services performance.
The company said the bad weather had led to lower winter crop plantings, but it expected increased activity in the spring as a result.
Origin, in which Aryzta has a majority ownership, recorded a 16 per cent rise in adjusted fully diluted earnings per share to to 7.59 cent. The company cut its net debt to E178.7 million over the period, and said it had made "significant progress' on the transformation of its business.
Origin Chief Executive Tom O'Mahony said the group was on track to meet consensus forecasts for the year.
"Origin has delivered a solid operating and financial performance, recording a 16.2 per cent increase in adjusted earnings per share during the seasonally quiet first half of the financial year," he said. The Irish Times
The debt deal negotiations between Independent News & Media (INM) and its eight banks, which include State-owned AIB and State-supported Bank of Ireland, are politically interesting not just because of the findings of the 2011 Moriarty tribunal report in relation to Denis O'Brien, but also because of his tax residency status.
O'Brien, as most people know, is INM's largest shareholder. In the course of his recent, successful libel case against the Irish Daily Mail, he said it was not correct to say that he was a tax exile, and that he paid his taxes in all the countries in which he operated.
Of course there is no conflict between saying someone is a tax exile and their paying all the taxes that are due in the jurisdictions in which they operate. Irish people who earn money outside Ireland but are tax resident here pay tax on all their taxable income, subject to the international rules on double taxation. Irish people who are not tax resident here and who operate internationally, only pay Irish tax on the taxable income that is generated in Ireland. The controversial issue in the "tax exile" debate is where the person is tax resident. The Irish Times
The EU-IMF bailout team will now work out a proposal with the "best possible option" for Ireland and Portugal's repayment schedule to be eased.
The aim is to push out the repayment dates on the emergency loans that Europe gave Ireland as part of its rescue package in 2010.
EU finance minister discussed whether they would be ready "in principle to consider an adjustment of the maturities on the EFSF and EFSM loans" to Ireland and Portugal.
The measure is aimed at smoothing the "debt redemption profiles of both countries".
"Both programmes are on track and performing well despite challenging macro-economic circumstances. The Irish Independent
Shares in Total Produce rose on Tuesday, after the fruit importer said pre-tax profits rose sharply in 2012. For the year to the end of December, Total said earnings jumped 7.9pc to E37.1m on revenues that climbed more than 11pc to E2.8bn.
The total dividend for the year has been increased to 2.079c.
Company chairman Carl McCann said the company was "very pleased" with its performance during the year, and things had gone well so far in 2013.
"Trading conditions since the start of 2013 have been satisfactory.
"The Group's activities are well diversified across Europe and, more recently in North America and Africa. The Irish Independent