Tag Archives: Bloomberg


“Ireland’s banks are facing an unusual problem: hardly anyone seems to want a mortgage from them.

Allied Irish Banks Plc said home loans were the slowest growing part of its Irish lending in the first half, while Bank of Ireland issued more than double the amount of new mortgages in the UK. than in its home market.

About 60 percent of homes in Ireland are being bought without a mortgage in recent years, up from 25 percent a decade ago, the central bank said in July, indicating a sharper drop in the market for home loans than analysts expected.”…

“Given weak lending margins and slow growth, banks must find new ways to increase revenue. Bank of Ireland plans to charge some corporate customers 0.1 percent to hold their deposits, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week.

While banks normally turn to fee-based businesses to boost income, regulation makes that difficult in Ireland.

“Ireland is one of very few developed countries where the fees the banks are allowed to charge for those products are regulated,” says Davy’s Sheridan. “Every time they want to bring in a new product, it has to be approved by the regulator. Therefore their ability to levy charges for services is quite difficult.””

Good times.

Irish Banks Face Consumers Who Don’t Want Their Biggest Product (Bloomberg)

Thanks Nelly Bergman

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the opening of a new €150million data centre at Google’s offices in Dublin yesterday

Dara Doyle and Stephanie Bodoni, of Bloomberg, report:

Near the top of the agenda [in Brussels] for investors continues to be the European Commission’s probe into Apple Inc.’s tax arrangements in Ireland, with both the company and the Irish authorities bracing for a decision that the Irish provided the iPhone maker with illegal state aid through a sweetheart deal.

In the first clues to a firm timeline for a decision on a probe which opened in 2014, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told Bloomberg on Thursday in Luxembourg that the commission may publish a decision sometime in July, though “we don’t know that with certainty.”

…There’s a range of estimates out there. In a worst-case scenario, Apple may face a $19 billion bill if the government ultimately loses and is forced to recoup tax from the company, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Rod Hall. Matt Larson of Bloomberg Intelligence puts the figure at more than $8 billion.

Who gets the cash? Notionally, Ireland, even though the government says it doesn’t want it.

Why doesn’t Ireland want the cash, which after all could be equivalent to about all of the nation’s corporate tax last year? There’s a bigger picture, here, according to briefing notes provided to the incoming finance minister last month; a negative decision would hurt the country’s reputation and create uncertainty around it’s tax offering, which has been a key factor in drawing companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. to Dublin.

Ireland and Apple Brace for the Worst as Tax Endgame Nears (Bloomberg)


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Denis O’Brien speaking on Bloomberg earlier today

Denis O’Brien did an interview with Bloomberg earlier this morning in which he talked about Digicel, the IPO which didn’t happen, Google and Facebook.

Towards the end of his interview, Mr O’Brien spoke about Irish Water.

Presenter: “A final question and this goes away from telecom, Google and Facebook, what are your views on the delays of forming an Irish Government?”

Denis O’Brien: “Well, it has been fraught, it hasn’t worked out as well as it should. I think the Government were wrong to back down on the water, Irish Water. You know they, it was the right thing, all the infrastructure is Victorian for the supply of water in Ireland, people have a lot of, they have free water in many, many cities in Ireland so it… they gave up on that and set up a commission to evaluate what they should do with Irish Water so that’s kicked in the air and down the field whereas it should have actually stayed. And the investment, you know, there’s an investment programme of between €3bn and €4bn that was supposed to go into that – that now is under question.”

Presenter: “So what parties would you like to see in power?”

O’Brien: “Well I really don’t care who’s in power but I think there needs to be stability in Ireland, I would have a concern if there’s a lack of stability that will affect foreign direct investment and, you know, it’s a time in Europe where there’s a lot of unsettling things that are happening. You’ve got Brexit, you’ve got immigration, you’ve got a very polarised Europe…”

Watch the interview in full here

Irish Billionaire O’Brien Says Government Water Climbdown Wrong (Bloomberg)

Irish Billionaire O’Brien Holding Off on Digicel IPO for Now (Bloomberg)

Preview: Denis O’Brien And THAT Siteserv Deal

Thicker Than Uisce



Based in a drab office building in Dublin down the road from a pub frequented by Prime Minister Enda Kenny, VPB Funding Ltd. had no employees but one function: selling bonds. In 2013, it issued $225 million of unsecured notes.

The proceeds of that sale were funneled to Vneshprombank Ltd., a Moscow lender whose license was revoked last month when Russian authorities accused management of pilfering its assets and falsifying accounts. VPB’s notes have plunged to pennies on the dollar.

The entanglement of an obscure Dublin firm in the woes of a lender 2,000 miles away shows why Irish officials have begun shining a light on special purpose vehicles like VPB, unregulated entities that borrow on behalf of corporations throughout the world.

The Irish capital, home of Europe’s costliest banking meltdown, remains a hub for the sort of opaque operations that contributed to the global financial crisis, threatening risks that policy makers are seeking to stamp out.

Russian Bank Collapse Shines Light on Risks in Irish Shadows (Bloomberg)

Shadow banking?

Thanks Rory


So, we don’t do brass plate companies in our country. So you have a plate…Apple employ 5,000 people, who go to work everyday. Obviously if you manufacture something there and you sell it in France or Italy, the intellectual property is invested elsewhere, these are the complexities and the challenges that are there.”

Enda kenny speaking at Davos in January


Cerberus Capital Management Logo

Joe Brennan, of Bloomberg, reports:

“A Goldman Sachs Inc and CarVal Investors LLC joint approach made the shortlist of bidders for the largest loan portfolio ever put up for sale by Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.”

“Cerberus Capital Management LP also made a shortlist of three for the 7.6 billion-euro ($8.8 billion) of par value loans, known as Project Arrow, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the process is ongoing. The portfolio of mainly non-performing loans is being sold at a fraction of its original value by the agency, known as NAMA, said another person.”

“…Cerberus won out in NAMA’s previous largest asset sale, acquiring the agency’s 4.5 billion pounds Northern Irish loan book last year. Police in Northern Ireland opened a criminal probe in July into claims surrounding the transaction, including that some legal fees tied to the deal ended up in the private bank account of a Belfast-based lawyer. Cerberus has said it acted completely “professionally and properly at all times” on the transaction.”

Goldman, Cerberus Said to Bid in Irish Bad Bank’s Biggest Sale (Bloomberg)

Previously: What Did They Get The €5million For?

You Cannot Be Cerberus

Project Eagle And The €3.5 Billion Haircut



Finance Minister Michael Noonan on Bloomberg Television’s ‘The Pulse’ earlier today.

It was all smiles until around 9.30, when he was asked about the Bundesbank’s president Jens Weidmann’s recent comments regarding  the legality of the promissory note deal.


In a much more sombre exchange with news anchor Guy Johnson at 10.38.

Guy Johnson: “No rules were broken.”

Michael Noonan: “No rules were broken.”

Johnson: “Do you expect any challenge? Do you expect a legal challenge to emanate from German? Could there be a challenge? And how destabilising would that be?”

Noonan: “I don’t expect any legal challenge from any authority or any institution in Europe. Individuals frequently take cases, we have a string of them in the Irish courts always, but they don’t go very far.”


Previously: Not So Fast

There’s A Touch Of That About It

Watch his full interview here.

He said 2013 will be the year of “the Gathering,” an attempt to pull together expats and their descendants and encourage them to visit with their money. In the last month, Bruton has met with representatives of the Israeli government to learn how they’ve coordinated investment with their own diaspora. Ireland, which spent the past two centuries scattering its children around the world, is assessing the value of their affection.


Ireland Goes Looking for Outside Help (Bloomberg)