CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP IN CHINA COULD REAP IRISH BENEFITS - Xi Jinping has been appointed general secretary of China's communist party, which means that he will take over as president early next year putting him in charge of the world's second largest economy. He visited Ireland earlier this year on a whistlestop European tour.
Kevin Lynch of Clerkin Lynch solicitors is chairman of the Ireland China Association. The association is a voluntary organisation dedicated to the promotion of greater trade, economic and cultural links between Ireland and China. Mr Lynch says that Xi Jinping's visit here will certainly enhance the country's reputation in Chinese eyes and points out that China is one of the country's main non-EU trade partners..
MORNING BRIEFS - Paddy Power will have opened 45 new shops in the UK by the end of this year, according to its latest interim management statement to the stock exchange. The bookmaker has reported a 23% increase in net revenues between July and November. Online revenues for the period rose by 28%. Paddy Power's Australian internet business showed 34% growth compared to 8% growth at its Irish betting shops and 5% at its UK retail chain.
*** The Irish Association of Pension Funds has said it would prefer if the Government instituted a €60,000 tax relief cap than that it cut the rate of tax relief on pension contributions from 41% to 20%. In an interview with the Irish Times this morning, IAPF chief executive Jerry Moriarty said a cap on relief for pension contributions that deliver an annual pension income of more than €60,000 was the "least worst option". He said it would affect about 27,000 people while cutting the top rate of tax relief would impact on 555,000 people.
*** Viacom, the international media group which owns MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is complaining about the unsuitability of current TV ratings measures for gauging how many people are actually watching its content. MTV figures are down nearly a third this year, Comedy Central audience figures have dropped by 22% and Nickelodeon is down 13%. Viacom said those numbers, which clearly impact on its ability to sell TV advertising, do not capture the millions of viewers accessing its content on tablets, smartphones and games consoles. Analysis firm Ooyala has just released research which backs up Viacom's argument. Its analysis of 200 million online viewers in 130 countries shows a 90% jump in video watching online since the beginning of the year. 71% of those videos are now longer than 10 minutes, which indicates that viewers are prepared to watch programmes rather than just short clips.