Today in the press

Tuesday 24 September 2013 09.18
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers

ANGLO'S 'STATEMENT OF AFFAIRS' WILL NOT NAME FORMER CLIENTS - Anglo Irish Bank's borrowers and depositors will not be named in a final "statement of affairs" for the liquidated bank due to be finalised this week, reports the Irish Independent Finance Minister Michael Noonan has intervened to block the names of individual depositors who had an account with IBRC, the renamed Anglo Irish Bank, appearing on its statement of affairs. Instead, it is intended that a single figure recording the total value of deposits on the day the bank was liquidated will appear on the documents. Mr Noonan has also ruled that individual borrowers would not be named on the document. All companies that go into liquidation must produce a "statement of affairs" setting out in full the details of all debts and assets of the company, including details of any money owed and who it is owed to, or owed by. It is usually prepared within weeks of a company's collapse by the outgoing company directors, and sets down their understanding of the financial position of the company immediately prior to liquidation. It is regarded as a useful guide for creditors to their chances of recouping any debts owed in a liquidation. The document is not usually made public, but is circulated to those financially affected by the liquidation and filed with the High Court. The statement of affairs for IBRC is due to be finalised by September 30.

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BRUTON SAYS DUBLIN, CORK AND LIMERICK FAVOURED AS LOCATIONS BY POTENTIAL INVESTORS - Large parts of the country are being largely ignored by foreign direct investors with Dublin accounting for more than half of visits by potential overseas investors, writes the Irish Times. Statistics provided by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Richard Bruton in response to a written parliamentary question lodged by Fianna Fáil deputy Dara Calleary show that Longford is the only county not to attract any overseas investor visit so far this year. The county also had no FDI visit in 2012. Carlow, Kildare, Kerry, Leitrim, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Wexford and Wicklow have all attracted just one visit to date this year. Areas to record only two visits include Cavan, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth and Mayo. Dublin accounted for 55% or 152 of all visits so far this year with Cork the second most popular at 28. Limerick was third with 20 visits. In his written reply to Mr Calleary, Mr Bruton confirmed that only two other counties, Galway (12) and Waterford (13) reached double figures in terms of visits. The rate of IDA-sponsored visits by potential investors has increased this year.

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€2.8m RETURNED AS JOB PLEDGES FAIL - Close to €3m was returned to the IDA last year by eight companies after they failed to create the promised jobs that they had received funding for. The IDA said it cannot name the companies who were forced to return €2.8m, says the Irish Examiner. The total amount of grant refunds made to IDA was €3.132m, of which €2.8m was for unfulfilled employment grants. In response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, the IDA said it follows up on companies after jobs announcements to ensure that announced jobs materialise. The Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said: “IDA monitors job creation in individual client companies on an ongoing basis. In addition, the Annual Employment Survey, which is carried out by Forfás, is utilised by IDA as a further tool of verification of job numbers in IDA-sponsored companies. In addition, at the time of a grant claim, IDA also seeks formal verification of job numbers, prior to payment of the grant.” The IDA announced the creation of 12,700 jobs last year and 13,000 in 2011. It is unclear whether or not these figures need to be revised downwards following the failure of certain companies to achieve their stated job creation goals.

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BANKIA PURGES 800 EXTERNAL DIRECTORS - Bankia is purging hundreds of external directorships across its network of industrial holdings as the nationalised Spanish bank removes politicians and trade unionists it paid to sit on the boards of related companies before its government rescue. The bank, a symbol of the heavily politicised and unprofessional management of Spain’s savings banks since it received the country’s largest ever bailout last year, has cut more than 800 of its 1,000 external directors in a year, says the Financial Times. The cuts saved €7m a year, say people close to the bank. Before this, large numbers of directorships in often small private companies in which the savings bank held shares were given to external candidates linked to political parties, and who had received their positions as a result of patronage. Since the arrival of Bankia’s post-nationalisation executive chairman, former BBVA chief executive José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the lender has banned all external directorships in its industrial holdings. Directors are also prevented from earning salaries in addition to their pay at Bankia. Before its rescue, Bankia was dominated by politicians from the ruling Popular Party, notably its former chairman Rodrigo Rato who served as finance minister in the government of José María Aznar. The majority of its board were former politicians, their family members, or trade union leaders. But they were all replaced by Mr Goirigolzarri with new directors from the business world, who were without any direct ties to Spanish politics.

Keywords: presswatch