Today in the press

Thursday 01 May 2014 10.13
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers

EX-REGULATOR CON HORAN WILL GO BACK TO WORK AT CENTRAL BANK - Former regulator Con Horan is due to return to work at the Central Bank at the end of the year - but the bank will not say what job he will come back to, says the Irish Independent. The role played by the Office of the Financial Regulator in an illegal loan scheme involving Anglo Irish Bank in 2008 was described as a "sorry story" by current Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan yesterday, as he insisted it could not happen again now. Mr Honohan was reacting to comments from Judge Martin Nolan, that the two former Anglo Irish Bank directors found guilty under Section 60 of the Companies Act had been "led" into "error and illegality" by the state agency. Along with his then-boss Pat Neary, Mr Horan was part of the senior management at the Office of the Financial Regulator - part of the Central Bank - when the former Anglo directors William McAteer (63) and Pat Whelan (52) allowed their bank to make illegal loans to the Maple 10 group of investors. The two former Anglo executives were found guilty of the offence under Section 60 of the Companies Act last month. Mr Horan gave evidence during the trial. Speaking at the announcement of the Central Bank's annual report, Mr Honohan said that the the judge's comments were not a surprise.

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MICHAEL CAWLEY TO BE NAMED FÁILTE IRELAND CHAIRMAN - The former deputy chief executive of Ryanair Michael Cawley is set to become the next chairman of State tourism agency Fáilte Ireland. The Irish Times has learned Mr Cawley's appointment was agreed at Cabinet yesterday following a recommendation from Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar. He will serve a five-year term. The Corkman will fill a role vacated last September by Redmond O'Donoghue, the former head of Waterford Wedgwood. Mr Cawley stepped down as deputy chief executive and chief operating officer with Ryanair in March after 17 years service but remains as a non-executive director of the airline. He has other high-profile directorships, including with listed bookmaker Paddy Power and with electricity supplier Prepay Power. In a statement about Mr Cawley's imminent appointment, the Minister said: "If Michael Cawley can do for Irish tourism what he did for Ryanair, I will be a very happy Minister. I'm delighted to nominate a chairman of the calibre of Michael Cawley and I think he is an ideal fit for Fáilte Ireland".

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REFIT FOR EX-ANGLO BUILDING ON CARDS - The completion of the ill-fated former Anglo Irish Bank building on Dublin’s North Wall Quay has moved a step closer, writes the Irish Examiner. This follows the Central Bank seeking main contractors for the construction and fit-out of its new head office that will be housed in the former Anglo building. The Central Bank wants to shortlist a maximum of seven contractors and according to tender documentation, hopes that construction work will commence in the first quarter of 2015 and be completed by late 2016. Competition is expected to be intense and the Central Bank states intends to appoint the successful tenderer in Q1 2015. Already, the Central Bank - which has paid €8m for the site and building - has sought tenders for a contractor to complete the facade. According to the Central Bank, the main building contractor will be appointed around the point at which the manufacture of the facade will commence. In March, Dublin City Council approved the plans that involves covering the skeleton of the building with a fine mesh facade made of bronze coloured anodised metal to create an eight-storey office block. Work stopped on the Anglo building in 2008 and images of the shell came to symbolise the economic crash. 

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STEPHEN ELOP GETS BIGGER THAN EXPECTED €24.2m NOKIA PAY-OFF - Stephen Elop received a bigger-than-expected pay-off of €24.2m from Nokia despite the former chief executive presiding over a dramatic decline in market capitalisation, revenues and profits at the Finnish technology group. Disclosure of Mr Elop’s pay-off - initially forecast as €18.8m - sparked controversy in Finland in September with both the prime minister and finance minister criticising it as “outrageous” and “a threat to social harmony”, says the Financial Times. Nokia on Wednesday reported the final details of the golden goodbye, awarded as part of the deal struck to sell Nokia’s handsets business for €5.6 billion to Microsoft. Mr Elop, who now heads Microsoft’s devices business and was an executive at the US group before joining Nokia, received €4.1m in salary and €20.1m from share awards. He also earned more last year than in any previous year at Nokia, taking home €9.7m in salary, mostly in stock awards. Under Mr Elop’s three-year tenure, Nokia’s market value fell by €17 billion to €11 billion while net sales nearly halved from €10.3 billion to €5.7 billion. Operating profit dropped by 70% to €118m from the third quarter of 2010 when he took over to the third quarter of 2013, just after he stepped down on September 3. 

Keywords: presswatch