Morning business news - July 16

Wednesday 16 July 2014 10.04
Morning business news - July 16
Morning business news - July 16

The second three months of the year have seen signs of a possible improvement in lending to small and medium-sized companies, but failure to address the issue of personal debt - taken on by business owners for property and pensions - has the potential to hold the sector back. 

That's according to John Finn of Treasury Solutions, who said that debts undertaken a number of years ago may be making it difficult for businesses to borrow now.

“There’s only two ways SMEs can grow their businesses – one is to borrow and the other is to reinvest cash from the business,” he said. “Clearly if they can’t borrow or money is tight they’re left with their existing resources.”

He said that many had taken on loans between 2006 and 2008 under the presumption that they could use excess cash from their business to fund them. However the downturn in the economy meant that that money did not materialise and they are now struggling to access additional credit.

Mr Finn said the big hurdle that remains is the ECB stress tests of banks, which has effectively seen banks halt activities until they know the results.

“The stress tests are vital from a number of fronts, but in particular the pillar banks need to know they can pass the tests with no further capital requirements,” he said.

“Once they know that they probably know the provisioning is okay, the property market is slowly beginning to pick up so they shouldn’t really have to provide any more.

“We’re talking 2015 before the stress tests are out of the way and hopefully then the banks can get to some kind of regular provisioning again.”

Mr Finn also said that currency fluxuations were putting pressure on SMEs, as the euro’s strengthening against the likes of the dollar means that there is less value to be had in exports.

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Aer Lingus regional has recorded 12 months in a row of growth. 

In June the airline carried over 130,000 passengers and introduced its eighth new plane on its Glasgow routes. Last month was its best month on record since the franchise with Stobart Air began in March 2010.

A statement this morning says June 2014 was also a record month for the Dublin to London Southend route, due in part to Wimbledon. There was a 39% increase in traffic compared to the same period last year.

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Apple and IBM have announced a business partnership that will see the two firms co-develop business apps for iPhones and iPads. 

It marks a fresh attempt by Apple to take advantage of Blackberry's decline and an appetite from the business world for an alternative to Microsoft's products.

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Shares in chip maker Intel rose 4% after the firm reported profits rose 45% in the second three months of the year to $2.8bn, driven by stronger-than-expected PC sales to businesses.

Sales of PCs - particularly those used by businesses - rose by 6%. The boost in PC sales surprised analysts, though many had predicted that the long global slide in PC sales would slow soon.

Recent research found that the number of tablet computers shipped in the first three months of 2014 fell for the first time, to 56 million from 59 million one year ago.

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Internet giant Yahoo reported that profit fell by 18% to $270m during the three months to the end of June. Revenue also fell, dropping 3% to $1.08bn. 

The price-per-ad - that is, the amount Yahoo charges advertisers for digital display advertisements - fell 24%.