Morning business news - July 24

Thursday 24 July 2014 10.08
Morning business news - July 24
Morning business news - July 24

Hibernia REIT - the property investment company that floated last December - has indicated that it could be close to making another acquisition in Dublin city centre.

In a statement this morning, it said it was in discussions to acquire Cumberland House, a seven storey office building of 112,000 square feet located close to Merrion Square.

The REIT structure was introduced by Michael Noonan in the budget two years ago. Since then, three have floated publicly here - Green REIT, Hibernia and IRES.

Kevin Nowlan, CEO of WK Nolan REIT Management, the investment manager for Hibernia REIT, explained that the REIT structure had been around since the 1960s in the US. 

"It was created to allow ordinary investors to invest in diverse property portfolios. Over a trillion dollars worth of property is owned under this structure and it's growing rapidly."

"It's quite tax efficient," he explained.

"There's no double taxation. You don't pay corporation tax or capital gains on the property. It's paid by shareholders in dividends or capital gains if they sell shares."

Kevin Nowlan said the company had put three quarters of the €336 million that it's invested to date in offices in Dublin.

"That's one of our core markets, our core specialist sector. With the continued uptake of space by foreign direct investment companies, we see significant potential there."

He said Dublin's CBD continued to represent good value for money with a growing economy and a strong demand for office and residential space and a good volume of sales on the horizon for the foreseeable future.

The company hasn't ruled out further investment in the residential space where it sees significant supply shortages.

"We've made an investment in 213 partially complete apartments beside the Dundrum town centre which we're about to start finishing out. I think residential has potential because of the demographic in Dublin and the undersupply situation."

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Shares in Facebook hit a record high last night after the social media company reported a 140% rise in net income for the three month period to the end of June.

Overall revenue of $2.9 billion was up 60% and above Wall Street targets.

Ads on mobile devices now account for 62% of advertising revenue - for Facebook, this is a spectacular shift given that mobile ads accounted for practically nothing two years ago.

The company now has 1.3 billion active users every month, up 14% on last year.

Of these, more than a billion are on mobile devices.

Shares were up around 5% to $75.13 in after-hours trading, giving the company a valuation of around $190 billion.

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The country's CEOs are very optimistic about our economic prospects according to a survey from PwC this morning.

Around 86% say are positive about the outlook for economy - that's up from 31% last year. 

Just over three-quarters of the 256 business chiefs surveyed said they were optimistic about the future prospects for their own businesses - that was up from 44% last year.

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Meanwhile a report from Grant Thornton shows that Ireland continues to outperform in attracting Foreign Direct Investment.

The report indicates that global FDI inflows are estimated to reach $1.8 trillion in 2015 and that Ireland is well-positioned to take advantage of this.

The economic recovery and the quality of the workforce are pull factors, it says, but skill shortages and the cost of doing business could be a deterrent here, it warns.

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Drinks group Britvic has reported group revenue of £329.5 million for the 12 weeks to July 6th, an increase of  4% on the same period last year.

Great Britain revenue increased 4.6% but Ireland revenue was down 2.5%, with volume up 1.0%.

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Asian shares hit six year highs last night after China produced manufacturing figures that indicated that the economy there could be getting back on track for sustained growth.

Manufacturing activity in the world's second biggest economy grew at its fastest pace in 18 months in July, according to HSBC bank.