Today in the pressTuesday 12 August 2014 12.09
PROPERTY OWNERS RISK PENALTY OF €7,230 AS AMNESTY COMES TO AN END - Landlords and owners of holiday homes are being urged to settle any outstanding NPPR charges before August 31 to avoid additional late payment penalties, which could be as high as €7,230, says the Irish Times.
The Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) charge of €200 was introduced in 2009 applied people who owned a property that was not their private residence, with exemptions allowed for mobile homes and those involved in judicial separation or divorce. It was replaced with the property tax regime last year, but not all owners of multiple properties have yet complied with the charge. The annual charge of €200 applies for all years 2009-2013 and homeowners who have not yet paid the charge are already liable for late payment charges. For example, someone who has never paid the charge now owes €4,220, while a homeowner who missed payment in 2012 and 2013 owes €1,000.
NOONAN'S OFFICIALS: WE WILL HAVE SAY AT ECB - Finance Minister Michael Noonan's officials are insisting Ireland will still have a voice at European Central Bank meetings, even after losing automatic voting rights. And the Department of Finance points out that larger countries, including Germany and France, will also lose their permanent votes, says the Irish Independent. From January 1 next year, all members of the euro zone will get rotating votes at ECB Governing Council meetings. Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has called for a guarantee from the ECB that if a country is not voting, the concerns of that country have to be reflected in the final decision of the ECB. The changes are coming about because Lithuania is due to become the 19th member of the euro area in 2015. The latest arrival triggers a change in the ECB Governing Council's voting rules, which were agreed in 2003 and amended in 2008. The Department said every country will still have a voice at the table, regardless of who votes. "Voting rights will rotate monthly which means that some governors will not be able to vote in any given month - though all can participate in the discussions. The rotation system will change again when the number of euro-area members reaches 22," the department said.
DUBLIN PAYMENTS PROVIDER SELLS SWEDISH UNIT TO FOCUS ELSEWHERE - Dublin-based electronic payments solutions provider Payzone has sold its Swedish unit for an undisclosed sum, with management saying it will focus on other markets. The company provides a variety of payment technology solutions, such as ATMs, credit/debit card terminals, and mobile phone top-up machines. It has sold the Payzone Nordic business, which it created in 1989, to Nets, a Danish-headquartered, pan-Nordic payment transaction services provider, reports today's Irish Examiner. The business being sold is a local market leader in payment services for the retail, hotel, and restaurant sectors and processes about 150 million transactions per year. Operating solely in the integrated payment service provider sector, and one of the largest electronic funds transfer networks in Sweden alone, Payzone Nordic generated sales of around €8m last year and employs almost 50 people. According to Payzone chief executive Mike Maloney, the deal is strategically significant for the firm’s shareholders and is being done as the Nordic business is no longer deemed a core entity.
BUZZFEED'S $50m INVESTMENT BUCKS THE GLOOM IN NEWS - BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment website that has surged to success on the back of social media sharing, is getting a $50m shot in the arm from an Andreessen Horowitz investment that reportedly values the company at $850m. The injection more than doubles the funding BuzzFeed has raised to date and will be used to beef up its video unit, offer new content sections and invest more in international editions, says the Financial Times. The company will also create an in-house incubator for new technology and acquisitions and centralise its advertorial efforts. Soaring valuations for digital companies like BuzzFeed and Vice Media stand in contrast with the gloom around a print sector that has largely been left behind in the recent flurry of media dealmaking. Newspaper and magazine groups from News Corp, Time and Tribune to, most recently, Gannett have been spun off from once diversified parent companies that prefer to focus on higher-margin television, film and digital properties. “Over the last decade, traditional media has been upended by technology,” said Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed founder and chief executive who also co-founded the Huffington Post. “We created BuzzFeed because people still want to be informed, entertained, and inspired but the way they consume media has dramatically shifted.”