TROUBLED INVESTMENT ENTITY BASED IN DUBLIN - The Irish Times reports that Ormond Quay, the Dublin-based investment vehicle whose difficulties caused the near collapse of the state bank of Saxony, made a gross profit of €7.99m last year but paid only €250 in tax.

The paper says the IFSC-based company has two Irish directors, Dan McGing, the former chairman of ACCBank and George Maloney as directors. It says Mr McGing declined to comment last night and Mr Maloney could not be reached.

Ormond is a specialised investment vehicle known as a 'conduit'. These vehicles are highly leveraged and established at arm's length by financial institutions in order to avoid having to reflect their debts on their own balance sheet.

It was one of three conduits managed by Sachsen LB Europe, the Irish subsidiary of Sachsen LB, which is the state bank of the German state of Saxony. Sachsen LB Europe was established in 1999 and employs about 50 staff at George's Quay in Dublin.

Meanwhile the paper quotes the Central Bank as saying it has no role in the regulation or authorisation of 'conduit funds'.


QUINN HOTEL PROFITS DIPPED IN 2005 - The Irish Independent says Seán Quinn's hotel group made profits of €9.2m in 2005, even though it includes just two of the Fermanagh billionaire's nine hotels.

The paper says Mr Quinn's more high-profile hotel interests include the Belfry and the Slieve Russell, but the only hotels in Quinn Group Hotels Ltd are the Hilton and Ibis in Prague.

These two hotels notched up a turnover of €48.3m in 2005, down slightly on 2004's figures of €49.8m, while profits fell from €11m to €9.2m. The Indo quotes a spokesman as saying that the fall in both profits and turnover was due to refurbishments which had taken place over 2005.


CHINESE CLOTHES SPARK SAFETY FEARS - The Financial Times says the safety problems affecting Chinese goods spread from toys to textiles as New Zealand said it would investigate allegations that imported children's clothes contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde.

The paper says the government ordered the probe after scientists hired by a consumer watchdog programme discovered formaldehyde in Chinese clothes at levels of up to 900 times regarded as safe.

Manufacturers sometimes apply formaldehyde to clothes to prevent mildew. It can cause skin rashes, irritation to the eyes and throat and allergic reactions.

The Warehouse, a New Zealand retailer, issued a recall at the weekend for children's pyjamas made in China after two children were burned when their flannelette nightclothes caught fire. The FT says the New Zealand investigation is the first time that the safety of Chinese clothes has been called into question.


INM DENIES INDONESIAN MEDIA MOVE - The Irish Examiner says Independent News & Media has denied that it has entered the Indonesian market, despite market speculation to the contrary.

There has been talk that IN&M has apparently agreed to invest $500m (€371m) in the Indonesian media sector - both via the establishment of printing facilities next year and a number of acquisitions. However, the group has said that such talk is wide of the mark.

The Examiner says the confusion seems to have sprung from a local media report in an Indonesian business publication, which suggested that IN&M had already acquired a local newspaper for between $50m and $60m.

But it quotes a spokesperson for IN&M as saying the report was 'way off the mark' and may even have mixed up IN&M with Waterford Wedgwood, which has invested in the Indonesian market in recent times.