IBEC AGAINST ANY MOVE ON UNION RECOGNITION - Employers’ group IBEC has said it will totally oppose any move to introduce mandatory trade union recognition or collective bargaining rights as part of a new review established by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton. IBEC director of industrial relations Brendan McGinty said yesterday that while it would participate fully in the review, this was a red line for the organisation, writes the Irish Times. “A key issue for employers is to make sure that there is no measure adopted by the current Government that undermines the environment for employers to either create or sustain jobs. We are operating in the most challenging economic environment for a generation, and essential to that is the maintenance of our voluntarist ethos in terms of how we conduct our industrial relations. IBEC obviously will be participating fully in the review the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise has announced. As far as IBEC is concerned the number one priority is to make sure there is no move towards the introduction of mandatory trade union recognition or collective bargaining rights,” he said. Mr Bruton has sought submissions from parties such as the union movement, IBEC and the American Chamber of Commerce as part of a consultation process on new legislation for collective bargaining promised in the programme for government. The deadline for submissions is the end of February.
FRAMEWORK FOR ESM URGENTLY NEEDED, SAYS ELDERFIELD - Central Bank regulator Matthew Elderfield said there is an urgent need to establish rules for the European Stability Mechanism or ESM, says the Irish Independent. "A framework and set of national powers for resolution are urgently needed measures to make banking union a success and to resolve the financial crisis," Mr Elderfield said at a banking conference in Brussels. The Irish Government still hopes the ESM can be used to reduce Ireland's debt burden. Mr Elderfield said officials must agree to some sort of European resolution authority for banking problems and then explore deposit guarantee arrangements. While many small countries want a new European banking supervisor to guarantee deposits, large countries such as Germany fear that they may end up footing the bill when banks go bust. While supervision from Europe will help prevent mistakes, it is not enough to rely on outsiders, Mr Elderfield said. "As an Englishman working in Ireland, I need to disclose that bringing in a foreigner to do your supervision is not, alas, the magic solution to all the woes of a banking system," he joked. During the same event, the European Union official in charge of regulation said the United States should implement Basel III bank capital rules in the same way as Europe at the beginning of 2014.
MCD RECORDS 'STRONG' PROFITS - Concert promoters MCD Productions recorded “strong” profits last year in spite of a 22% drop in ticket sales to 1.2 millio. Announcing that Oxegen is to return for two days on August 3 and 4 this year, MCD chief executive Denis Desmond said yesterday that he was “very happy with 1.2 million sales in the current economic climate”. Describing the 2012 profits as strong, Mr Desmond said that the biggest grossing shows of last year were two Westlife concerts at Croke Park and Madonna at the Aviva. The level of profits at MCD is not known as it is an unlimited company and therefore not required to disclose annual profits and revenues. However, figures from Pollstar show that gross revenues from MCD-promoted gigs at Dublin’s O2 Arena alone last year totalled over €20m, with the receipts shared between MCD, the artist, the venue, and Ticketmaster. MCD gigs at the O2 last year included concerts by Robbie Williams, One Direction, and Van Morrison. The 1.2 millio ticket sales saw MCD maintain its place as one of the top 10 promoters worldwide, with Pollstar recording that it was the 10th largest promoter in terms of ticket sales. The biggest promoter worldwide was Live Nation with 25.1 million tickets sold.
SANTANDER DRAWN INTO ITALIAN BANK SCANDAL - The fallout from a state bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank, has widened as prosecutors questioned the head of Santander Italy, says the Financial Times. Prosecutors have intensified their inquires into the government’s controversial decision to go ahead with €3.9 billion in loans to Monte dei Paschi, following revelations that its former management - under investigation for alleged fraud and other financial crimes - hid lossmaking derivatives contracts from supervisors. Santander has been drawn into the investigations having sold the Italian regional bank Antonveneta to Monte dei Paschi for €9 billion in 2007, a costly acquisition at almost 20 times earnings that undermined the Tuscan bank’s capital strength. It later sought to bolster its capital through a series of deals including the use of structured finance. Prosecutors in Siena questioned Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the head of Santander Italy, for four hours.The Siena tribunal said it was also considering opening an inquiry into insider trading and stock manipulation at the 500-year-old lender. The investigations follow a public and political outcry over the bailout of Monte dei Paschi, the bank’s second in four years, that has animated debate in the run-up to national elections next month.