German chancellor Angela Merkel has reached agreement with the Social Democrats on the formation of a new grand coalition, the terms of which have to be voted on by party members now. Crucially, it gives the influential finance ministry to Martin Schulz's party. The SPD has in the past been critical of Ireland's corporate tax and many technology firms that operate here.
Brian Keegan, Head of Taxation and Public Policy with Chartered Accountants Ireland, said there has long been a challenge to Ireland and our tax regime from Europe. He said the narrative had changed, but in ways it was more honest. "It used to be that we weren't collecting enough tax. Now they're saying they want to see EU countries getting tax more relative to the size of the markets, so a small market like Ireland would lose out as a result of these proposals."
Mr Keegan said Ireland was losing an ally at the table on the corporate taxation front in Europe due to Brexit and the country's only allies after the UK leaves will be smaller EU economies. "Corporate tax is a huge component of the overall Irish tax take. 13% of revenue comes from companies - if we're challenged and we have to collect less, there'll be a hit right across the returns," he stated.
Brian Keegan said Brexit presented opportunities to defend our position on tax. "We have the attention of the EU by virtue of Brexit. If Ireland is to be relied on to secure customs union, there has to be a quid pro quo and that's allowing us to continue with tax sovereignty and tax policies," he said.
MORNING BRIEFS - Irish recruitment company Sigmar is to form a strategic partnership with the French firm, Groupe Adéquat. The deal will see the creation of a €1 billion global group. The companies say they will look to expand through growth and acquisitions. The partnership will be formed by way of a five year staged equity investment that will see Groupe Adéquat take a majority interest.
*** Real estate investment Trust Hibernia reported a record year of letting activity in the Dublin Office market in 2017. Over 3.5 million square feet of space was let as a number of large transactions were agreed. The company said the Grade A office vacancy rate in Dublin stood at 6% at the end of last year; it was 3% in Dublin 2 and 4.
*** While it was a bad week overall for US stocks, one stock that has had a turnaround in fortunes is the company behind Snapchat. Up to yesterday, Snap's share price had not been at its initial offering price of $17 in about seven months. But Snap shares gained almost 50% yesterday bringing them to an all time high of close to $21 on the back better than expected results.
*** Irish Distillers has announced a new chairman and chief executive as sales of Jameson Irish whiskey broke the four million cases milestone in first half of the year. CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures is stepping down to take up a new role in the wider Pernod Ricard Group and he will be replaced by Conor McQuaid.