Anglo rewind; Brexit betting and Johnny Ronan in Cherrywood

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at the European Financial Forum, in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at the European Financial Forum, in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


The man whose shredding of documents was a key factor in the collapse of the trial of former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick wants a public hearing to explain his errors, and other alleged failings in that investigation. Mark Paul has the details.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told 300 senior bankers at the European Financial Forum in Dublin that he expects the UK to leave the European Union at the end of March with a withdrawal deal. But, as Joe Brennan reports, he stressed that the Government will continue to prepare for “for all outcomes”, including a no-deal Brexit.

Developer Johnny Ronan has been named preferred bidder for a major office and residential development on a 13.1 acre site in the new Dublin suburb of Cherrywood that was put on the market in an innovative asset swap deal, writes Jack Horgan-Jones.

Jack also reports that a proposed hotel in Donnybrook on a site owned by a company connected with Denis O’Brien has won planning permission over the objections of local residents.

Even the forced nationalisation of its Venezuelan plant could not hold down Smurfit Kappa which has reported a 25 per cent rise in pre-tax profit last year. And that’s good news for shareholders, writes Joe Brennan, as the company now plans to increase its dividend payout by 12 per cent.

Good news on dividends also for shareholders at Tullow, who will get a payout a year earlier than expected after the explorer bounced back into profit and announced it had settled its difference with Uganda over tax. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

KPMG is on the lookout for a new HQ that will house its 2,500 Dublin staff, writes Barry O’Halloran. Managing partner Shaun Murphy will hope that more options materialise than the last time he proposed a similar move back in 2013.

In Net Results , Karlin Lillington cheers a landmark ruling in a German court which, if upheld, will, she says, upend the murky business models of Facebook and others that currently exploit personal data gathered in ways consumers cannot fully understand, then stockpiled and used for purposes and profiling that are mostly invisible.

Ciara O’Brien has advice on how to spring clean your online identity, with a special focus on managing passwords and keeping them secure.

And with Valentine’s Day dawning, Fiona Alston talks to three couples who live and work together on how they making it work.

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