Aughinish risk; FDI boost; and keeping tabs on staff credit cards

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

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for a vote to stop the lifting of sancitons against Aughinish Alumina owner  Oleg Deripaska and his Rusal companies. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for a vote to stop the lifting of sancitons against Aughinish Alumina owner Oleg Deripaska and his Rusal companies. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

 

Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the US senate, has said he will force a vote this week on the decision to lift sanctions on the parent company of Aughinish Alumina in Limerick – a move that Washington correspondent Suzanne Lynch writes is backed by Ireland but opposed by US Democrats.

Foreign direct investment(FDI) by China in Ireland rebounded sharply last year, writes Charlie Taylor, even as investment by the country in Europe and North America generally fell to a six-year low.

Mergers and acquisitions activity in the State took off last year with the value of the 163 transactions totalling €76 billion, up 370 per cent on the €16.2 billion of business done in 151 deals in 2017, Charlie Taylor reports. The figures were skewed by the Takeda takeover of Shire.

Ulster Bank has launched a mobile app that will allow Irish businesses to monitor staff spending on company credit cards. Joe Brennan reports

Saudi Arabia felt compelled to add a reference to the killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi in bond documents filed with the Irish Stock Exchange to support the country’s successful sale of $7.5 billion of debt last week. Joe Brennan has the details.

When it comes to employee benefits, men are more likely to be offered a pension by their employer while women are offered flexi-time more regularly, according to a new survey on workplace benefits.

And Sarah Cooper, standing in for Pilita Clark argues that there are fewer things more frustrating in the workplace than dealing with a boss who hasn’t a clue. She gives some tips on how to manage the situation.

Finally, more than a million people are expected to visit Irish whiskey distilleries this year, as the sector continues to be one of the fastest growing in Irish tourism, writes Charlie Taylor.

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