Central Bank race heats up, details on Kingspan’s bid and Ulster Bank’s charges

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

Who will win the race to take the top job at the Central Bank?

Who will win the race to take the top job at the Central Bank?


The race to become the next governor of the Central Bank is heating up, with the shortlist now down to four. Joe Brennan has the details, noting that deputy governor Sharon Donnery remains the bookies’ favourite.

Austrian manufacturer Greiner has emerged as the third party to insulation specialist Kingspan’s ¤700 million bid for parts of Belgian rival, Recticel, reports Barry O’Halloran. Kingspan offered to buy the Belgian company’s insulation and flexible foam divisions earlier this week.

Barry also brings news of plans by builder Glenveagh Properties to build more than 270 apartments in Cork under the fast-track planning scheme for housing.

A UK hedge fund has built up a 12.4 per cent interest in Dublin-listed IFG Group as it takes advantage of the financial services firm trading at a discount to the price at which it has agreed to be taken over. Joe Brennan has the story.

Many Ulster Bank customers are waking up to more expensive banking as the fee structures on their accounts change. Peter Hamilton writes that high-frequency users of services including contactless payments will be most affected.

John FitzGerald is concerned this week with taxing wealth, focusing particularly on property taxes. He argues that it would be fairer if taxes were levied on a house’s equity rather than on the total value.

Colm Keena takes an in-depth look at the often-expensive point where personal injuries and insurance meet the courts, with one convenience store owner telling him that persistent premium rises are putting his business in jeopardy.

Also in features, we survey the growing market for non-alcoholic beers, a sub-sector being embraced by all of the major global brewing players.

This week’s Business Interview features Mike Mussallem, chief executive of Edwards Lifesciences, which is spending €80 million on a Limerick plant that is set to employ 600 people. Mr Mussallem, a chemical engineer by profession, explains how he fell in love with the manufacture of heart valves.

In our Work section, Olive Keogh considers the concept of unconscious bias, whereby an interview panel for example might find itself hiring people in their own likeness, without even realising it. She offers some tips for avoiding falling into this trap.

This week’s Wild Goose is Carmel Galvin, the San Francisco-based chief human resources officer with software group Autodesk. The Trinity College graduate tells Olive Keogh how California has been good to her, and that she still gains huge support from the Irish community in the US.

And finally, as Brexit hits pause, Ronan Higham of Belfast-based shop-fitting company Pure Fitout, says in our Brexit Proof section that the UK government has “left it too late for a positive outcome”.

Stay up to date: sign up to our business news alerts here and our Business Today daily email news digest here.