AIB plans to purge €1.8bn in non-performing loans

Seen & Heard: Post-Brexit relocation, multinational reassurance and jobs plan scrapped

AIB is preparing to sell hundreds of investment properties. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

AIB is preparing to sell hundreds of investment properties. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

AIB is planning a purge of its non-performing €1.8 billion loan book, triggering fears among borrowers that their loans may be offloaded to vulture funds in advance of the bank’s privatisation, according to the Sunday Business Post.

The bank is preparing to sell hundreds of investment properties as a first stage, the newspaper reports, with Cerberus among the most likely buyers.

The State-owned lender has lodged 64 summary proceedings against debtors in January.

China and Japan

Bank of China and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) are in talks to move part of their London operations to Ireland in the wake of the UK’s exit from the European Union, says the Sunday Independent.

The two banks are understood to have held a series of pre-application meetings with the Central Bank ahead of a potential move to Ireland.

The banks are part of a cohort of more than 10 City of London-based Asian and American banks that are in talks with the State about relocating here post-Brexit.

State aid

Tech giants PayPal, Google and Facebook sought reassurance from the Government about Ireland’s tax regime following last year’s Brussels ruling that Apple’s arrangements in Ireland amounted to illegal state aid, reports the Sunday Times.

The newspaper says senior executives from the three companies met Government figures including Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the months before the European Commission ordered Apple to pay the State €13 billion in back taxes.

The meetings were recorded on the lobbying register.

Unilever goods

Tesco’s £3.7 billion takeover of the wholesale giant Booker is expected to reignite the row between the supermarket chain and Unilever over the price of goods, reports the Sunday Telegraph.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said he was ready to use the extra scale from its merger with Booker to fight “inflationary pressure”. Suppliers, meanwhile, are likely to claim that the deal will create a dangerously dominant player in UK groceries market. Mr Lewis temporarily withdrew Unilever goods from Tesco shelves last year when the manufacturer attempted to raise prices, blaming the weakness in sterling.

Diaspora scheme

An IDA scheme to use the Irish diaspora to bring jobs to Ireland has been scrapped after it only secured about 10 per cent of the 5,000 roles that had been targeted, reports the Sunday Business Post.

The inward investment agency said it was not renewing the Succeed in Ireland Initiative, which paid individuals €1,500 for every job created. The scheme, operated by the company Connect Ireland, created 527 jobs over a period of five years. Connect Ireland said it had pledges from companies to create almost 2,300 jobs.