Global markets tumble, BofI pension plans, and how Brexit VAT could close Irish firms

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

A global stock market slump wiped €2.5 billion off Irish stocks on Thursday as Ireland's main stock index fell 3.11 per cent. Markets tumbled after the arrest in Canada of a top executive at Chinese telecoms group Huawei fanned concern over the ability of the US and China to make their trade truce permanent. "The stock market is signalling a recession is on the horizon, a recession that is man-made, with two back-to-back trading days of heavy losses that has sent investors running for the exits," said Chris Rupkey, an analyst at MUFG.

In his analysis of the latest global stock market rout, Cliff Taylor writes that: "Underlying all of this are wider fears about the outlook for global growth."

A post-Brexit VAT change threatens to close thousands of companies by squeezing their cash flows, the Republic's biggest employers' group fears. The UK's exit from the EU in March will put the country outside the bloc's current VAT regime, which allows businesses to immediately reclaim the charge on goods bought from Britain and Northern Ireland. However, once the UK leaves the EU in March, businesses in the Republic face the prospect of paying the VAT on goods imported from the UK at the point of entry while waiting up two months to reclaim the money.

For this week's Agenda feature, Barry talks to several Irish business leaders about how they are preparing for Brexit, amid warnings that time is running out for preparation plans. Meanwhile, Derek Scally reports on how some Irish companies are already developing strong market ties with Germany.


In his Caveat column, Mark Paul calls on lawmakers to offer more protection for gig economy workers, highlighting the case of Deliveroo riders.

John FitzGerald arguesthat the medical redress regime is damaging our health sytem and highlights the adverse downstream consequences.

Finally, Dr Nora Khaldi, founder and chief science officer of Dublin biotechnology company Nuritas, has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for November, an award run in association with KPMG.

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer

Michael McAleer is Motoring Editor, Innovation Editor and an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times