KBC’s fighting talk; Chinese take Goodbody; and Brexit fear for ham sandwiches

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

KBC Bank has urged the Central Bank to “turn the page” on the tracker mortgage scandal.

KBC Bank has urged the Central Bank to “turn the page” on the tracker mortgage scandal.


KBC, the bank that was the last to face up to the scale of the tracker mortgage crisis, has urged the Central Bank to “turn the page”, saying the continued focus on past failings is holding back the industry. Joe Brennan reports.

Another foreign investor in Ireland is altogether more bullish. Bank of China has confirmed that it is buying Irish stockbroker and wealth manager Goodbody in a deal worth ¤150 million initially – assuming it is cleared by the competition authorities. Joe has the details.

Another tranche of house price data has done little to remove the air of concern around the sector. Eoin Burke-Kennedy writes that completion data for the third quarter is positive but the CSO’s house price index shows the rate of growth still slowing – to an anaemic 1.1 per cent nationally...with prices falling in Dublin.

Apple has ramped up its interest in the health market with the launch of a new research app that it hopes users of iPhones and Apple watches will sign up to. The app will collect healthcare data from customers but promises privacy.

Aer Lingus pilot Pádraig Higgins has been awarded ¤387,000 by a jury after the Irish Aviation Authority accepted it had defamed him over an incident with a microlight in the UK. Our court reporters were on hand for the first jury decision of its type.

Baked goods group Aryzta still can’t catch a break. The listed company which has had a total change of leadership after a series of profit warnings was taken to task at its AGM in Switzerland yesterday by a significant minority of shareholders over remuneration policy and possible dilution of shares.

Brexit is never far away, and John FitzGerald in his column recalls some of the horrors of cross-border life before the European Union when even your ham sandwiches weren’t safe from customs seizure.

In the business interview, Noel and Valerie Moran explain how they grew their card business Prepaid Financial Services from their London kitchen and what they plan to do now that it has been acquired for up to €327 million by Australian group EML Payments. They spoke to Peter Hamilton.

And Colm Keena looks at Sean Quinn’s Quinnbet business and the history between him and the Irish aviation executive whom he has just appointed to the board of the online bookie.

Finally, in Caveat, Mark Paul wonders just how ready Ireland’s tourism sector is for the potential impact on visitor numbers of any ramping up of the trend towards flight-shaming as the environmental lobby gets louder.

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