More time for Masding, Eason profits, Siro funding and what next for the Glass Bottle site?

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

Needs more time:  Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding pictured at the bank’s results briefing on Thursday.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Needs more time: Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding pictured at the bank’s results briefing on Thursday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw


Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding wants more time to grow the value of the bailed-out bank before getting into in any merger discussions, he said on Thursday. Joe Brennan reports that Mr Masding, speaking as the bank reported results, wants to give growing its value his “best shot”.

Retailer Eason last year recorded its highest profit since 2006, reports Ciarán Hancock. The €4 million after-tax return, which reflected a property-related tax credit, compared to a loss of about the same level in the previous year.

Siro, the telco joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, has secured €200 million in capital from a syndicate of international banks to fund the next phase of its rollout. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has details of the funding, and also brings an interview with Siro chief executive, John Keaney. The son of Irish emigrants to England, Keaney explains how decent broadband can be transformative when it comes to securing commercial activity outside major urban centres.

Green Reit appears to be edging closer to exiting the stock market as the deadline for bids to acquire it passes. Joe Brennan reports that three bidders are thought to remain in the race, while, in the background, Larry Goodman continues to build a stake.

Still in property, Barry O’Halloran takes an in-depth look in this week’s Agenda at what might happen the Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin, which is up for sale. He notes that since becoming vacant 17 years ago, the landmark property has made one owner rich, contributed to the bankruptcy of another and been a major front in social housing battles. What next?

John FitzGerald has farmers on his mind this week, specifically how they might be encouraged to make changes to help the State to meet its targets for reducing emissions. It’s time for dialogue, he suggests.

In his Caveat column, Mark Paul reflects on the “cashless society”, which he says is being rammed down our throats by interested parties. A cashless society is, he argues, a surveillance society, something that should make us all pause before we whip out our debit card for that morning latte.

Olive Keogh takes a look at maternity entitlements at work today, outlining how a woman’s rights when returning to a job after having a baby need to be preciously minded and observed.

Budapest-based Charles Griffin is this week’s Wild Goose. He explains to Fiona Alston how a trip to visit a pal in the city in 2007 turned into a new life, leading him to open an Irish pub and restaurant.

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