Mortgage dilemma, food for thought, and a €10m insect farm

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


Difficulties getting access to their collateral in the event of loan default means potential new entrants into the State’s mortgage market are likely to “think twice”, the interim chief executive of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland said. Joe Brennan reports that his comments come against a background of increasing political clamour to make it even more difficult to repossess homes.

Sticking with property, conditions imposed on a plan to build 164 homes on the site of a disused hotel inHowth already tackle concerns that local objectors are raising in a court challenge to the project, the developer behind the scheme has said. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

Strong Roots, the Irish food company that offers healthy frozen options life kale-and-quinoa burgers and sweet potato fries, is hoping to break into the US market after securing two more British supermarket clients. And the company is confident it can defy any Brexit slowdown, Charlie Taylor writes.

And the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Ireland may be less severe than previously thought, according to London-based consultancy Capital Economics. Eoin Burke-Kennedy outlines their thinking.

But, in a blow for Theresa May, carmaker Nissan over the weekend scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV in Britain, citing uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the EU as a factor making it harder to plan for its future.

Not for nothing is horse racing called the sport of kings; it’s an expensive business but the analysis of the performance of horses tested to assess their ideal racing distance shows the test by Irish company PlusVital can make racing less of a gamble for owners, writes Barry O’Halloran.

Irish start-up Hexafly is looking to raise €10 later this year to fund a state-of-the-art insect farm in Meath to provide insect protein to the animal deed and aquaculture markets. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe has promised a “comprehensive search” for a replacement should Philip Lane, as expected land a role on the European Central Bank executive board. Joe Brennan notes that the departing bank chief is the first to have been selected through an open recruitment process.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma took to giving his views on career development and the life cycle in a video from Davos, with a somewhat dismissive view of the potential of young people and the over-50s. Billionaires, argues Pilita Clark , are much better seen and not heard.

It is different this time”, is one of the biggest red lights in the investment market, Chris Johns concedes but, as the prospect of a looming global recession gathers support, he argues that, just for once, it might be different this time.

Finally, Brussels is to give airline groups such as Ryanair and IAG, seven months to overhaul their shareholder make-up in the event of a no-deal Brexit, or face losing full flying rights within the EU.

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