PTSB’s profits soar; bad news for SMEs; and Brexit logic

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

 France’s minister of the economy and finance Bruno Le Maire speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs in North Great Georges St.Photograph: Alan Betson

France’s minister of the economy and finance Bruno Le Maire speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs in North Great Georges St.Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Permanent TSB’s (PTSB) pre-tax profit before exceptional items soared 45 per cent last year, as the lender grabbed a greater share of the mortgage market and the group shed billions of euro of problem loans. Joe Brennan has the details.

FBD Holdings said on Wednesday that it plans to more than double its dividend to 50c per share after Ireland’s only publicly-quoted indigenous general insurer reported strong full-year results.

Telecommunications group Eir said on Wednesday that its results for the first half of the year were in line with expectations, as it cut costs by €32 million and outlined its efforts to tackle its reputation for poor customer service

The outlook for European interest rates is that they will remain at or close to zero for the next year or more and Irish mortgage rates are still expensive by EU standards. Why then, asks Fiona Reddan, is Bank of Ireland saying the cost of home loans will rise from here.

Staying with property, Fiona reports that Dublin’s most expensive homes are attracting less interest, according to a global survey by estate agents Knight Frank. The average price for Irish luxury homes fell by 2.8 per cent last year. That’s better than London, where prices fell 4.4 per cent but a long way behind the 10.6 per cent rise in Edinburgh.

Grid Finance, one of the largest players in the peer-to-peer lending space has decided to back away from smaller investors and smaller loans. Jack Horgan-Jones explains why.

There’s a logic to Brexit, says UK media commentator Andrew Marr, who was in Dublin yesterday for the Ibec Business Leaders Conference, but it’s not one most voters would be comfortable with. Eoin Burke-Kennedy was on hand to report what it would entail.

Whatever the logic, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire says the UK will have to explain any request to delay Brexit. Mr Le Maire was in town to talk digital tax with his Irish counterparts. In the end, Simon Carswell reports, they had to agree to differ.

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