PTSB says no, a Zara company windfall and who’s for the chair at BofI?

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

Permanent TSB is likely to refuse any invitation to discuss its planned mortgages sale before the Oireachtas finance committee. Photograph: Alan Betson

Permanent TSB is likely to refuse any invitation to discuss its planned mortgages sale before the Oireachtas finance committee. Photograph: Alan Betson


Permanent TSB, at the centre of storm over its plans to sell batches of mortgages, is likely to turn down any invitation to appear before the Oireachtas finance committee to discuss the issue, Ciarán Hancock and Charlie Taylor report this morning. The issue also features in this week’s Inside Business podcast, in association with Irish Life, where Ciarán and Cliff Taylor speak to New Beginning founder Ross Maguire about the role of so-called vulture funds in getting soured loans off banks’ books.

Separately, Ciarán looks at who might be likely to step into the shoes of chair at Bank of Ireland after the planned retirement of Archie Kane.

The Central Bank’s inquiry into the events at Irish Nationwide before the financial crisis continues today, with former managing director Michael Fingleton due to carry on with his cross-examination of former head of credit risk, Darragh Daly. On Wednesday, as Barry O’Halloran reports, Mr Daly said there was a general lack of understanding of risk at the building society ahead of 2008.

Inditex, the Spanish owner of high-fashion chain Zara, is in line for a €4 million windfall from what appears to be the winding down of the Irish unit that handles most of its global online sales, writes Mark Paul. The Dublin-registered company is known for its role in Inditex’s global tax planning .

Still on tax, a new study from the ESRI finds that a range of tax breaks and incentives in areas from fuels to company cars are having a negative impact on climate change. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

Jobseeker boost

We bring good news for jobseekers today, particularly those seeking work in technology. Irish IT services firm Ammeon and Dublin-based chipmaker DecaWave have both announced 100 new roles, while the latter has also completed a $30 million funding round. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Positive noises on the jobs front are emerging in the area around the new children’s hospital in the south inner city too, with Sarah Burns reporting on how the development is helping people in the local community to secure employment.

The chair of Digital Rights Ireland Dr TJ McIntyre uses today’s Net Results column to raise serious concerns about planned legislation on data protection. In this subscriber-only piece, he argues that the Bill, if enacted as it stands, will undermine the State’s reputation as a credible regulator in the data protection arena.

Separately, Elaine Edwards takes an in-depth look at what exactly the forthcoming Irish implementation of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) actually means for organisations here.

Also in technology this week, Mark Weiss in Jerusalem shines a light on Israel’s dominance in cybersecurity, an area growing in importance with every new ransomware attack.

In Innovation, Dr Jacek Kibilda of Trinity College considers the possibilities that might be delivered by 5G, a technology that he says will need a “massive infrastructure development”.

And in the same section, Fiona Alston profiles Equine MediRecord, a company whose app allows horse-trainers to track the complex medication regimes of their four-legged charges without needing to resort to the old unreliable paper and pen.

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