Belfast connection to money laundering network, timber shortages, and ‘excessive’ damages for defamation

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

Finance Ireland refinanced a portfolio of €295 million worth of mortgages on the international bond market last week.

Finance Ireland refinanced a portfolio of €295 million worth of mortgages on the international bond market last week.

 

Colm Keena’s reporting on the leaked FinCEN Files continues today, with the finding that a mailbox address in Belfast was used by one of the account holders in a Russian money-laundering network that processed hundreds of millions of US dollars. The network was “used by wealthy oligarchs, businessmen and criminals alike”, according to the leaked files from an agency of the US Department of the Treasury, seen by The Irish Times.

Finance Ireland, the largest non-bank lender in the State, refinanced a portfolio of €295 million worth of mortgages on the international bond market last week, becoming the first Irish lender to carry out such a deal since Covid-19 erupted earlier this year. Joe Brennan reports.

Meanwhile, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has said an industry-wide offering of loan payment breaks by EU lenders since March should be phased out on schedule at the end of this month, and banks should return to offering relief on a “case-by-case” basis. Joe also has that story.

Swiss drug giant Roche has paid €380 million upfront for a four-year-old Irish biotech company working on treatments for a range of debilitating inflammatory diseases, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Dominic Coyle has details of the deal.

One of the State’s top law firms has lobbied the Minister for Justice to remove juries from defamation cases in an effort to prevent what it calls “excessive” damages awards. Peter Hamilton reports.

There may be more co-living residences on the way for Dublin and Cork after the company behind the Republic’s first development, Node, announced it has raised £300 million (€327.5 million) as part of a joint venture to expand here. As Node’s founder and chief executive Amil Khera is the first to admit, co-living has become a bit of a dirty word in Ireland in recent times, but the company is hoping to find a middle ground in public perception, according to Cantillon.

In other news, Ireland’s largest manufacturer and recycler of timber pallets, CJ Sheeran Group, has been forced to turn to imported timber as the country faces shortages in the raw material, Peter Hamilton reports.

In her media and marketing column this week, Laura Slattery points the spotlight at big business and asks, what role can sponsors play in helping artists and creatives to survive during this pandemic?

In personal finance, Joanne Hunt encourages us to review our home insurance to save money and the heartache of not being properly covered if the worst were to happen, while Dominic Coyle has advice for a reader on their parents’ wills, following the death of their brother.

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