Tapping Apple or eurobonds to meet the economic cost of Covid-19

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

Billy Kane’s non-bank lender Finance Ireland is pressing pause on a planned May stock market flotation.

Billy Kane’s non-bank lender Finance Ireland is pressing pause on a planned May stock market flotation.

 

Coronavirus continues to overshadow the business world, with much of corporate Ireland figuring how they and their employees are going to manage a sustained shutdown, or whether they can pivot into areas in demand as the State battles to contain Covid-19.

Billy Kane’s non-bank lender Finance Ireland is pressing pause on a planned May stock market flotation, writes Joe Brennan, after a week in which global shares were in tumult.

Elsewhere, the 75 per cent crash in the value of AIB shares - including a 24 per cent slide in one day last week - means the lender is unlikely to pay a special dividend to shareholders, including the State which owns 71 per cent of the business. However, Joe Brennan reports that it is expected to follow through on plans to pay out its standard dividend at a cost of €217 million , according to analysts at US investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

Chris Johns crosses a line only recently seen as reckless with a suggestion that a cash-strapped Government of an Irish State still deep in debt should consider tapping the ¤15 billion or so that Apple has placed in an escrow account over disputed back taxes.

More than 400 business academics have written an open letter calling on the European Council of Ministers to sanction a pooled euro zone fundraising instrument – a eurobond – to finance the stimulus required to keep the bloc’s economy above water. In addition, Jack Horgan-Jones reports, they say no country should have to seek a bailout or follow policy prescriptions handed down by Europe in order to access emergency EU funding.

Closer to home, SuperValu, Centre and related stores are tapping some of those who have lost their jobs elsewhere - particularly in the hospitality sector - as they look to beef up staff numbers to meet the exceptional demand on food retailers during the crisis.

And, in World of Work, as Pilita Clark and her partner find themselves adopting very different approaches to the Covid-19 crisis, she asks what is it that allows people to adopt such opposing responses to crises.

Finally, an Italian-US business that uses ozone gas to sanitise surfaces and vehicles says it has seen demand for its products jump 400 per cent in Ireland in just three months. Joe Brennan has the details.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our business news alerts and our Business Today daily email news digest.