Allianz shies away from property; no budget for reforms; and renewables go centre stage


The property arm of insurance giant Allianz, which has about 700,000 Irish customers, has decided to pause possible investments in the Irish residential property market due to concern about the potential reputational risk of being cast as a so-called cuckoo or vulture fund, writes Ciarán Hancock.

Budget watchdog, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council warns in a new report that the Government is failing to adequately budget for the cost of climate change and healthcare reform while continuing to rely too heavily on corporation tax receipts.

Facebook’s main Irish subsidiary paid an additional €35 million to settle outstanding tax matters last year, writes Charlie Taylor. And the amount of money it has set aside to cover potential fines from regulatory investigations more than trebled to in excess of €1 billion.

Electricity network group Eirgrid has lined up several big power companies to provide emergency gas-fired electricity supplies in the State for next winter. The news comes as Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan published a policy statement that said the Government would prioritise the construction of more gas-fired power plants in the Republic to combat a squeeze on electricity supplies.

Also on the energy front, Coillte and the ESB launched their new green energy joint venture, Futurenergy, which expects to invest €1 billion building between 15 and 20 wind farms on Coillte land delivering enough power for 500,000 homes by 2030.

A new UK-based banking group that launched on Tuesday after being valued at €972 million is considering setting up its European headquarters in Ireland, once it obtains a licence to operate in the euro zone. Mark Paul has the details.

Former Fianna Fáil senator Donie Cassidy’s Cassidy Hotel Group has acquired Barry’s Hotel in Dublin city centre for about €8 million, writes Ronald Quinlan. The deal is a return to his roots for Cassidy, who previously owned the hotel off O’Connell Street for many years.

Liquidator Myles Kirby will ask the High Court today to order businessman Alan Hynes and a number of others connected with the Tuskar group of companies to return assets allegedly transferred out of three related companies. He is also seeking to have Hynes and his cousin, Frank Hynes, disqualified as directors.

The High Court has cleared the way for a tidy towns group to bring a legal challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s approval of 114 build-to-rent apartments in Rathfarnham, Dublin.

Convenience food group Greencore returned to revenue and profit growth in the second half of its financial year as restrictions to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were unwound in the UK, chief executive Patrick Coveney said in what are the final set of full year results he will deliver ahead of his departure next March. Ciara O’Brien reports.

Covid shutdowns hit former US president Donald Trump’s Doonbeg golf resort hard, with revenues falling by more than two-thirds last year. Gordon Deegan reports.

Also in Commercial Property, Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group looks set to deepen its involvement in the retail sector with a €56 million deal to acquire Manor West Shopping Park in Tralee, Co Kerry.

And TikTok’s long-awaited and much-anticipated move into the Sorting Office in Dublin’s south docklands is expected to take place shortly, with the company understood to have formally signed the deal with the building’s owners, Mapletree Investments, last weekend at a rent of between €55 and €60 per square foot.

Finally, Fiona Reddan asks whether there can be a second act for well known retail brandsin Irish shopping centres as previously shuttered brands are coming back to our streets.

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