NatWest’s PTSB plans, the Declan Kelly episode, and five economic reasons to be merry


British banking giant NatWest Group could take a large minority stake in Permanent TSB (PTSB) in a deal to sell a large portion of the loans from its Ulster Bank unit, Brennan reports. He writes that the PTSB would be interested in around € 9 billion of Ulster Bank’s € 20 billion loan portfolio, as well as deposits and part of the UK bank’s branch network.

Irish Declan Kelly, an influential advisor to Fortune 500 executives, lost his seat on the board of directors of campaign group Global Citizen and ceded some of his responsibilities as head of strategy firm Teneo after a bout of drunkenness during a fundraising concert. Report by Arash Massoudi, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Mark Paul.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested an additional 40 million euros in its Dublin-based European insurance company in February to boost its capital levels, according to the accounts just filed. Ciarán Hancock has this story.

As the debate over reopening the company rages amid the growth of the Delta variant of Covid-19, Mark Paul says now is the time to keep a cool head among policy makers. In his Caveat column, he identifies the main issues at play, particularly urging the government to settle the dispute over the use of antigen testing. He also suggests that the timely introduction of a full vaccination Covid pass could have made many of the ongoing discussions academic.

And still on Covid and the economy, Eoin Burke-Kennedy today has his optimist hat on, findingfive reasons to be positive about our economic situation. It looks like things aren’t that bad, especially not on the personal savings side.

John FitzGerald also covers this topic in his economic column, specifically asking how the release of these record savings levels will affect the housing market. He examines the role of regulatory mortgage rules in influencing prices, concluding that the ball on this front falls much more squarely in the government’s court.

In our Work section, Olive Keogh examines how on-the-job learning has adapted to our Covid lifestyles, finding that employers are much more accepting of online learning. Online career development training is here to stay, she writes.

This week Wild goose is Enniscrone, Co Sligo native David Lynott, who tells Pádraig Collins that he left home at 25 in search of adventure, but just didn’t know how much of it lay in his future. Lynott is now based in Queenstown, New Zealand, where he operates a successful business that operates “shark boats,” submersible craft that can travel underwater.

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