Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland is finalising plans to launch a €1bn-plus rights issue within six to eight weeks – the first time an Irish bank has tried to raise funding in global capital markets since the onset of the credit crunch, The Sunday Times says.

The transfer of the bank’s first batch of property loans to Nama and European Commission approval of its business plan will determine the timing of the rights issue.

Film Investment

If you want to keep more of your hard-earned dosh out of the taxman’s clutches then it’s time to go to the movies, advises Niall Brady in The Sunday Times.

The potential upside has increased since the government increased the threshold for investment in the film industry from €31,750 to €50,000, recognising its importance to job creation.

Stand-up Economics

David McWilliams is about to take to the stage but he ain’t getting out of Dodge, The Sunday Times reports.

The foppy-haired economic commentator who coined such iconic Celtic Tiger characters as Breakfast Roll Man and Miss Pencil Skirt, is in talks with The Abbey Theatre about a stage play based on the boom and bust of the economy.

“It’s more of an event than a play,” one source told the newspaper. “It’s stand-up economics in the style of Garrison Keillor.”

The Death of an Inventor

The death of Fred Morrison makes the international pages of several newspapers. He is credited with inventing one of the most iconic of toys – the Frisbee.

Morrison, 90, stumbled on his money-spinner when he and his girlfriend were throwing the lid of a popcorn box to each other in the back garden sometime in the 1950s. After it became dented, the pair moved on to the lid of a cake dish, which proved sturdier.

The Shelbourne Hotel

Dublin’s swish Shelbourne Hotel is a financial black hole. Its owners, who include property developer Bernard McNamara and oil distributor John Sweeney, have ploughed €230m into it with little prospect of any return.

An independent accountants’ report seen by The Sunday Business Post show a consortium of high-flying investors have earned nothing from their investment so far and “there is no expectation at present that there will be any return of investment in this property, nor indeed a repayment of capital in the short term”.

The report compiled by Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon will play a key role in Sweeney’s petition for examinership, which is due to be heard in the High Court tomorrow (Monday, February 8).

The consortium of investors paid €120m for the hotel in 2004 and then pumped a further €120m into a total renovation of the Stephens’ Green landmark.

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