Opening Bell: Businesses await Budget 2017, KBC hit with €1.4m fine, Eurozone split on Greece

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"Brexit-proofing" Irish business is set to be a key aim of Budget 2017, with tax breaks for startups and increased funding for the agri-food sector.

According to the Irish Independent, Finance Minister Michael Noonan will tell the Dáil that while the UK's decision to leave the European Union presents huge challenges, the Government is well-prepared to attract entrepreneurs and highly-skilled workers.

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor should halve the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on startups to 10%, as well as raise the CGT threshold to €10m, bringing Ireland in line with the UK.

There will also be tax incentives for graduates who purchase company shares. Meanwhile, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA should see funding increased "substantially".


The Central Bank has fined KBC Bank Ireland €1.4 million for breaches of the Code of Practice on Lending to Related Parties.

These parties could include directors, senior managers, major shareholders and spouses or domestic partners.

The breaches occurred between September 2012 and February of this year, with the Central Bank saying that KBC failed on 18 separate occasions to have adequate policies and processes in place to identify loans to related parties; to obtain approval prior to granting a loan; and in respect of the management of four loans to two parties.

Derville Rowland, the Central Bank's director of enforcement, called related party lending an issue of "significant prudential concern".

The Central Bank introduced the Code in 2011 to guard against abuses as part of the Central Bank’s regulatory approach following the financial crisis. This is the first enforcement action brought by the Central Bank against a credit institution for breaches of the Code.


Germany's biggest public pensions group is leading the race for the purchase of the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in west Dublin, the Irish Times reports.

The Munich-based Bayerische Versorgungskammer is rumoured to have been officially selected as preferred bidder for the €600m shopping centre, though this could not be confirmed on Monday.

Texas-based commercial real-estate group Hines, HSBC Alternative Investments and the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Group put the shopping centre up for sale in July.


Eurozone finance ministers were split over whether Greece has fulfilled the requirements of its third bailout as they met in Luxembourg on Monday.

While they signed off on €1.1 billion in aid for the country, they delayed sanctioning an additional €1.7bn.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble in particular voiced objections to the proposed final funding of €2.8bn.

The €1.7bn – which is linked to the payment of arrears – is being withheld until data related to the payment is provided. Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he “hopes and presumes” that authorities will have this information by the end of October.