Now that we have official confirmation of Ireland (Republic of) PLC essentially being placed in administration and know the broad stroke of the restructuring in our parent company,UK PLC. what is the real financial status of the economy in our small corner of Europe?
Lets start with the blindingly obvious, we are not currently a viable sector of the UK, we cost the parent company more than we contribute in cold hard cash terms, it is true the MD and board have trimmed our running costs and curtailed our redevelopment plans, but they have made clear they intend to hold-on to our department for the foreseeable future, UK PLC. will however expect to see improvements in the long term viability.
As for our trading partner (and occasionally competitor) what effect will its problems have on our business? and to what extent will the problems extend across the border? Although the private sector is probably about a third of our economy, how much of it is connected to the Republic’s problems and therefore under pressure.
Currently of our 4 big banks in NI, one is owned by a Danish Bank with a small operation in the South, another is essentially still under the ownership of the UK government via RSB, adding to its various woes, and it appears the other two will soon be owned by RoI/EU/ECB/IMF etc. however I believe both have been seperated from the parent companies and more than likely will be sold off, when a buyer is found, but not before much of their debt (and some valuable assets in NI) have been slashed off by NAMA.
Should the UK government ask for both the two NI Banks and NI based NAMA assets as collateral for any Bailout loan? Not to mention those being salvaged from the terminally ill Anglo-Irish bank.
I think many of us know developers in NI who’s once extensive property portfolios are now essentially part of those banks or NAMA, many of these building and site are essential to local economies, and neglect over a period of years will not help recovery, surely it would be in our interests to see such assets in UK control for now where some influence can be had over them.
Living within 5 miles of the border I know how much the trade matters, but also know that businesses have adapted to its ups and downs over the decades, the one thing that is becoming clearer is that those who benefit most from that trade are the big supermarkets, the impact therefore of cross border shopping is often over estimated, much more fundamental was the cross border trade within the construction industry, which is now a mere shadow of its former self, possibly the biggest trade in the next few years will be in Labour and not goods, with many coming north for jobs.
These are just my “non-expert” observations and would like to see your view and information, even better can anyone put fact and figures to my musings?