Central Bank clamps down on property funds
The Central Bank of Ireland has introduced a new leverage limit for property funds to address risks from a growing part of the financial sector.
The regulator will impose a limit of 60 per cent on the ratio of property funds' total debt to their total assets.
It said funds should provide for a liquidity time frame of at least 12 months to protect against potential liquidity mismatches.
“These measures are being applied to ensure that investment funds are better able to absorb, rather than amplify, downturns in the commercial property market,” Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf said in a statement.
“This will, in turn, better equip the sector to continue to serve as a sustainable source of financial intermediation.”
Property funds have become a key participant in Irish commercial real estate, holding €22.1 billion or around 35 per cent of the investible market, the bank said. They are also more highly leveraged than their European peers, it added.
Gardaí take down phone number spoofing site linked to thousands of frauds
Gardaí have helped to bring down a phone number spoofing site used by criminals to scam thousands of victims out of millions of euro.
Members of An Garda Siochána were part of a global operation to bring down ispoof.cc, a website described by gardaí as an online fraud shop.
A series of searches in Dublin, Louth and Meath on November 8th and 9th resulted in six arrests including the execution of 14 bench warrants.
Officers also seized 132 electronic devices and identified 64 suspect bank accounts.
They worked with British and Dutch law enforcement who managed to tap the website’s servers in the Netherlands to secretly listen to phone calls.
Government appeals for more pledged accommodation for Ukrainians
The Government has issued another appeal to the public to offer accommodation for Ukrainians, with a minister saying they had learned from mistakes made after the first appeal.
Citizens had been asked earlier this year to pledge vacant houses, apartments or holiday homes to accommodate arriving Ukrainian refugees, but this was stalled as people reported delays with the system.
There are currently 5,500 people housed in pledged accommodation in Ireland.
Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman said the offer would be for six months, and emphasised that those who pledge this accommodation would get the €800 per month recognition payment.
“We’ve learned from the initial pledged appeal process, this one is going to be done directly through local authorities,” he said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“So rather than going through one centralised national portal, people will pledge to their own local authority.”
Average Dublin rent now €2,011 per month for new tenants
New rents increased by an average of 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, as the number of new tenancies continued to drop, according to the latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
The rental market watchdog’s quarterly price index of new tenancies, published on Thursday, put the national standardised average rent at €1,464, with average rents ranging from €2,011 a month in Dublin to €783 in Co Donegal.
The index, which is analysed independently by the Economic and Social Research Institute, is based on new tenancies and does not measure the rents paid by existing tenants.
There was a drop in the number of new tenancies registered between April and June this year at 12,701, which is 16 per cent lower than the 15,048 registrations in the same quarter last year.
Met Éireann issues warning for very strong winds in two counties
Very strong and gusty winds are set to hit Cork and Kerry on Thursday afternoon, Met Éireann has warned.
The national forecaster has issued a status yellow wind warning for the two southern counties from 2pm until 6pm.
Wave overtopping is possible in coastal areas, it said.