Irish Life is in exclusive negotiations to acquire Aviva Health, which was put up for sale by its UK parent late last year.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Move, if completed, would be a major consolidation of Irish health insurance market

Former finance minister  Brian Lenihan and ex-Department of Finance chief Kevin Cardiff: Mr Cardiff  received “low- key messages” from Mr Cowen’s staff to be “sensitive” to Mr Lenihan’s  situation.   Photograph: Frank Miller

Cardiff asked to tell Cowen if illness reaching point minister could not function properly

Conor Martin wants Prime Active to pursue investments in the pub and leisure sectors, where he has had extensive experience and owns assets.  Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Shareholder with 26 per cent stake wants to pursue investments in pub, leisure sectors

In the red: European banks head toward their lowest prices since August 2012. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Volatility hits Irish banks, with questions raised on AIB flotation

 Bill Kyle, Chief Executive, Irish Life Group: “One in three Irish adults has some savings with us and we manage 15 per cent of personal assets in Ireland.”

Pension and investment firm contributed €204m to its Canadian parent last year

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath:   EBS could have its “own identity in the market and the scope to widen its product offering”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Measure would target stimulating competition for home loans and savings products

 Long game: A valuation  in the same ball park as Permanent TSB’s flotation last year would net about €2.6 billion for a quarter share of AIB –  the next  government would be better advised to bide its time   to recoup the State’s €20.8 billion in the bank’s bailout funds. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

No need to rush sale of AIB stake if next government believes in recovery’s durability

Greystones golfer Paul Dunne will undertake corporate appearances for KPMG. Photograph:  Todd Warshaw/Getty Images.

Figure thought to be six-figure sum based on targets being met

More than €4 billion was wiped off the value of Irish shares in trading on Monday amid what one trader described as a ‘bloodbath’ across European stock markets. File photograph: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Over €4 billion was wiped off the value of Irish shares in trading on Monday

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock exchange on Monday. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Growth fears cause global shares slide

John McCartney, director of research at Savills, says new rules have contributed to inequality and the return of a commuter culture. Photograph: : Rui Vieira/PA Wire

About 15% of cash purchasers are first-time home buyers, many helped by parents

Kingspan was another standout loser on the day, down 10 per cent at €19.31.

Concern over strength of banking sector compounds worries over global growth

Cork developer Michael O’Flynn says Central Bank governor Philip Lane’s plan to review lending rules later this year had not helped the situation

Cork developer says lending restrictions on mortgage lending have led to a crisis

RSA building in Dundrum, Dublin: some 360 out of 410 staff employed by the company in the Republic will receive pay increases. Photograph: John Reid/Fennell Photography

Pay increase at insurance group to come as return to profitability in 2016 is expected

Developer Michael O’Flynn at his new development in Lucan. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Developer bounces back after time under Nama and a bitter litigation

BoI appoints Brian Evans as head of its manufacturing sector team

Bank provided €50m to small firms in manufacturing last year, up 25% on 2014

 Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton has unveiled a “Save to Buy” initiative for first-time buyers

There are two strands: creating conditions to buy first home and tackling homelessness

Hotel revenues last year were “very close” to €16m, putting it back at pre-recession levels

Hotel’s revenues now back at pre-recession levels following strong year for sector

 The Berkeley Court Hotel,  or Clyde Court, on Lansdowne Road, Dublin, which  closed  on January 1st. Demolition on the building is expected to begin towards the second half   of this month. Photograph: Bryan Meade

Chartered Land to build 200 apartments on site of former Ballsbridge hotel

The Central Bank was legally prohibited from providing emergency liquidity to an insolvent institution

Department of Finance explored possible scenarios nine months before banking crisis

John Kelly wins two-night stay in Double Tree by Hilton hotel in central London

Brian Lenihan: any change to the terms of the guarantee would have required “further discussions”. Photograph: Frank Miller

Finance minister Brian Lenihan held that alterations might destabilise banking system

Michael O’Flynn: Blackstone has given property developer €5 million to fit out 137 apartments in the Elysian tower in Cork city. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Developer secures funds from Blackstone to fit out 137 apartments

 Minister for Communications Alex White: proposed acquisition  now goes to Minister for approval. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Proposed transaction will not substantially lessen competition, says commission

Former chief executive of Irish Nationwide,  Michael Fingleton also changed the interest rate on a loan offer without noting the date of change. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Shortfall among a litany of weaknesses at Irish Nationwide highlighted by inquiry report

Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank (ECB), who led the ECB during Ireland’s bailout. On Thursday the ECB said it had always been transparent about its role in Ireland’s economic crash. Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

‘External authorities’ warned a ‘bomb’ would go off if State tried to burn bondholders

Chairman Ciaran Lynch  (c) and members of the Oireachtas banking inquiry at the publication of the inquiry’s report at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

NTMA advised Government of possible savings in March 2011

Jean Claude-Trichet: former ECB president remarked a “bomb” would go off in Dublin if a haircut was imposed on senior bondholders. Photograph: Eric Luke

Markets had factored in ‘burden sharing with subordinate and senior debt’

Oireachtas banking inquiry chairman Ciarán Lynch (centre) with committee members on the publication of the final report at Leinster House yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Report managed to land some blows but lacked killer punch

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: welcomed the decision by Credit Suisse to become the first “third country” (non-EU) bank to seek to branch into Ireland. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Company will employ 100 staff and offer prime brokerage and securities lending

There are question marks over how the Houses of the Oireachtas Service has handled the allegations about the banking inquiry. Photograph: Alan Betson Banking inquiry: The most useful recommendations from the committee might actually relate to how in future such inquiries should operate.

Report expected to criticise Central Bank, regulator, ECB and the government

Declan Black, managing partner at Mason Hayes & Curran: “I don’t think growth of 20 per cent a year is sustainable. I’d be very pleased with single-digit growth this year.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Firm added 75 staff as its revenue rose by €12m for the second year running

Oil prices slid after rallying by 10 per cent on Friday. That led to losses by companies such as BP, Total and Eni

Bank shares fall across Europe with Italian and Spanish institutions faring worst

Deloitte predicts significant disruption will occur in retail banking, fund management, payments, and insurance in Ireland but expects growth to occur in payments, regtech, cyber and aircraft leasing. Photograph: iStockphoto

Deloitte report says premium financial services will become available to more people

 Central Bank: it has paid €234,176 in retention payments since 2011. About 29 employees  still get the payments. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Central Bank and Unite union agree to review of controversial payments

Blanchardstown Centre: Green Property said its master plan for the area includes some 1.6 million sq ft of development capacity. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Hammerson and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority among possible contenders

The Blanchardstown Centre counts Penneys, Dunnes and Marks & Spencer among its retail offerings. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

Ireland’s biggest retail complex expected to attract global interest

Bank of Ireland’s product  is designed to assist first-time buyers in putting together a deposit before drawing down a home loan.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The offer will be available to customers who open a MortgageSaver account

The Gallery Room in Adare Manor, Co Limerick, prior to its forthcoming refurbishment which is estimated to take 18 months. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Locals in Co Limerick rush to hotel for afternoon tea in weeks before closure

Pepper Homeloans will launch three mortgage products in Ireland for both home owners and buy-to-let loans. They will be targeted at people looking to switch their loans or consolidate their debts, the self-employed or those with impaired credit histories, and first-time buyers.

Australian group will be first new lender to offer home loans here since crash in 2008

On Monday, the European Commission published its latest post-bailout programme surveillance report on Ireland, with plenty of commentary on the banks. Photograph: The Irish Times

European Commission warns on mortgage arrears

The Central Bank believes it is legally prohibited from providing individual bank data to the European Commission. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Commission’s post-bailout report had to use aggregated data

It will require a major charm offensive by David Duffy-led Clydesdale Bank in the coming weeks to get this one across the line

Price range set by National Australia Bank would give David Duffy-led bank a market capitalisation of £1.5bn to £2bn

Three property-related businesses connected to Dunnes Stores recorded losses in the year to the end of January 2015

Financial statements for Edward Lee & Co show loss of €877,00

Clydesdale Bank is run by Irishman and former AIB chief executive David Duffy

Bank run by ex-AIB chief David Duffy to be listed in London from February

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: . The research emphasis at new facility will initially be on maximising the potential for milk production from grass. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Simon Coveney to open research farm which aims to increase efficiency for dairy farmers

A&L Goodbody EU and competition partner Vincent Power.

Move would bring Ireland into line with global practice, says competition specialist

AIB: bolstering its senior executive ranks.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Bobbie Bergin, a long-serving director at Ulster Bank, to join AIB

AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne. Photograph: Alan Betson

Chief executive on fixing the bank and targets for repaying its debt to the State

Funded by Nama, Boland’s Quay will provide three large buildings, two of offices and one residential, comprising about 36,850sq m of space

Savills, Cleary McCabe & Associates and Michael Cleary set to collaborate on project

AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne said the bank is seen by investors as a good ’proxy’ for  Irish economic recovery. Photograph: Alan Betson

Chief says bank is seen as good ‘proxy’ for Irish economic recovery

 Cafe La Serre at the Village at Lyons, Celbridge, Co Kildare: it is not clear if the buyer is Irish or from overseas but it is believed due diligence is under way with contracts yet to be signed. Photograph: Sile Nolan

Recent accounts show Village at Lyons accumulated losses of €8.2m at end of 2014

Tesco Plc climbed 6.1 percent after reporting its first sales growth in more than four years. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Dublin stocks retreat across the board during volatile day of trading as CRH falls 1.9%

Clerys staff were left only with statutory redundancy when the shop closed. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Legal experts will examine situations where company’s assets are split from operating entity

 Luis Bonell, president of Liberty International: “In many other markets we get monthly information, we get quarterly information. In Ireland, it comes annually and with months of delay.” Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Boston-based insurer came to Ireland with best of intentions but had its fingers burnt

Luis Bonell  said US parent company Liberty Mutual did not regret acquiring Quinn  out of administration in 2011 but he accepted it underestimated the challenge of turning the business around

US parent does not regret acquiring former Quinn firm, says chief, following losses

RSA has confirmed that it has settled its legal dispute with former chief executive Philip Smith, who had been awarded €1.25 million last year by the Employment Appeals Tribunal relating to his departure from the company in controversial circumstances in late 2013.

UK company had challanged EAT’s award of €1.25m to executive

Philip Smith outside the Employment Appeals Tribunal last year: he was one of three executives suspended by RSA in Ireland in 2013.

Insurer had appealed executive’s €1.25m award from Employment Appeals Tribunal

Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links was bought from a Nama receiver for €27m by a US investment group in 2014

Plans include new conference facilities, spa, gym and car park

Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation, says the industry is looking to 2016 with “some measure of optimism”

Commercial, retail and hospitality will be biggest spending sector at €6bn

Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary. He is predicting a budget deficit of 0.3% for this year and a surplus of 0.9% for 2017

Goodbody says it is not yet clear that general election will deliver stable government

Ibec wants the next government to make changes to  introduce a simplified research and development tax credit to help smaller firms

Employers’ group calls for self-employed to receive same tax treatment as PAYE workers

A single-digit gain in Irish house prices, close to 5 per cent, seems likely in 2016, said report author Conall MacCoille. Photograph: Frank Miller

Divergence between pace of rises in Dublin and rest of country expected to continue

 Bill Kyle, chief executive, Irish Life group: he said the group  had been successfully integrated with Canada Life following its purchase from the State by Canadian group Great-West Lifeco in 2013 Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Insurance firm has been successfully integrated with Canada Life, says chief Bill Kyle

An investor looks on as a screen displays the circuit breaker mechanism in China: the fear is that China’s economy, the world’s second-largest after the US’s, is slowing down and affecting growth in other countries.  Photograph: Reuters/China Daily

Fears grow as trading forced to stop in China for second time in week after stocks fall 7%

Ryanair closed 3.9 per cent lower at €14.74 in spite of strong traffic data. Photograph:  Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Worst start to trading year since 2000 as European stocks continue to tumble

The Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation is attempting  to bring banks, Government, regulators, the courts services, and debt advisory agencies around the table to see if a big-bang solution can be framed for long-term arrears

Devastating issue of 37,269 accounts over two years behind risks going unresolved

David Hall, chief execuctive of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation: “We’ve made a proposal to the banking federation that the time has come for a meeting of all stakeholders to address the long-term arrears issue.” Photograph: Collins Courts

Six- to nine-month amnesty for borrowers from legal action by banks proposed

In the Dublin Docklands area, Nama said some 2.5 million sq ft of commercial space is either under construction or has received or sought planning permission.  File Picture of Anglo Irish Bank HQ in

State agency sold €8.5 billion of assets and loans in 2015

In December 2013, Bank of Ireland facilitated the sale by the State of the shares to private investors as part of a €1.9 billion capital package and committed not to redeem them prior to January 1st 2016.

Move paves the way for bank to resume dividend payment, probably in 2017

Former governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Organisation is struggling to attract and retain staff in key areas, Minister for Public Expenditure told

The board was “fully satisfied” that  the planned merger in 2016  was in the best interests of Stillorgan Credit Union.

Merger would ‘help ensure the long-term viability of the credit union’, say directors

Minister of State Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister of State is also confident that 10,000 new jobs can be delivered

Identify those pictured:  One led a successful stock market IPO; another has been appointed to a high-profile role with an Irish bank; another stepped down recently as a director with an Irish listed company; while the other now leads one of Ireland’s biggest media and communications groups.

Think you’re all business? Try your hand at this and win some great prizes

The Dunnes Stores branch in South Great Georges Street, Dublin:  the chain’s financial details are usually only available for its operations outside the Republic. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

As an unlimited entity in the Republic, chain is not required to publish statutory accounts for its grocery and textiles activitie(...)

The Central Bank: to date, a deposit protection account has been operated by the bank to fund any failure of a credit institution that could trigger  the State’s guarantee.  Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

Banks and credit unions to be charged as bank begins building a fund to meet the costs of guaranteeing deposits

The Central Bank’s decision to investigate the issue at this point will be of little comfort to the 22 PTSB account holders who lost possession of properties as a result of a “failure” by the bank to inform them  they could have availed of a cheaper tracker rate to which they were entitled

It should not have taken this long for Central Bank to begin inquiry into tracker mortgages

The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said last week that he was leaning towards an autumn IPO of AIB, with 25 per cent of the State’s holding likely to be offered for sale, with the bank having its main listing in London. Photograph: Eric Luke

New government to decide if shares will be offered to individuals as part of IPO next year

The Central Bank sent letters on Tuesday  to all lenders that offered trackers, both for family homes and investment properties, from whenever they started to offer these loans up to the end of 2015.

Move to ensure that all lenders have complied with regulations on disclosure and transparency

PTSB has announced a move into SME lending by launching its first suite of new banking products since the 2008 crash

Last week AIB handed over cheque to the Government for €1.64bn

Shares in Paddy Power declined 1.6% to €121.10 on the day that shareholders in the Irish company and in rival Betfair paved the way for the creation of an €8bn  gambling giant

Iseq Overall closes down 0.5% after a quiet day with Paddy Power losing 1.6%

PTSB chief executive Jeremy Masding said its aim was to offer “simple banking solutions” to small business owners.

Move marks entry into new market as it seeks to diversify income stream

The report of an independent mediator has recommended that there should a general increase for Bank of Ireland personnel and a separate rise based on performance.

Increase will be followed by a further 2.6% in 2017

A property writeback of €7.5 million, offset by a €3 million provision for the guarantee of group bank loans and net interest payments of €973,000, resulted in Arnotts Ltd closing the year ended January 2015 with a pre-tax profit of €3.6 million. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Dublin department store sees its turnover rise by 2.7% to €114.2m in 2014

Castlemartin House and estate: bought in January by John Malone, the Irish-American billionaire and owner of Humewood House in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, and a number of hotels in Dublin, for €26.5 million. says most of the year’s notable residential sales came early in 2015

Simon Harris:  Minister of State at the Department of Finance said there “clearly is a retention issue with staff” at the Central Bank. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Keeping competent staff at regulator vital but costs money, says Minister of State

Pat Rigney, Denise Rigney and John Dillon: Mr Rigney will produce Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin mainly for export

Entrepreneur plans to produce 100,000 litres of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin in 2016

Tetrarch Capital managing director Michael McElligott, Tetrarch Hospitality managing director Damien Gaffney and director of operations at Tetrarch Hospitality Glenn Valentine. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Property investment group expected to invest €100m to expand portfolio

Fergus Murphy has accepted the newly created role of director of products with Clydesdale, a position similar to the one he held with AIB, where he recently announced his departure.

Murphy will team up again with ex-AIB chief David Duffy as director of products

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said it could take more than 10 years to fully re-privatise AIB. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance says he is ‘absolutely confident’ bank would repay bailout money

The AIB repayment will be the first meaningful return by the bank of its bailout money, with the promise of further payments in 2016. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Initial repayment for taxpayer assistance will balance exchequer books for 2015

Financial adviser Brendan Burgess tells the board that AIB’s mortgage rates are a rip-off. Photograph: Eric Luke

AIB handing over cheque for €1.87bn to State a nicely timed bounty for Government

Central Bank: is seeking an economist, a media relations officer, a head of specialist resolutions unit, a bank supervisor and a human resources manager. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

22 of those vacancies are in bank’s insurance institutions supervision department

AIB chairman Richard Pym told shareholders the bank has paid about €3 billion to the State in fees related to the Government’s guarantees.

Bank says it has already paid €3bn to the Government in various fees

AIB  plans to consolidate its shares on a one-for-250 basis, reducing the number in issue to about 2.7 billion as part of a wider plan to put a realistic valuation on its overpriced shares

Minister has indicated 25% of company will most likely be offered to institutions

Brown Thomas: pre-tax profit doubled to €12.8 million due to an exceptional credit of €8 million relating to an accounting treatment for its pension scheme. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Retailer says double-digit increase in sales aided by increased consumer confidence

Anna Malmhake, CEO of Irish Distillers, with Liam Donegan, general manager of the company’s Fox and Geese bottling facility in Clondalkin, Dublin. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Sales of Jameson whiskey up 9% in first six months of 2015

Some of the developers are warning in private that if the EU strikes out their complaint, they simply won’t build any homes in Ireland. Photograph: Bloomberg

Little sympathy for developers’ plight

Five leading Irish developers allege Nama plans to build 20,000 starter homes in Dublin and other areas over five years breaches EU state-aid rules. Photograph: Getty Images

Five developers claim agency’s €5.6bn scheme in breach

The executives will advise property developers seeking non-bank debt financing, with a particular focus on international investment groups. Photograph: Getty Images

Recruitment of top property executives to add experience to Richard Barrett's new venture

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