Vodafone: The share price has been dropping recently. Photograph: REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/files

Prices have been falling, but could improve when trading opens on February 23rd

 Sigmoid Pharma founder Ivan Coulter said the Freund acquisition “will enable us to advance our lead programmes”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Transaction will see company acquire a manufacturing plant in Tullamore

Vodafone has moved to reassure Irish investors that they will not lose out after it emerged that many would fare worse under its low-cost dealing option than if they had used an already available online alternative.

Irish investors told they will not lose out amid criticism of new option

The multinational group has 334,342 small Irish shareholders on its register, each owning fewer than 1,000 shares. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Telecoms group to offer special dealing service to allow investors to sell their stock and exit

Vodafone and Verizon shares can be traced back to  original purchase of shares in the Telecom Éireann (Eir) flotation in 1999, being discussed here with  then minister Mary O’Rourke in the centre. Photograph Paddy Whelan

The telecoms company is offering Irish investors the chance to sell cheaply

 The Vodafone shares are a legacy of the then Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat government’s great experiment in shareholder democracy under minister for communications Mary O’Rourke. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Almost 335,000 Irish people were given shares in phone company 15 years ago

While one might expect shares trading in London to do so in sterling, Verizon trades on the London exchange in dollars. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

The low-cost dealing option for these shares expires on February 17th

Fyffes shareholders have received one share in each new spunout venture for every share they owned in the original Fyffes. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Q&A: Dominic Coyle answers your personal finance questions

The general view in the UK is that student loans are about the cheapest money a student will ever borrow and available lump sums could be better used to help them get started, including possibly as part of a mortgage deposit

Can I get tax relief for paying off son’s UK student loan?

It was very common for couples to buy homes together only to find subsequently that the relationship didn’t last. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

Either one party buys out the other or they sell the property and pay back the mortgage loan

HydroxyColl can be used to improve bone structure for people suffering with osteoporosis

SurgaColl Technologies has just received European approval to market its first product

Average Irish managed fund delivered growth of 9.3% last year despite losses in December

The most recent update says that about 14,600 people who held between one and 10 shares in Verizon have  now sold out.  Photograph: Sean Gardner/Reuters

The biggest issue for shareholders is that the address on the share register may well be out of date.

Most Irish shareholders hold only a handful of stock in the US company but could incur significant costs if they retain ownership (...)

People are allowed to claim tax relief owed from previous years but there is a four-year limit to back-claims.

Four-year deadline means money from 2011 must be claimed by December 31st

 The cost to the exchequer of State pensions is expected to increase substantially over the lifetime of the current workforce. Photograph: John Cogill/ Bloomberg

Raising retirement age and changing pension indexes suggested as possible options

Michael McKenna, chairman, and John Fox, chief executive, at the Merrion Pharma egm. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Merrion will use the proceeds to pay off $5m loan from Irelandia Investments

The United States’ Inland Revenue Service (IRS) imposes a 30 per cent withholding tax on dividend inTome from US-listed shares held by people who are not tax resident in the US

Also, how does inheritance tax work where the parents are divorced?

Demographics, low interest rates and volatile markets threaten to undermine governments’ attempts to reform pension sector

The new test was developed at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital with 	funding from the UK’s Meningitis Research Foundation and Northern Ireland’s NHS Trust, and licensed exclusively to HiberGene

HiberGene Diagnostics says testing procedure to deliver results within an hour

There is nothing to stop you paying a lump sum against your son’s mortgage. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

What are the tax implications if I want to give a lump son towards his mortgage?

Among semi-States, CIÉ has the biggest deficit at €702 million, up from €418 million a year earlier. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Low bond yields pushed deficit in 25 of the biggest schemes up by more than 50 per cent

Aer Lingus has been sold to IAG – the owner of British Airways and Spanish flag carrier Iberia – and it has exercised its right to buy out any remaining shareholders. Photograph:  Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

What should a former Aer Lingus staffer do with his shares in the airline?

In Ireland, Pfizer will post-merger pay a  12.5 per cent tax rate on any international income routed through the new Dublin operation. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Pfizer $160bn purchase of Allergan will see firm move HQ to Dublin

Pfizer CFO Frank D’Amelio made the point there was little crossover between the two companies, meaning that they were “complementary”

Integrating two companies with wildly differing corporate cultures will be far from straightforward

Ian Read, chief executive of Pfizer, and Brent Saunders, chief executive of Allergan. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Deal makes Ireland home to the largest pharmaceutical company in the world

International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Reduced investment property returns could dissuade construction, agency warns

Victor Grifols at the official opening of the Grifols site at Grange Castle Business Park, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

As healthcare firm opens plant, chief executive says he can see potential for expansion

Irish facility one of four being shut by cancer drug specialist worldwide, citing overcapacity for modern biologics manufacture

If investing in upgrading, refurbishing or redecorating your home is what you wish to do, the ARFs allow you the flexibility to do so

Is it wise to cash in pension funds to do up our home?

 Vodafone: return of value payments still an issue.  Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Readers’ questions answered on return of value payments and investments for children

The Dow Jones electronic ticker at Times Square in New York. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

Over 200,000 people got shares in US firm after Vodafone deal

A man walks past Pfizer’s world headquarters in New York. The group is reportedly holding talks with Allergan on a possible merger

Takeover could offer tax advantages given that Allergan is based in Dublin

Nuritas  was founded by Trinity-trained mathematician and bioinformatics specialist Nora Khaldi.  Emmet Browne, former regional president of Pfizer was appointed chief executive earlier this year.

Firm uses data mining to discover molecules with potential for life sciences

A problem with the postal systems in Ireland or Britain meant 5,300 Irish shareholders in Standard Life were left facing a tax bill that would consume half of a 73p sterling per share payout made by the company last March

Standard Life to send out information about payment it made that went wrong

Perrigo CEO and President Joe Papa: “Actions will also result in significant expansion of our global headquarters in Dublin”

Irish pharma firm cutting 6% of global workforce in effort to fend off takeover attempt

Finance Bill measure means 5,300 shareholders will not be pursued for tax by Revenue after postal mix-up

Under the new rules, children between the ages of three and five-and-a-half will be able to benefit from up to two-and-a-half years of preschool free of charge

Is there any chance the second ECCE year will be in place by January 2016?

A preschool class at St Bernadette’s Junior School in Clondalkin. File photograph: Alan Betson

Scheme to be expanded to two years from September reducing need to put off enrolment

Children from Cottage Kids Playschool in Tyrellstown, Lusk present their book “Being and Becoming Mathematicians Through Play” to the Minister for Education Jan O’ Sullivan. Photograph: Colm Mahady / Fennells

Free preschool measures not expected to be introduced until September 2016

Measure has raised more than €2 billion over the past five years

From September 2016, the free access to pre-school will be widened to cover all children between the ages of three and five and a half years of age, who are not already in primary school. They will also be able to enrol not just in September but also in January and April of any given year.

Measures aimed at hard-pressed working families will offer little relief to many parents of pre-school children

The minimum cost of works required in order to be eligible for relief under the scheme is €4,405 (before VAT) and the upper limit is €30,000, again before VAT

Home Renovation Incentive was extended in the last budget to include landlords of rented property

The Airbnb website. “Airbnb hosts are regular people who share their homes to help make ends meet,” the company says in a pre-budget submission.

Group says website generated over €66m in direct and indirect contributions to economy

‘Penny Dreadful’, which is filmed in Ardmore: the pennies have been mounting up at the film studio after a strong financial performance

Facility operated at close to capacity last year

Juggling property and inheritance tax is not easy as the current threshold for inheritance by a child from a parent is €225,000

Will husband’s cottage prevent dwelling-house exemption when I inherit?

 Government moves to increase the age of retirement will help. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

McKinsey report predicts PRSI not sufficient to pay current levels of benefits

A total of 44% of those without a private pension say they will rely solely on the State.That’s up from 40% last year and equates to around 890,000 people

Around 44% of those without private pension plan to just have State income in retirement

You should not be paying local property tax on those spaces that are already subject to commercial rates. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Paying local property tax and commercial rates on same property

Manus Rogan, managing partner of Fountian Healthcare Partners and Ross O’Neill, founder and chief executive of Neuromod. Dr Rogan says the deal is one of the first VC investments in the area of tinnitus. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Device targets millions of people suffering from chronic tinnitus

Getting a  definitive list of expenses that can be set against rental income is not as easy as it sounds. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

Q&A: Dominic Coyle answers your questions

Malin has  invested in 14 businesses

Company reported its loss and revenue from investments at €2.5m in maiden set of results

AventaMed chief executive  Olive O’Driscoll and co-founder John Vaughan:  the company has spent four years developing technology that avoids the expense involved in a full surgical procedure.

AventaMed hopes to simplify procedure for children with ear infections

Ireland’s scrum half Eoin Reddan  during a friendly against England ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015, at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

IRFU is confident about Ireland’s chances of hosting RWC2023

Nexvet chief executive Dr Mark Heffernan

Irish group is running clinical trials on drugs to treat chronic pain in dogs and cats

As the apartment your parents are gifting you is currently worth less than they paid for it, that means they have made no capital gain and will not face any bill for capital gains tax on the transaction. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

Q&A: Dominic Coyle answers your questions

Kevin Potts, who said one of the IRFU requirements was that all advisers had to have been involved previously in winning a bid for a global sporting event

Ireland is competing with South Africa, France and Italy to host the event

Relief is available for your son’s tuition fees. Photograph: Tobias Kaltenbach/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Funding a third level student at college in Britain

Diana Copperwhite, whose work ‘Fake New World’  was the most expensive piece sold at this year’s RHA exhibition. Photograph: Frank Miller

Annual show sees 42 per cent increase in number of pieces sold

Dividend income, under Irish tax law, is simply another form of income

How are dividends from stocks taxed?

Mainstay Medical chief executive  Peter Crosby estimates that there is a potential market for its device of more than two million people in the US and Europe. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

A trial of 47 patients showed after three months, 63 per cent reported clinically important improvement in back pain

If the gift is in straight cash, you run the risk of losing your welfare entitlement

Dominic Coyle answers your personal finance questions

Without FDA approval, no drug or medical device can access what is by some distance the world’s largest market for pharma and medtech. Photograph: Roel Smart/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish pharma firm wins major victory over FDA on off-label promotion of its drug Vascepa

Under the terms of the Countrywide Refurbishment Scheme, the property had to be available for rent for a minimum period of 10 years following the refurbishment in order to qualify for full relief

No new investment after July 2008 qualifies for relief under Countrywide Refurbishment Scheme

Amarin chief executive and president  John Thero. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

US court rules regulator cannot bar company promoting off label use for drug

The boardgame Monopoly being manufactured at the Hasbro Ireland plant, at Waterford. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sales last year slid 15 per cent to €16.74m from €19.7m in 2013

 Bruce Cozadd, CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Jazz by name and jazzy by metaphor, the Irish firm is now a muscular player in the pharmaceutical world. ‘We specialise in devasta(...)

Alkermes president Shane Cooke. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/ The Irish Times

Company gears up for new schizophrenia drug Aristada as opioid/alcohol therapy Vivitrol beats expectations

Technically, there is nothing to stop you pledging some of your Aer Lingus shares in support of the IAG offer

Tricker issue is amount of control you will have over managing balance of your holding

Two-thirds of mature private pension scheme members either don’t know how much they will receive in retirement income or how it will be paid

Study says half of 50-somethings don’t know how much they will receive in retirement

How do we deal with joint account assets not mentioned in our mother’s will?

Irish people investing in other countries often lose up to a fifth of dividends

Aer Lingus sale: are shareholders facing  a capital gains liability? Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Is it unfair that Aer Lingus capital gain is locked in?

Nexvet CEO Mark Heffernan with Clover

R&D deal with Japanese animal health group Zenoaq will focus on cancer and inflammatory conditions in dogs and cats

Revenue is confident  it has reasonable insight into the numbers that should be applying for the threshold. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Deadline to apply for personal fund threshold extended to end of July

Annuities are in a prolonged period of very poor return. Photograph: iStockPhoto

Annuities are tied into bond yields and these are bumping along at historic lows

In January 2014, the threshold fell from €2.3 million to €2 million. Photograph: Joe St Leger

People in excess of current limits on pension savings have until July 31st to notify Revenue

Fianna Fáil spokesman on finance Michael McGrath on the plinth at Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

FF finance spokesman refers figures to IBRC commission inquiry

Dublin-based taxpayers paid €168.3 million out of a total of €327.95 million in inheritance tax nationally.

MEP says those living in Dublin paying an unfair proportion of the national total

 Justin Lynch, partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Eamon Brady, CEO, Neuravi and John O’Shaughnessy, chairman, Neuravi

Galway firm secures first Irish investment from Life Science Partners alongside Fountain Healthcare, Delta Partners and the Wester(...)

Michael Noonan: said there would be “fiscal space” for tax reductions and public service investment of between €1.2 and €1.5 billion

Cutting top rates of tax and USC would mainly benefit top earners, study says

Photograph: Alan Betson

Survey designed to guide corporations in pay and perks for expat staff shows Dublin is only euro zone city to become more expensiv(...)

 Money Village chief executive Eugene McDarby. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Appeals Commissioner rules Revenue wrong to levy tax on already indebted consumers

 Entrance hall of Russborough House. The foundation reports that it made just €187,678 on admissions to the house and maze last year

Charity previously relied on grant support from Fáilte Ireland and Wicklow council

The Galantas gold mine in Omagh, Co Tyrone. The company said the planning consent would permit the expansion of its gold mining operations on the site and is expected to create hundreds of jobs locally

Canadian group plans to develop underground mine once finance is available

 The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) raised €750 million in a bond auction today.

Euro zone yields fall after successful auctions and Bank of Ireland also raises €750m

PTSB shares:  trading on a lesser market on the Irish Stock Exchange. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

What’s the position of PTSB shareholders now that company has refloated?

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: as An Post is a commercial semi-state business, Mr Noonan might yet have difficulty explaining to Standard Life shareholders why he will not act to mitigate inadvertent personal losses that may well be attributable to problems with a public service. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Standard Life is saying it can do no more and that it is up to the Irish shareholders to press their case with Revenue

The indirect Brainstem Activity Monitor developed by Prof John Sheridan and Dr James Ryle, makes no direct contact with the eye, is portable and can deliver a fast, reliable result.

Device detects brainstem activity by measuring involuntary eye movement

In a letter to almost 5,300 shareholders, the listed group says it is now effectively up to them to do battle with the Irish Revenue. Photograph: Standard Life/PA

Postal blunder resulted in insurer’s Irish shareholders owing tax on £1.75bn payout

Perrigo chief executive and chairman Joe Papa.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Bolt-on acqusition strengthens position in Europe amid three-way takeover battle

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