Brexit optimism, insurer eyes Ireland, and hoteliers may end refugee contracts

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

The Northern Ireland Protocol has long been the key sticking point in a post Brexit trade deal between the EU and UK. Now though Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney has said he is confident a deal on it can be reached following the UK’s agreement to allow the EU access to real-time data on goods moving from Britain into the North.

Mr Coveney was speaking at the publication of Enterprise Ireland’s annual report, which showed about 20,000 jobs created last year, but warned of a difficult year ahead amid a slowing global economy. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has both stories.

No insurer has entered the Irish market in a decade, but that maybe set to change with South Africa’s OUTsurance planning to open operations here. Joe Brennan has the details.

The hospitality industry has flagged concerns about its continued use by the State to house refugees for a while now. That may change this spring when some hoteliers choose not to renew contracts to do so as the tourist season looms. Barry O’Halloran reports.


Ires REIT, the biggest private landlord in the country, said demand for its properties far outweighed supply last year as the residential rental market remained strong as it published its 2022 trading update. Ciara O’Brien has the story.

Cairn Homes bought part of RTE’s campus in Donnybrook, South Dublin five years ago. Since then its plans to build hundreds of homes on the site have met local opposition and that continues with a new objection to its latest plans. Gordon Deegan has the details.

Gordon also reports that more than 70 parties have submitted objections to plans for nearly 500 homes in Monkstown, also in the south of the capital.

The price of a pint of plain is going up. Diageo is increasing its prices by 12 cent plus VAT. That means a pint of Guinness is set to cost at least 15 cent more, amid rising costs. Conor Pope reports.

It’s a sign of the times, but as many as half of workers now expect to work beyond the current retirement age of 66, according to Royal London. Dominic Coyle has the details.

The fallout from the so-called crypto winter continues unabated, with Coinbase cutting about a quarter of its staff worldwide. That has clear implications for its Irish business, as Ian Curran reports.

HumeBrophy, one of the best known public relations firms in the country, has been bought by US-based Penta for an undisclosed sum. Eoin has the story.

Long time Tourism Ireland chief Niall Gibbons is to step down later this year. Colin Gleeson reports.

Cork Airport is bouncing back from the pandemic, with passenger numbers up 86 per cent on 2019 to 2.24 million. Olivia Kelleher has the story.

The great and the good of the worlds of business and politics will descend on Davos next week for the World Economic Forum. Among them: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Michael McGrath. Joe Brennan reports.

Lifetime lender Spry Finance has introduced a new “green” loan at a slightly discounted rate aimed at older borrowers who either have energy efficient homes or are looking to invest to make their homes more efficient. Dominic has the details.

The war of social networks continues, with TikTok now offering sharply discounted ad rates compared to rival Instagram.

In her column, Sarah O’Connor casts her eye over the wave of strikes hitting the UK at the moment and asks if it matters who “wins” rather than how the industrial disputes can be resolved.

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