Landlords exiting market, DPC criticised, and Altada staff to resign

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

As the rental crisis continues, the narrative that small landlords are getting out of the market has come up again and again. Now, new data from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland appears to back that claim up. About 40 per cent of sale instructions towards the end of last year were tied to buy-to-lets. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has the story.

The data protection commissioner failed to investigate with “due diligence” data collection and processing at Facebook and Instagram, Europe’s most senior data regulatory body has found in a damning report. In a decision published on Thursday, the European Data Protection Board criticised attempts by the Irish regulator to narrow the scope of the investigation and ignore a key question raised in the original complaint, filed in Austria in 2018 under new EU data protection rules. Derek Scally reports on that, and looks at the wider fallout from the ruling.

The directors and remaining staff of Altada Technology Solutions, the Cork-based artificial intelligence company that collapsed into liquidation, have informed the company’s liquidator that they will be leaving the business after a bid by a former investor for the troubled company’s assets was accepted on Thursday evening. Ian Curran has been following the saga.

In his column, John FitzGerald looks at efforts to get people out of their cars and onto more environmentally friendly transport. It comes as Dublin City Council proposes removing a bus lane in the south of the city to accommodate bikes.


The migration to electric cars from the combustion engine appears to be very much under way. Ciara O’Brien reports that data from the Central Statistics Office shows a surge in sales of EVs last year.

Mortgage approvals in November were almost 10 per cent higher than they were in the same month a year earlier, Laura Slattery writes, as people manage the surge in interest rates by switching providers.

Laura also has the details on the most watched TV programmes in Ireland last year, with one show in particular topping a list dominated by sport.

Irish-founded mobile marketing company Swrve has been acquired by US-based MessageGears for an undisclosed sum, as it seeks to use Dublin as a hub for European expansion. Ciara has the story.

Ciara also reports on US-based tech firm Threat Locker, which plans to increase sharply the headcount at its Dublin office.

The owners of the St. Stephen’s Green shopping centre have resubmitted plans to expand the retail hub. As Gordon Deegan reports, the plans include a revamp and expansion of the property.

Staying with real estate, Johnny Ronan’s RGRE has agreed a deal to buy the current Citigroup HQ in Dublin for about €140 million. Earlier this week The Irish Times reported Citi would move to a new HQ being developed by RGRE. Ronald Quinlan has the story.

There may be little respite from rising energy prices for the rest of the decade. Barry O’Halloran reports on a new study which suggests the cost of investment in new energy infrastructure may prop up prices until 2030.

As prices rise, it seems inevitable that low-income households, rural households and larger properties would be particularly exposed to future energy increases, and a study by the Central Bank appears to have confirmed it. Eoin has gone through the report.

It seems we really do love our self assembly furniture. Sales at Ikea Ireland climbed 14 per cent to €216.7 million in the year to the end of August 2022, according to the retailer, with sales of Lodrät pint glasses and picture frames higher in its Dublin store than in any other Ikea store in the world. Laura has the details.

Staying with retail, Tesco said overall sales rise at the end of the year amid a boost in Christmas spending. As Ciara reports, Irish sales continued to grow.

Lithium is one of the most important minerals on the planet these days, and its use in batteries now powers everything from a mobile phone to an electric car. Now John Teeling’s Arkle Resources says it has found it in the hills of Co Wicklow.

In Agenda, Emmet Malone looks at the gender pay gap in the legal profession. As we’ve seen in a lot of sectors over the last month, there is a long way to go to close the gap.

Martina Slowey grew up in Longford and now holds one of the most senior roles at financial services behemoth Bank of America. She tells Joanne Hunt her story.

Finally Olive Keogh investigates how workers can find a balance in their careers amid a time of great upheaval, and burnout.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.