Zurich’s bid for rival insurer, how to get a foot on property ladder, and medicine prices

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

Zurich Insurance Group is in talks to acquire Liberty Mutual’s businesses in Ireland, Spain and Portugal in a deal that may be worth more than €1 billion, according to industry sources. Joe Brennan has the details.

Getting a foot on the property ladder is difficult but not impossible, writes Brianna Parkins in our new Money Matters personal finance feature. She spoke to some experts for some tips and tactics for buyers in search of their first home.

Employers in Dublin are recording occupancy levels in their offices of 10 per cent or lower on Mondays and Fridays each week, according to new research by estate agent Savills and Dublin Chamber. And in spite of the move to hybrid working, some 76 per cent of companies have not reduced their office footprints. Colin Gleeson reports.

Downward pressure on the price of generic drugs is playing a part in the ongoing shortage of medicines, according to Thyra de Jongh, a European expert who will address a Dublin event this week. Dominic Coyle has the details.


Irish shoppers face shelling out more than €1,100 extra on their shopping bill this year after grocery price inflation soared by a record 16.3 per cent in the three months to January 23rd, new data from retail analyst Kantar shows. Colin Gleeson reports.

FT columnist Sarah O’Connor is a big believer in asking “stupid” questions, by which she means questions that you fear make you look stupid. But she’s also worried that it’s a dying art.

In commercial property, South Korea’s Kookmin Bank has instructed agent CBRE to ready Meta’s offices on Dublin’s East Wall Road for sale. The bank looking to bring the Beckett Building to the market at a guide price of €80 million, or some €21 million less than it paid for the docklands property in 2018. Meta, which owns Facebook, is in the process of moving to a new HQ in Ballsbridge. Ronald Quinlan has the story.

Ronald also writes that Irish property company Iput has instructed agent Savills to find a buyer for Nos 73-83 Lower Mount Street in Dublin. The office property comes for sale fully let to the Office of Public Works and is guiding €37.5 million.

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