ClonBio halts EU investment, Luas tender and Bernard Byrne on what’s next

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Specialist agribusiness group ClonBio has stalled investment in the Republic and the rest of Europe. As Barry O’Halloran reports, the group is working on a US project on which it could potentially spend hundreds of millions of dollars, but says poor regulation and incentives have forced it to stall investment here.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) are seeking an operator to take up the €1.25 billion contract to run Dublin’s Luas network. As Ellen O’Regan reports, the current operator of the Luas, Transdev, has said it has “no knowledge” of why the NTA and TII have issued a call for new tenders rather than extending the current contract with the French operator.

Euro zone inflation fell by more than expected in November, and the faster-than-anticipated decline is likely to fuel speculation that the European Central Bank may start bringing down interest rates earlier. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

Business conditions in the Irish manufacturing sector stabilised in November after modest downturns in September and October, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index published by AIB. Laura Slattery has the details.


Bernard Byrne this week announced he was stepping down as chief executive with Davy Stockbrokers. He sits down with Joe Brennan to discuss what his next plans are.

And Agenda examines the commercial property market which is in a downturn, but how deep will that downturn be and how long will it last?

In his column, John FitzGerald assesses the fiscal implications of a united Ireland.

Ellen O’Regan also reports that the owner of Tara Mines has told staff it aims to reopen the mine near Navan in Co Meath in the second quarter of next year, having closed the facility last July with the temporary lay-off of 650 workers. Swedish owner Boliden closed the zinc mine due to factors including a fall in zinc prices and increased energy costs.

Builders could complete more than 33,000 new homes in the Republic next year, say European forecasters. Industry forecaster Euroconstruct estimates that about 31,000 new homes will be built here this year, boosting Government claims that the final figure will top its 29,000 target. Barry O’Halloran has the story.

Waterford Airport is to receive a multimillion-euro investment, seven years after the departure of its last commercial flight. An announcement of a combination of public and private investment is expected on Friday, with the focus to be an extension to the airport’s runway. Sarah Slater reports.

Staying with airports, maintaining planning restrictions on Dublin Airport’s €320 million North Runway would see the Irish economy losing out on a positive economic impact of €262 million in 2024, according to consultants acting for airport operator DAA. Gordon Deegan has seen the consultants’ report.

A US lending agent is entitled to a judgment of $159.8 million (€146.4 million) against the Swiss-Lebanese owner of a Co Kerry hotel and islands, the High Court has ruled. Ellen O’Riordan was in court.

Ellen also reports that the Supreme Court has ruled the High Court must reconsider whether it is fair to approve a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) permitting a man to keep his farming assets, home and rental property.

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