Shortlist for mortgage-to-rent reboot, cost of Semi-Ds and the dangerous rush to AI

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

Australian bank Macquarie and the Irish property management unit of outsourcing services group Aramark are among parties that have been shortlisted by the Government for its planned reboot of the mortgage-to-rent scheme, according to sources. The Department of Housing and the Housing Agency launched a call in July for expressions of interest (EOI) from private and approved housing body sector entities interested in becoming mortgage-to-rent (MTR) providers, capable of delivering “at scale”. Joe Brennan has the details

The average cost of delivering a new three-bed semidetached home in Dublin has risen by €90,000 to €461,000 in just three and a half years, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). The group also calculated that first-time buyers, individuals or couples, purchasing a new three-bed unit in Dublin with a mortgage now needed a minimum total salary of €127,000. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

We’re fast approaching an AI technological crisis point where we will face a growing range of serious global consequences if moderating action isn’t taken, argues Karlin Lillington in her weekly column. We’re now saturated in a range of poorly-understood and weakly-constrained technologies which have the capacity for serious harm, primarily concentrated in the hands of a few opaque technology giants. For evidence just look to events over the past few weeks.

Irish imports of Asian biodiesel and waste oil are growing despite allegations of fraud and tax evasion surrounding shipments of the fuel from that region, official figures show. Government renewable fuel policies favour the use of processed waste cooking oil, known as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), as biodiesel, prompting surges in its consumption. Barry O’Halloran reports.


Sales at Ikea Ireland rose by 16.5 per cent in the year to August, with the Swedish furniture retailer noting the success of new plan and order points across the country, as well as “significant growth” in online sales. Ellen O’Regan reports.

US approval of a new treatment for high blood pressure is a major boost for the Galway operation of medical device giant Medtronic where key parts of the new treatment are manufactured, writes Dominic Coyle

Euronext Dublin, as the Irish market is now known, may be seeing a slew of big firms drop their listing, but at least it has never been one of the big markets in Europe. The London Stock Exchange, of course, has historically been the most important public market in Europe, if not the world. Now it is facing a crisis of confidence, argues Cantillon.

Samsung Buds FE are a sensible choice and you will get the best experience and all the best features if you have a compatible smartphone, writes Ciara O’Brien in her tech review.

Cantillon is intrigued by a report on Wednesday that Diageo is seeking to divest its beer portfolio, including a number of long-established Irish brands but not its flagship Guinness stout, raised eyebrows in the drinks market here. Diageo itself said it never comments on “market speculation”, which isn’t exactly denying a story that appeared on the reputable Axios platform. Nothing to see here, was the guidance from sources close to the company. Time will tell.

Dublin-headquartered Invert Robotics has raised a further €2.5 million in investment to help grow its new research and development function in Dublin. The latest round, which is in addition to a previous €10 million investment raised last year, was led by Irish EIIS fund Business Venture Partners (BVP) and US investor TechNexus Venture Collaborative. Ciara O’Brien reports.

“Cash is still king” in the Republic according to a new survey which has found that 61 per cent of Irish people use cash as their most frequently used payment method. Ellen O’Regan reports.

Like many parents, Lena Angland was keen for her children to spend less time on sedentary screen-based entertainment and more time playing outside in the fresh air, writes Olive Keogh. However, this tech savvy mum also recognised that technology could be her ally and used her background in software development to create Wanderly, a digital games company based around outdoor treasure and adventure trails.

Jensen Huang, the laconic, leather-jacketed chief executive of Nvidia, is enjoying a number of triumphs, writes John Gapper. The technology group that he co-founded and runs is now the world’s sixth most valuable company and its chips and software power are part of the artificial intelligence revolution. This financial year, Nvidia’s revenues could overtake those of the entire US video games industry combined.

When Big Four accounting firm EY tried out an artificial intelligence system trained at recognising fraud on the accounts of some of its UK audit clients earlier this year, the results were striking. John Wright reports.

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