Gavin Kelly for Davy top job, new hope for Dublin stock exchange and post-colonial economics

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Bank of Ireland senior group executive Gavin Kelly is set to head up its Davy stockbroking and wealth management unit. Kelly, who is currently chief executive of the bank’s corporate and commercial banking team, is being vetted for the top post, reports Joe Brennan and Cliff Taylor. A Davy spokesman declined to comment but confirmed an appointment is expected in the second half of the year, a move read as indicative of Bank of Ireland’s determination to wield greater control over the business.

In conversation with The Irish Times’s London Correspondent Mark Paul, Minister of State for Financial Services Neale Richmond has signalled forthcoming help for Dublin’s ailing stock exchange. Following an era of high-profile exits and few new flotations, the Government is in talks with Euronext over a proposal by the exchange for tax-efficient savings products that could encourage retail investment.

Long in the headlines, Ires Reit’s Canadian founder Capreit has sold its remaining 9.7 per cent stake in the property owner. Sources have indicated the shares were moved by Goodbody Stockbrokers on Capreit’s behalf on Wednesday, reports Joe Brennan.

Datalex, which provides retail software to the airline industry is planning a share sale to repay €13 million in loans to its main investor Dermot Desmond. Market sources estimate the company will pursue as much as €30 million in the second half of this year. Joe Brennan has the detail.


The mechanical and electrical contractors Mercury, one of the largest in the State, has signalled its ability to grow following a year of intense operational change. Ian Curran reports that it has increased its operating profits by more than 19 per cent to €72.9 million, according to recent accounts. Mercury works with a number of blue-chip clients to deliver data centres, semiconductor and life sciences facilities across Europe.

Home building may be on the rise, finally, but the news is never that straightforward. Laura Slattery reports that, according to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), more workers are probably going to be needed in order to see them through. Still, 30,138 housing units commenced in the January to April period, marking a substantial rise on 2023 which saw 32,800 during the entire year.

Business sentiment in increasing again, at least in some areas. Data brought to you by Ian Curran shows small and medium sized companies are more optimistic about their future than they were earlier this year. As always, though, the picture is more complicated. The survey from Azets reveals some lingering concerns around staff retention and recruitment, and notes that unlike their larger counterparts, smaller business remain wary about investing in artificial intelligence.

Noticed things becoming a little more expensive? It’s the question of our times and data reported by Economics Correspondent Eoin Burke-Kennedy shows Ireland is now the second most pricey place to be in the EU. It makes for grim reading, but the Eurostat numbers place us just behind Denmark. Still, the good news is that clothing prices, at least, are below the EU average.

In his weekly column, John FitzGerald takes a look back over the Republic’s efforts at settling its economic situation since its foundation in 1922. This all played out against the thorny backdrop of partition in the North, and the institutional discrimination of nationalists. Pouring over the detail, FitzGerald ultimately notes that while such issues were the responsibility of the UK, for over half a century southern governments ignored such matters, focusing instead on economic and financial gain.

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