Bank of Ireland nearing deal to acquire Davy, report says

Seen & Heard: AIB’s Belfry case, Biden stimulus and Marlet portfolio bidders

The Business Post reported that Bank of Ireland was close to agreeing to buy Davy, which was put on the market in March in the wake of scandal relating to a bond trade back in 2014. The report suggests that the stockbroking and wealth management firm may sell for about €400 million.

Bank of Ireland has been seen as the front-runner to buy Davy since it was put on the market, following on from rival AIB's agreement in March to repurchase Goodbody Stockbrokers for €138 million.

AIB offers €20m to Belfry property investors group

AIB is offering €20 million to a group of investors that are suing the bank over money the claim they lost in its Celtic-era Belfry property funds, The Business Post reported.

The High Court heard last week, as it was due to start hearing a test case with implications for 300 other cases, that talks were continuing between the bank and the group of investors in a series of "Belfry funds", which raised €300 million from 3,000 Irish people to invest in UK commercial property, between 2002 and 2006. While an initial fund returned a profit, investors in five subsequent funds lost their money after the crash.

Job ads exceed levels before Covid-19

The Sunday Independent reported that figures from employment website Indeed, which show that Irish job postings as of late June were 8 per cent above pre-Covid levels in early February 2020. These include areas such as cleaning, sports and food preparation positions as the economy continues to reopen.

The report cites Indeed economist Jack Kennedy as saying that while the increase in job ads was a positive indication of the State's recovery, he warned that they will still need to grow "significantly" to absorb the slack as Government supports ease. Ireland's Covid-19 adjusted unemployment rate fell to 18.3 per cent in June from 21.9 per cent in May, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Kennedy Wilson and Blackstone join forces on Marlet portfolio

California-based property group Kennedy Wilson has joined forces with a New York private equity giant to bid for Marlet Property Group's €1 billion Castle portfolio of 2,000 apartments and duplexes being developed across Dublin, according to the Sunday Times.

German asset manager Union Investment is also said to be among final bidders for the portfolio, though the report said that Pat Crean's Marlet is prepared to pull the sale "if its value expectations are not met".

The portfolio includes developments in Harold's Cross, Dundrum, Howth, and the city centre.

Republic to receive boost from Biden stimulus

The Central Bank forecasts that Ireland could be in line for a dividend from US president Joe Biden's $1.9 billion (€1.6 billion) stimulus package, potentially boosting economic output locally by 1 per cent next year, the Sunday Times reported.

The stimulus plan is likely to boost external Irish exports and complement the economic impact of a release of some of the €14 billion in Irish household savings racked up during the pandemic, it said.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times

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