Banks mull Government bonds move, Datalex share sale, and why house sales are accelerating

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

AIB and Bank of Ireland are looking into the prospect of becoming primary dealers in Government bonds, as Davy's exit from this business in the wake of a trade scandal has left the State with no domestic financial house that is approved to be involved in the sale of debt for the State. Joe Brennan has the details.

Joe also reports on Datalex, the travel retail software provider to airlines, which is understood to be planning to approach the market for more than €25 million of equity in June, as it seeks to raise funding ahead of a deadline later this year to repay loans from businessman Dermot Desmond.

Planning permission has been refused for a large high-rise apartment development near the centre of Donnybrook village in Dublin, which a local Fianna Fáil councillor claimed had a higher density than buildings in central New York.

Seán McCárthaigh reports.


Samsung has lodged an appeal against a recent $62.7 million (€51.8 million) intellectual property infringement victory by Dublin-based patents firm Solas OLED, reports Charlie Taylor. The move comes as the Irish company earlier this month filed another three lawsuits against the tech giant.

Negotiations with the US Congress on thecorporate tax proposalsput forward by the Biden administration will be complex and may take until the autumn to conclude, according to Barbara Angus, EY global tax leader, who spoke to Cliff Taylor on the issue.

The rate of inflation forcommercial building costs eased last year to 2.2 per cent, to about a third of the level of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). Joe Brennan reports the SCSI's latest tender price index showed that construction price inflation increased by 1.3 per cent in the second half of 2020, a modest increase on the 0.9 per cent recorded in the previous six months.

Joe also reports that business confidence jumped in April to higher levels than seen even before the Covid-19 pandemic, as they eye the rollout of vaccines and some easing of restrictions, according to Bank of Ireland. Separately, EY said that it expect the Republic's economy to grow by 5 per cent this year and for the labour market to recover to its 2019 levels by late 2023.

How are property transactions accelerating when viewings aren't allowed? asks Eoin-Burke Kennedy. When the first lockdown came into force last year, with a similar ban on viewings of residential properties listed for sale, transactions fell off a cliff. So what's different now?

Ireland's pharmaceutical companies are getting too good a deal, while the Irish taxpayer is currently locked into paying too much for drugs, writes James O'Mahony, an assistant research professor in health economics at the Centre for Health Policy & Management at TCD.

Sick of Zoom? Lucky you don't need it to save the planet, writes Pilita Clarke. While videocall fails are annoying for most of us, the 280 climate scientists who had to meet online last week to finalise parts of a mammoth new climate report, have much more at stake.

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Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe is an Audience Editor with The Irish Times