BT doubts over broadband plan, Latvian banking scandal and book award seeks sponsor

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

The Mobile World Conference begins on Monday.

The Mobile World Conference begins on Monday.

 

BT Ireland’s managing director has cast doubt on whether the National Broadband Plan can be delivered with just one company left in the tender process, and if the project will represent value for money for the taxpayer. Charlie Taylor reports.

Latvianofficials are due to hold an emergency meeting on Monday after the European Central Bank wound up the country’s third-largest lender, ABLV, which suffered a funding crisis amid claims of money-laundering linked to North Korea. Daniel McLaughlin has the details.

Ireland’s largest literary event is searching for a new sponsor after Bord Gáis Energy turned the page on its eight-year association with the ceremony, writes Laura Slattery.

Dublin’s reputation is stronger than those of Madrid, San Francisco and New York, a new study shows, reports Barry O’Halloran. City Reptrak, which rates cites where people would like to work, live, visit or do business, ranks the Irish capital at number 17 in the world, the highest position it has achieved since the survey began seven years ago.

Irish technology firm Asavie has announced its secure internet of things connectivity service is taking to the race track, working with Control to provide a telemetry system for endurance racing. It is one of a number of Irish firms exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we will be keeping you up to date with all that’s happening there over the next few days.

Revolut, the banking start-up, is looking to more than double the number of customers it has in Ireland, to 150,000 by the end of 2018, after announcing that it gained an additional 500,000 users across Europe in the last two months of 2017, to give it a bigger market share than some traditional banks. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Charlie also tells us that Eurofins Scientific, the Belgian laboratories giant that employs more than 300 people in Ireland, has made its second Irish acquisition in less than a year after snapping up City Analysts Limited for an undisclosed sum.

A Dublin start-up is hoping to become one of the first Irish companies to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO), as it looks to capitalise on the current crypto currency craze. Fiona Reddan reports.

Chris Johns marvels at the increasing self-delusion of the Brexiteers while Pilita Clark wonders if we can be too optimistic about the human ability to solve problems such as climate change.

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