Corruption inquiry in South Africa, Lane for the ECB; and a fivefold return for investors

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

Facebook beat expectations with its latest results. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook beat expectations with its latest results. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images


Irish explorer Falcon Oil and Gas has found itself caught up in a South African commission of inquiry into corruption of public officials during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure after it was named by a whistleblower. Bill Corcoran reports from South Africa as the company denies any impropriety.

Central Bank governor Philip Lane is not just the front-runner to be the European Central Bank’s next chief economist, he’s the only runner following the closing of nominations yesterday. Assuming he gets the final nod, he will be the first Irish member of the bank’s executive council, writes Joe Brennan.

Online payments business Stripe has attracted a further $100 million in a follow-on fundraise that now values the company founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison from Limerick at $22.5 billion. Charlie Taylor reports.

Charlie also writes about the good fortune of early stage Irish investors in a Trinity College nanotech spinoutwho will make a fivefold return on their investment following a notable deal in the US.

Social media giant Facebook reported its latest figures last night, as did tech leader Microsoft. Facebook beat expectations, showing its advertising business is weathering scrutiny over a series of privacy scandals. At Microsoft, slowing demand for cloud services and generally sluggish growth were the concern for investors.

Staying with technology, a new Irish player in the data centre sector, Echelon says it will build two ¤500 million centres in Clondalkin, in Dublin and Arklow, in Co Wicklow, though they won’t say where the €1 billion funding will come from. Laura Slattery reports.

And a new report for the Wind Energy Association says that the net cost of investment in in wind energy in Ireland over the past 20 years has been just ¤1 per person per year, writes Kevin O’Sullivan

Developer Harry Crosbie and Dublin City Council both stuck to their guns in a rowover whether there should be free public access to the waterfront at a new hotel he planned to build on the site of his present home at Hanover Quay. The result: he failed to get permission. Gordon Deegan has the details.

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our business news alerts and our Business Today daily email news digest.