Going green with nuclear, strong mortgage data; and question about rents

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


Ireland’s European Commissioner Maireád McGuinness is moving closer to classifying nuclear energy and gas as having a role to play in the transition to climate neutrality as an energy price crisis consumes the European Union. Naomi O’Leary reports from Brussels.

New mortgage data shows continued strong growth in both approvals and drawdowns during the third quarter as homebuyers returned to the market following a steep drop-off last year at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. But, writes Colin Gleeson, first-time buyers are turning more to secondhand properties as developers struggle to bring new homes to market.

Rents rose at 7 per cent in the second quarter, according to figures from the Residential Tenancies Board, but an industry group says the figure is distorted by new rental properties or new tenancies that are exempt from Government rent pressure zone legislation. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has the details.

Digicel is selling a “cracking business” in the Pacific Islands to Australian telco Telstra with a “lot of growth” potential, Digicel’s owner and chairman Denis O’Brien has said in an interview. Ciarán Hancock reports.

Dublin Port has seen a serious reduction in traffic from Britain, according to figures released this morning. Eoin Burke-Kennedy writes that the port has also seen a sharp increase in freight arriving without drivers, increasing pressure on capacity.

A High Court judge has said he will next month on the case of an Arthur Cox solicitor who claims she was unfairly dismissed over her criticism of a partner at the firm who was allegedly socialising as she was required to work until the early hours of the morning. Mary Carolan was in court.

Microsoft and Google beat market expectations as they reported quarterly figures on Tuesday, capitalising on the demands of hybrid work and Covid-bound consumers spending more time online. However, Twitter missed Wall Street expectations for user growth.

A Cork hotel claims a business interruption insurance policy was so “riddled with obfuscation and confusion”, it should be interpreted as providing cover for Covid-19 disruption.

The brothers behind Daft.ie have shared, a dividend payout of over €7 million this year from their online Distilled SCH group of companies, writes Gordon Deegan.

Stripe, the Irish-founded payments company, will allow retailers to add Klarna Bank’s buy-now-pay-later service as a purchasing tool for customers, a deal that pairs up two of the world’s most valuable financial technology start-ups.

Green is the word du jour but it is not necessarily universally good, writes Sarah O’Connor. “The truth is that some jobs involved in greening the economy are dirty and dangerous,” she writes.

Johnny Ronan’s plans for a 10 storey over basement block of 44 unit build to rent apartments on the junction of Dublin’s Appian Way and Leeson Street is facing strong opposition from local residents.

Staff at Irish hotels in the Premier Inn group are in line for bonuses as the UK-based owner of the budget hotel chain seeks to retain staff amid “chronic” labour shortages and escalating cost pressures. Colin Gleeson has details on a modest windfall for staff.

In Commercial Property, Fiona Reddan writes that Galway’s Corrib Shopping Centre is on the market for €18.5 million as Marathon Asset Management continues to sell off retail assets across the State.

And the hotel sector saw 12 major sales completed in Ireland in the first nine months of 2021, bringing total spend to more than €330 million – exactly double the value of deals in the Irish market over the whole of 2020 amid pent-up demand from foreign investors, according to CBRE.

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