House price fear; poacher turned gamekeeper; and workplace conflict

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

Brian Hayes, CEO of Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Brian Hayes, CEO of Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times


Irish house prices could fall if the UK crashes out of the European Union, the Central Bank has said. Joe Brennan reports on yet another grim warning of what may lie ahead jobs and salaries in the event of a disorderly Brexit.

Brian Hayes is also weighing up what the future holds. The former Fine Gael politician was a major critic of Ireland’s banks in his time as an MEP; now he is settling in as chief spokesman for the industry. In our Interview of the Week, he explains the move to Ciarán Hancock.

Enda Young has said employees spend an average of more than three hours a week in conflict. The Queens University academic has some practical advice on how to manage workplace disputes.

US private equity group Lone Star has done a deal to acquire 118 acres at Cherrywood in south Dublin that are earmarked for up to 2,600 homes. Joe Brennan writes that it is understood to have paid Hines and King Street Capital around €120 million for the sites.

And building on the success of game of Thrones, Belfast Harbour is now looking to develop six new purpose-built television and film studios in a £35 million investment project, writes Francess McDonnell.

The revelations at the inquiry into the collapse of Irish Nationwide just keep coming. On Thursday, it heard there was no credit risk policy in place for €6 billion in profit-sharing loans that building society gave to developers – loans that accounted from most of its portfolio in 2008. And that was from the man who was in charge of credit risk at the lender.

The electric Mini Cooper is coming to the Irish market and Neil Briscoe talks to the Louth engineer responsible for integrating an all-new electric motor and batteries into its familiar shape.

Things are trickier for Barchester, the leading British care home group owned by Irish billionaires Dermot Desmond, JP McManus and John Magnier, has just seen a £2.5bn deal evaporate as Australian suitor Macquarie reconsidered its position at the final moment in light of Brexit.

Elsewhere, the UK has decided to press ahead with plans for a special tax on large technology companies, just hours after the US threatened to impose trade sanctions on France for similar action.

Four years after Clerys closed its doors, it appears the door is finally shutting on efforts to hold Deirdre Foley and others accountable for the manner of its demise as the High Court dismissed a ministerial appeal against throwing out charges linked to manner of redundancies at the department store.

Figures from the CSO show that Irish people spent almost ¤142 billion last year as the economy surged. Barry O’Halloran reports that personal consumption of goods and services – how people spend their cash – grew 3.4 per cent last year, and it seems to be growing at much the same rate this year.

Finally, in Agenda, Eoin Burke-Kennedy drills into the figures put forward by Eir, which recently suggested it could deliver broadband nationally for around €1 billion, and assesses just why they have chosen to re-enter a debate they previously decided to step back from.

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