Lane’s warning on house prices, Imagine’s share sale, and Apple’s Athenry woe

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

The Central Bank of Ireland Governor Philip Lane reminded us yesterday that prices can go down as well as up.

Speaking to an Oireachtas committee, the governor cited increased supply, a hike in interest rates, and the impact of Brexit as reasons why house prices here might soften, even though the annual rate of inflation is running at nearly 13 per cent. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports

Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management is taking a major stake in Irish entrepreneur Sean Bolger's Imagine Communications wireless broadband group, in a deal which values it at close to €200 million, it is understood. Mark Paul has the details

Low lies the appeal of Athenry to tech giant Apple, which has backed away from an €850 million investment in a data centre following a long-running legal saga over its planning permission. Peter Hamilton recounts this sorry tale.

Karlin Lillington also details what it means for regional development.

Meanwhile Joe Brennan reports on Ulster Bank's plan to sell-off ¤1.6 billion of mortgages that are deep in arrears. The move brings to more than €12 billion the amount of Irish loans on the market.

In his economics column, John FitzGerald says there are a substantial number of economically-inactive people who might be enticed back into the labour market, many of them women.

Joe Brennan also reports on Digicel's Chinese partnerbeing hit by US sanctions.

And finally our Friday interview is with Jack and Tracy Hamilton, directors of Mash Direct, the Co Down farming and food production business.

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Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times