Government considers drafting in ESB to speed up broadband provision

Seen & Heard: Spanish credit card company Avantcard signs up six brokers to cherry pick the mortgage market

The Government is considering drafting the ESB back in speed up the provision of broadband to 540,000 homes and businesses around the Republic, The Sunday Business Post reports.

National Broadband Ireland, led by US businessman, David McCourt, last year won a contract to provide the service to more than half a million properties within seven years, following a controversial bidding process.

The newspaper reports that the Government has approached State-owned ESB to aid National Broadband Ireland by allowing it access to the power company’s infrastructure, to speed up the construction of the new telecoms network. The ESB pulled out of the race to provide the service in 2017.

Earlier this year, former communications minister, Richard Bruton, raised the possibility of reducing the roll-out period to five from seven years. The Sunday Business Post reported last month that National Broadband Ireland had said it could significantly speed up the work.


AIB poaches pensions expert

AIB has poached pensions expert Jim Connolly from Goodbody Stockbrokers, according to The Sunday Times.

The lender confirmed to the newspaper that Mr Connolly, described as a “top advisor to the wealthy on retirement planning” would join its private bank later this year.

“AIB has made a significant wealth management hire with the appointment of Jim Connolly as head of retirement planning,” the bank told The Sunday Times.

“Jim is the outgoing head of pensions and technical services at Goodbody and a well-known commentator on pension issues.”

The newspaper notes that the move comes at a time when AIB has been linked to a bid for Goodbody after the broker’s planned sale to Bank of China fell through earlier this year.

Multi-nationals ’ profits

Almost one third of the $743 billion (€625 billion) profits earned by EU-affiliates of US multi-nationals was earned through businesses based in the Republic in 2018, The Sunday Independent Reports.

The newspaper says that research by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, shows that branches of US multi-nationals based here earned $217 billion in 2018, up from $178 billion in 2017.

According to the research, US-owned multi-nationals had 946 affiliates with assets, sales or net income greater than $25 million based in the Republic, the newspaper adds.

Cheaper home loans

Spanish credit card company Avantcard has signed up six brokers to cherry pick the mortgage market by offering cheap home loans to public servants, medics and other high earners, according to The Sunday Times.

The lender’s move has dashed hopes of a mortgage price war. Avantcard intends to undercut the banks’ rates by 0.2 per cent.

However, the newspaper reports that the company has told brokers that it intends confining its market to occupations insulated from the current Covid-19 crisis, specifically Government workers and healthcare professionals.

Borrowers must earn at least €80,000 to €100,000, the lender has told brokers.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas