UK considers Friends First takeout, eShopWorld valuation jumps and unmasking cyber attackers

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

Profits are up at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre - good news for owners Crownway Entertainment and its shareholders, John and Bernadette Gallagher.

Profits are up at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre - good news for owners Crownway Entertainment and its shareholders, John and Bernadette Gallagher.

 

After a weekend of guesswork on the budget that told us very little more than was already widely known, it’s back to the corproate scene today before Paschal Donohoe takes the stand tomorrow.

UK insurer Aviva is eyeing up a takeover of Ireland’s Friends First business from Dutch group Achmea (formerly Eureko), writes Joe Brennan, though it has yet to be named a preferred bidder.

Joe also reports that fast-growing Irish tech firmeShopWorld is now valued at €300 million after existing investor , owned by the French and Swiss postal service companies, upped its stake to 50 per cent.

As the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland launches its first Fraud Awareness Week, a survey shows that close to two-thirds of Irish consumer and businesses say that they have been targeted by scammers.

Ireland has managed to win and lose at the same time in the latest list of national brands, writes Charlie Taylor. The value of Ireland Inc jumped 24 per cent last year but it still dropped one place to 33rd in the rankings.

Dan McLaughlin looks at continuing efforts by Kiev to tempt Ryanairinto operating flights from the Ukraine across its European network - even as the parties trade blame for the collapse of talks on the issue this summer.

The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre saw operating profit more than treble last year, which is good news for owners Crownway Entertainment and its shareholders, John and Bernadette Gallagher. Ciarán Hancock reports.

Sticking with the world of entertainment and media, Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports that insurer FBD has come on board as sponsor for Marian Finucane’s weekend radio shows.

As Britain battles with falling productivity, and the inevitable agitation by voters, Chris Johnsargues that Brexit is proving a curb on necessary economic growth.

Meanwhile, in World of Work, Pilita Clark looks at new suggestions that the people behind the growing number of cyber attacks on business might just be your competitors and not just some anarchic hacker looking for a payday.

Click here for all you need to know about Budget 2018