Digicel  was once a cash cow for Denis  O’Brien. Between 2012 and 2014 he received dividends totalling $1.1 billion from the compnay.

Telecom company struggles to refinance in face of $6.7bn debt

Leo Varadkar  meeting his British counterpart Theresa May in Dublin on February 8th. Photograph: AFP

As schism between UK and EU deepens, companies are caught in the middle of political brinkmanship

Construction cranes on the Dublin skyline. With building professionals in short supply, recruitment executives are on a global hunt for construction staff. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Creation of 385,000 jobs since 2013 has taken Ireland to the cusp of full employment

The exact shape Brexit will take remains uncertain. Photograph: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Regulators expect to approve applications from 100 financial institutions

Ireland has ramped up plans to expand its diplomatic footprint as Brexit looms, with the opening of more than a dozen new missions in locations as diverse as Latin America, India, Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand.  Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Simon Coveney plans biggest expansion of embassy network since Independence

Stephen Glancey, chief executive of C&C, in the company’s warehouse. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Exporters act to protect €65bn trade link as uncertainty frustrates long-term planning

The Venezuelan authorities took control of a Smurfit Kappa plant last month after a state agency charged the company with price speculation and destabilising the economy. Photograph:  Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Dublin complains to government after group charged with price speculation

Russian sanctions may force closure of Rusal plant near Limerick with Europe-wide implications

The Rusal plant, open for 35 years, is seen as a strongly positive example of inward investment policy.

Workers at Rusal’s Askeaton plant nervously eye battle beyond their control

Like the UK, Ireland is a common law jurisdiction with an English-language legal system, as well as specialist lawyers and an established commercial court to fast-track business cases

UK departure from the EU raises questions about status of British courts

As China’s aviation sector expands rapidly to meet surging domestic demand for air travel, Dublin is emerging as a major hub for Beijing’s growing ambitions in the aircraft leasing market.

Fears sector is expanding too fast as Beijing uses Dublin as bridgehead for growth

A Syrian child receives treatment after an alleged chemical attack, at a field hospital in Saraqib, Idlib province, northern Syria. Photograph:  EPA

Syrian regime denies responsibility for strike in Idlib province that killed more than 50

US vice-president Mike Pence  with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg  after a meeting at Nato  headquarters in Brussels on Monday. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Vice-president says Trump administration will seek ways to bolster the relationship

2014: TK Whitaker during a gathering organised by the SDLP to honour his life. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

TK Whitaker: Economic overview – Whitaker felt de Valera and Lemass benefitted in ascribing new economic plan to others

Some 80% of the cyber attacks at the European Commission last year could be considered “harmful”, said an official.

Co-operation with Nato stepped up amid fears over Russian meddling in elections

The European Parliament vote in favour of suspending EU membership talks with Turkey is non-binding. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Resolution says president’s crackdown violates rights protected by constitution

At a press conference at the end of an EU-Canada summit where they signed the agreement on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a planned EU-Canada free trade agreement, in Brussels, were (from left) EU Council president Donald Tusk, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau  and president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph:  EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Full implementation of deal that could boost trade by 20% rests with national parliaments

International Monetary Fund  managing director Christine Lagarde: fund’s involvement in euro zone programmes had been a “qualified success” in the face of unprecedented systemic challenge. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Internal review finds commission influenced staff; Lagarde rejects ‘premise’ of report

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe  during an Irish Times Business Podcast interview with Arthur Beesley on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister in podcast interview warns of reduced scope for spending increases and tax cuts

The risk of economic overheating means action might be required this autumn to pull back in the 2017 budget from mooted spending increases and tax cuts

Government is at risk this year of breaching the very fiscal rules it pledged to observe only weeks ago

The Government should resist any temptation to add to planned tax cuts or spending increases due to the risk of overheating in the economy, the OECD has warned.

Government cautioned against risk of overheating in economy

Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC: ‘The most notable area of weakness in the May survey was in relation to the outlook for jobs.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Consumer sentiment may have weakened but employment figures are promising

 Mario Draghi:  The president of the European Central Bank  is unlikely this week to push for an intensified bond-buying or to bring interest rates deeper into negative territory. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Eurostat says euro zone inflation was expected to be -0.1% in May

Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England: “All these temporary arrangements to keep the euro together will not last forever. And it is not obvious to me what plans people are putting in place to ensure its continuation.” Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Temporary arrangements – for Greek debt and the euro – cannot last forever

Google store in China:  Google insists all its tax affairs are fully compliant but a raid on the Paris office by authorities was the latest manoeuvre in a European crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance by large multinationals. Photograph: Chance Chan/Reuters

Washington pushes for ‘aggressive engagement’ with Europe over tax crackdown

Positive trend: All told, employment grew in 12 of the 14 economic sectors measured by the CSO. The increase in the information technology sector was 4.2 per cent, while the administrative sector employment rose 9.8 per cent. Photograph: Getty

Joblessness dips below 8% as 47,000 net new jobs were created over the past year

The total number of people in the labour force in the first quarter of 2016 was 2.16 million, an increase of 13,600 over the year. The number of people not in the labour force in the first quarter was 1.47 million, a rise of 5,300 in the year.

Latest figures show significant drop in youth unemployment

Working on the new Luas line in Dublin: various other projects face indefinite delays because of constraints on the Government’s capital programme, says the CIF

Construction Industry Federation calls on Government to intensify long-term investment

The Brexit referendum on June 23rd has raised doubt over the membership of the third-largest net contributor to the EU budget. Photograph:  Nikolay Doychinov/Reuters

Ireland’s economic growth already likely to increase budget contribution

Prof Brendan Walsh: “He was one of those people who would have had a public profile and who would have participated in radio and television debate but behind it there was  really good quality academic publication too”

Dr Walsh explained economics for the layperson via the media and academically

 Derek Moran, Department of Finance secretary:  sent  pro-forma letters to Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Labour. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Department of Finance said cuts may have to be offset by other measures under new rules

Enda Kenny TD following his recent election as Taoiseach. His second Government is drawing the same kind of positive judgment in financial markets as his first. Photograph: gareth chaney Collins

Agreement on Government reassures markets that budget deficit will be cut

The Luas line-connection muddle shows that deficient thinking on infrastructure leaves deficient infrastructure in its wake. This imposes large additional costs on the hapless taxpayer

Little consideration given to need for more spending after years of underinvestment

Non-indexation is a core principle in the tax-cutting strategy set out in the programme for government of the minority Fine Gael administration

Net gain from income tax cuts is smaller if tax bands and thresholds are not increased in line with inflation

Ratings agency Fitch argues that the economic impact of a Brexit would be lower for the EU than for the UK, it said the impact on the union would still be palpable.

Ratings agency also says departure would increase political risk

Moody’s has maintained a B rating on Irish debt for much longer than other agencies.  Photograph: Bloomberg

Moody’s says that budget deficit should continue to fall under new government

Tesco’s move on the employment terms of staff who have served the business for two decades or more seems to be in keeping with moves in other companies on comparatively expensive “legacy contracts”

No firm can stand still today, but the pay cuts Tesco seeks must be hard to take for staff

 A billboard advertising pounds sterling to euros money changing services in Newry, Northern Ireland. One big Brexit danger is the possibility of new Border controls. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Arthur Beesley: Exit would call into question beneficial arrangements for traders either side of Irish Sea

Legal Services Regulation Act was signed into law in December after four years of delay, and a long lobbying campaign by the professions. Photograph: The Irish Times

Consumer protection chief Isolde Goggin critical of vested interests

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: the new Government has signed up to a big spending package and it will to fall to him  to ensure there is no swerve off course. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Minister of Finance’s next term presents opportunity to consolidate progress

Although the document is decidedly social in its tone, its abundant promises still cost money

Suspension of water charges puts further fiscal burden on administration

According to the draft programme, new investment in public services will allow the new government to recruit additional front-line service professional such as doctors, nurses, gardaí, teachers, and social workers within a reformed and better-managed public service.

Draft programme outlines commitments running up to 2021

There is no real cause of alarm in that figure: the collection of €4.16 billion in VAT was still ahead of the opening four months of 2015. Although domestic demand drove the most recent phase of recovery, the VAT figures shows that consumers are spending somewhat less than anticipated even after an income tax cut in January.

Some difficult decisions await incoming government

The State collected €14.04 billion in the first third of the year, €1.17 billion more than in 2015 and €475 million more than forecast by the Department of Finance.

Exchequer returns show a VAT shortfall but revenue is well ahead of target

The CSO questioned the logic and consistency of the ruling that a preference share conversion in the nationalised AIB should be classified as a government expenditure. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Decision by EU agency led to bigger deficit for 2015 than estimated by Government

Sterling’s decline in February provides a kind of foretaste of what might well be in store after a vote to leave the EU when the conditions under which the Brexit actually happened would still be unclear. Photograph:  Toby Melville/Reuters

Questions arise over outlook for trade flows, the Border and foreign direct investment

Central Bank governor Philip Lane dismisses notion of statutory limits on mortgage interest rates. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Philip Lane says any legislation to curtail rates could deter potential market entrants

Jose Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the OECD, holds up his organisation’s policy paper on the effects of Brexit during a speech at the London School of Economics on Wednesday. It became the latest international body to warn the UK that leaving the European Union would cause lasting damage to the economy. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Note for TDs and Senators identifies threats to trade and financial markets

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said there were many mechanisms to secure money from those who have not paid water charges,  including attachment orders. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says FF position is that those who have not paid charges should be pursued

Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, Pascal Donohoe and Simon Coveney leaving Trinity College Dublin: The emerging water deal will see a commission of experts established to examine issues such as alternative charging systems. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ministers tell FG backbenchers deal with FF only prospect of saving Irish Water

The dangers are more acute now than at any time since the height of the global crisis, the department warned.  For one thing, the Brexit referendum looms. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Dangers to growth more acute now than at any time since height of the global crisis

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan arriving for talks on government formation, at Trinity College Dublin, yesterday. The prospect of more money becoming available may ease the task of forming a government. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Prospect of more money becoming available may ease the task of forming a government

Fine Gael TDs Paschal Donohoe, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald arriving for talks on government formation at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil at odds over length of any water charge suspension period

Eurostat’s decision  could mean the next government will be under marginally less pressure in coming years to keep public spending in check.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Statistical ruling on AIB share transaction means there is additional money available

Peter Sutherland: It would be “profoundly misplaced” for Ireland to review its own EU membership if Britain votes to leave. Photograph: Gary O’Neill

Ex-EU commissioner says if Leave side wins ‘then a lot of issues will begin to crystallise’

The Central Bank took the benefit last year of large capital gain as it stepped up the sale of bonds held after the 2013 deal to scrap the Anglo promissory note scheme

Dame Street institution reported €2.1 billion surplus on its operations in 2014

Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny: as talks continue there are fears that the absence of a government with decision-making powers means  policy problems are piling up and there are also concerns about the inherent frailty of any minority administration. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Bickering over the next government brings concerns that lack of a deal could end badly

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank: insisted the quantitative easing programme was working and interest rates would remain at record low levels for a long time. Photograph: Arne Dedert/EPA

Mario Draghi says criticism of interest rate may be ‘endangering’ bank’s independence

A new report has found Irish business borrowers are paying 80 per cent more for modest commercial loans than the euro zone average. Photograph:  Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Competitiveness council warns of major risks from dysfunctional property market

A campaign placard  at a ‘Vote Leave’ rally in Newcastle upon Tyne. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Jens Zimmermann says Germany would lose balancing force if Britain left EU

The Government was obliged to comply with a 2010 European recommendationto bring the deficit to a maximum of 2.9 per cent by the end of 2015

Eurostat ruling means State recorded deficit of 2.3% of GDP

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The 10 largest insurers wrote to him late last year calling for urgent action following the collapse of Setanta Insurance.

Insurance firms want Government to settle serious legal questions

 Stephen Crabb: The  British secretary of state for work and pensions said that, if a post- Brexit UK was relying on its membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to regulate trade with the EU, it would have to offer the same terms to all WTO members. Photograph:  Carl Court/Getty Images

British work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb warns of likely trade barriers

GDP has increased by almost 20% from the trough, ratings agency says, including ‘an exceptionally strong performance in 2015 when (...)

Stormont: the report says there could be a  greater devolution of economic powers to Stormont at a time when Northern Ireland would be looking for a greater helping hand from Westminster to make up for its EU losses

The agricultural sector is at most risk from leaving EU, according to stockbrokers

European Central Bank chairman Mario Draghi: is accused in Berlin of stoking the march of the anti-euro Alternative for Germany party in recent state elections. Photograph: Antonio Cotrim/EPA

ECB boss back at loggerheads with his German foes

 If the credibility of prime minister David Cameron was cast from the outset as something of a silver bullet on the Remain side, his blundering response to the Panama leak delivered a deep self-inflicted wound. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Any agreement must allow for fact situation could fundamentally change within months

Apple and other large tech firms such as Google, Dell and Microsoft rank among hundreds of international groups with big Irish operations. Photograph:Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images

Firms will have to publish revenue, profit and tax payments in each member state

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: the likely State breach of the legal deadline for the submission of the “SPU” to the  commission comes amid a growing backlog in official business in the interregnum since the February election. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Backlog of official business grows as talks over forming government continue to drag on

European Central Bank chairman Mario Draghi: The ECB’s latest remarks on the Irish bonds came as Mr Draghi stressed the bank’s willingness to ease monetary policy again. Photograph: Antonio Cotrim/EPA

Irish bank got €25 billion portfolio in deal to scrap the Anglo promissory note scheme

US president Barack Obama:  when he won the 2008 election, he set out plans in his manifesto to make it a good deal more difficult for American firms to shelter overseas profits from the US tax authority and to incentivise job creation in the US. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Obama’s move marks rare deployment of political power to subvert excessive tax ploys

Buy-to-let borrowers were more likely to be in negative equity than owner-occupiers, S&P found. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

New report finds loans from 2007 have 59% rate of negative equity

Rosneft revealed further losses in its main Irish division. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Last week the Rosneft parent group reported a 2 per cent rise in its 2015 net profit

Alastair Campbell: “I’m making a guess here but most of the Irish business community are probably for Britain staying in.” Photograph: Getty Images

‘It’s a very, very significant event for the Irish economy,’ says former Blair adviser

Department of Finance principal officer John Palmer with assistant principal Brendan O’Leary, left, and Annette Connolly, principal officer at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, announcing the exchequer returns for the first quarter. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fall in income tax receipts ‘impossible to diagnose’, says Department of Finance

Exchequer figures show health overspending last month but corporate tax payments push overall returns ahead of target

A Topaz petrol station in Ireland. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Petrol station chain was sold to Couche Tard in February

 Argentine president Mauricio Macri:  country returns to the markets after 15 years  of legal conflict between Argentina and holders of its defaulted debt. Photograph: EPA

New settlement is centrepiece of plan by Macri to revive the country’s economy

“In the short term uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the Brexit referendum could persuade UK households and companies to put off spending decisions until after the vote on June 23rd”

Stockbrokers note slump in UK consumer and business sentiment at start of year

The State’s first 100-year bond will be due for repayment during the bicentenary of the Rising

Bond carries an annual yield of 2.35 per cent and will be repaid during the bicentenary of the Rising

ECB preparations for referendum follow earlier work by the Central Bank of Ireland which revealed Brexit could have a negative impact on Ireland’s economy. Photograph: Getty Images

Bank of England warns on risk to fiscal stability in UK

Legal opinion commissioned by the utility company says the State is required under EU law to keep the contentious regime in place

Divisions over water becoming potential barrier to formation of government

Christoph Mueller tendered his resignation from the board of An Post to the Government last May. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Government under pressure to conclude hiring of new chair

No matter how it is sliced, the option of Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael plus Independents and assorted others looks inherently vulnerable. Photgraph: Niall Carson/PA

Whatever makeshift arrangement emerges will be in a precarious position

Sharon  Donnery  was appointed deputy governor for central banking in succession to Stefan Gerlach.

Salary set in line with a ratio of deputy governor to governor of 1.00 to 1.15, which indicates salary of the governor, Prof Phili(...)

Lars Frisell, an adviser to Central Bank governor Philip Lane, defends home loan cap.

Regulator says financial sector unable on their own to uphold ‘prudent’ credit standards

Posters at the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign offices. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Ireland could suffer major economic losses following Brexit, LSE research indicates

 The Brexit referendum in June could throw into doubt a multitude of assumptions about the road ahead for the Irish economy. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Arthur Beesley: State’s finances are hugely exposed to global economic uncertainty

The Transatlantic Economy 2016 report found the sales of US affiliates in Ireland reached $313 billion (€276.59 billion) in 2013. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Country one of the most attractive in the world for US companies, figures show

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar:  sought  20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Charge introduced in British budget, and similar move championed by FF and FG

British chancellor George Osborne downgraded his growth forecasts for the next five years. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Fund lukewarm on Central Bank’s readiness to relax mortgage lending restrictions

 European Central Bank   president Mario Draghi:  he said   interest rates will stay “very low for a long period of time”. Photograph: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Draghi aims to spur growth and inflation in euro zone and avert threat of deflation

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), pauses during a news conference to announce the bank’s interest rate decision at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday. Photograph: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Data shows Ireland’s growth of 7.8 % as ECB’s Mario Draghi reduces interest rate to zero

Mario Draghi has made his most radical move yet.  Photograph: Bloomberg

Political leaders would do well to keep one eye on shaky global economy

Property market trends could revive the ‘unsustainable’ boom-era practice of long-distance commuting between Dublin and its hinterland, a new ESRI report has warned. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

New report warns prices could force Dublin buyers to seek housing beyond the city

The Irish economy faces a potential “tragedy” if the British people vote to the leave the EU in June, Allied Irish Banks chairman Richard Pym has said.

Richard Pym says people should be encouraging relatives in UK to vote

 Legacy: The total disposal of Anglo Irish Bank debt so far has reached  €3 billion. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Some €22n in bonds remain outstanding from the deal to scrap the promissory notes

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi: he is widely expected to push the bank’s deposit rate deeper into negative territory on Thursday in a bid to encourage lending. Photograph:  Yves Herman/Reuters

Economist Isabel Schnabel warns there should be no more loosening of monetary policy

Revenue collected €7.2 billion from taxpayers in January and February.

Tax in January and February is up nearly €500m. Car sales are great and unemployment is down. But Ireland’s debts still constrict (...)

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