Strikes are taking off across Ryanair’s European markets. Photograph: Reuters

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

Stranded: Ryanair is facing industrial action on a number of fronts at the same time. Photograph: Reuters

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

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg didn’t create any good Facebook memories on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters

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

Housing completions: every brick counts, but how many are there?  Photograph: iStock

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

Global trade uncertainty: The US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico. Photograph: Getty

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

The many uses of Sugru did not include making millions for its early investors.

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

Mortgages and housing: Central Bank researchers sound a warning and Nesc offers a solution. Photograph: iStock

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

The Central Bank of Ireland could be behind  a third State investigation into INM. Photograph: Alan Betson

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

The Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, in action in the Dáil on Wednesday.

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

Staff who choose to leave Eir will be offered  five weeks’ pay per year of service to leave. Photograph: Alan Betson

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

Aeroflot is planning to launch a direct flight between Dublin and Moscow. Photograph: iStock

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

Airbnb is in the Republic for the long haul, according to Aisling Hassell, who heads up the company’s Irish-based operations.  Photograph: Alan Betson

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

Guinness: the most valuable Irish brand according to a new report Photograph: iStock

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

The failure of Rush Credit Union led to redress of €450,000 for people who disputed the amounts taken from their accounts in relation to a prize draw for a car. Photograph: North County Leader

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

Former Central Bank deputy governor Stefan Gerlach: not a fan of some Irish politicians Photograph: Frank Miller

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

Ready for some snowy action in St Anne’s Park

Whatever about battling blizzard-like conditions, the real challenge is to get children to put their layers on before going outsid(...)

Permanent TSB is likely to refuse any invitation to discuss its planned mortgages sale before the Oireachtas finance committee. Photograph: Alan Betson

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

Rout worsens: Traders  on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange  moments before the Closing Bell on Thursday. Photograph: Getty

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

The National Broadband Plan: now likely to cost more than the €1bn previously signalled. Photograph: iStock

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

Leo Varadkar poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos on Thursday. Photograph: Bloomberg

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

Apple: Making history with a gigantic US tax payment. Photograph: Getty

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

Mainstream Renewable chief executive, Andy Kinsella

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

Its legacy lives on: Anglo Irish Bank creditors give up the ghost. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

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

US streets are not yet turning to gold for Primark. Photograph: Bloomberg

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

Ialpa  has given Ryanair a midday deadline for a union recognition agreement. Photograph: PA Wire

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

Ryanair: Seeking ways to mitigate the impact of next week’s threatened strike Photograph: PA

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

Ryanair alleges Expedia has engaged in ‘screen scraping’. Photograph: AFP

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

Bank of Ireland notified the Data Protection Commissioner of the data breach. Photograph: iStock

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

The German parliament: could a vote next week scupper our bailout repayment plans? Photograph: iStock

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

Irish 10-year bonds have had a mixed session so far. Photograph: Reuters

Agency will monitor market developments over coming weeks

Mining challenges: Kenmare defaulted on its debts earlier this year after failing to reach an agreement with its lenders on a deleveraging plan. Photograph: Thinkstock

Troubled iron and titanium ore miner said to be ready to raise €265m

David Drumm has already been twice refused bail in relation to the extradition request. Photograph: Matthew Healey/The Irish Times

Former Anglo Irish chief remains in custody outside Boston

Peggy Johnson of Microsoft at  the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin. Photograph:  Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit

Peggy Johnson is a big fan of actual ‘face time’ and met several Irish start-ups at the Dublin Web Summit

Richard Desmond: suggested Anthony O’Reilly surrounded himself with “old people . . . like a drinking club or a rugby club”

UK billionaire describes putting hands around O’Reilly’s throat

Richard Desmond: “Everybody has ethics, I’m sure Adolf Hitler had ethics. It’s about what you think is right.” Photograph: Peter Maciarmid/Getty Images

The media mogul is more than happy to share stories from his colourful career

Nishi Ward: The planned corporate tax reduction would, he says, allow him to invest more in his already-profitable business and target growth in new international markets

Business and politicains all want it but welfare reform demand from London has thrown up an unexpected hurdle

Richard Desmond: He describes at one point trapping a business associate in a headlock in order to conclude a deal: ‘So the deal was done.’ Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

New autobiography from self-made media mogul describes how he did it

Taxman-turned-financier Derek Quinlan, who in 2004 built a consortium of (mostly) wealthy Irish individuals to buy four of London’s fanciest hotels. Photograph: Alan Weller/Bloomberg News.

Qatari group purchase of billionaire twins’ share bolsters position of Paddy McKillen

Former chief executive of Unilever Niall FitzGerald said the business school needs to refine its policy for the next five to 10 years. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

School of Business may reduce the multimillion annual share it pays college

Niall FitzGerald, former chief executive of Unilever and current chairman of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former Unilever chief, Niall FitzGerald, who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in the name of product research

Ger Deering was the first commissioner for taxi regulation Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

He will oversee integration of office with that of pensions ombudsman

Halla Tómasdóttir is uncompromising about the root causes of the economic crisis

Margot Slattery, managing director of Sodexo Ireland

The Limerick woman believes in taking things gently even as she pushes for equality

‘The worst company I have ever come across’: John Griffin, chairman of Irish TV, on Carlyle, the company that bought Addison Lee, the cab company he founded. photograph: dave meehan

John Griffin’s greatest skill, is ‘making money’ but the minicab millionaire places importance on family, too

John Griffin: reaching an agreement with the two US companiescould see the potential audience for Irish TV grow by tens of millions

Chairman predicts €100m valuation in two years

National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets, with Germany’s Dax jumping 1.4 per cent and France’s Cac 40 adding 0.8 per cent.

Markets up in Europe, supported by Fed’s indication US rates won’t rise too soon

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton (left)  with Olivier Novasque, chief executive,  Sidetrade Group, and Martin Shanahan, chief executive  of IDA Ireland,  at the opening of Sidetrade’s new offices in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Sidetrade plans to recruit 90 people

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Jobs minister says Government will prioritise employment growth in its budgetary decisions

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: “Ireland is now rated at A grade by two of the three main rating agencies, our international reputation continues to improve and the NTMA continues to do an excellent job in securing stable and low cost funding for the State.”

Noonan says upgrade reflects ‘significant progress’ made in repairing country

Rating agency Fitch has restored an A- ratings agency to Irish sovereign debt, citing an improved trend in the economy.

Agency cites improved trends in the economy

Brian Hayes MEP:  agitated about the Republic’s potential loss of its franchise at  the governing council of the ECB. Photograph: Alan Betson

Background: when Lithuania joins next year, the ECB will adopt rotational voting

Market boost from Aer Lingus came on the back of an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, with shares in the airline finishing 8 cent stronger at €1.35. Photograph: Frank Miller

Iseq dominated by news that Fyffes’ merger with Chiquita likely to dissolve

Junior minister Seán Sherlock, Minister for  Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton, Julie Sinnamon, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, and Terence O’Rourke,  Enterprise Ireland’s chairman, and junior minister John Perry at the launch of the Enterprise Ireland annual report yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Amount of support last year was up from €5.2m in 2012

Dublin was by far the busiest port in the Republic last year, handling 6,651 ship arrivals and gross tonnage of 142.4 million. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

Goods ‘forwarded’ behind the overall 1.9 per cent drop

Aer Lingus shares closed 1.5 cent stronger at €1.39, while Ryanair shares added 11 cent to finish at €6.99. Photograph: Alan Betson

Airline share up as French strike ends; Kenmare rises on rejecting Iluka Resources

JP Morgan reit bookrunner says investors will seek track records

On a monthly basis, private rents were 0.4 per cent higher in May, while average general inflation was flat. Local authority rents were up 4.1 per cent annually in May and unchanged month on month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

CSO figures show rents up 9% in May but average prices up 0.4%

 On an overall basis, the total number of mortgages accounts in arrears fell by 3,099 to 107,967 in April. Photograph: Frank Miller /
THE IRISH TIMES

Department of Finance says 9.5% of outstanding loans on main homes now restructured

Irish League of Credit Unions headquarters on Mount Street in Dublin . Photograph: Frank Miller/Irish Times

Oireachtas committee hears of ‘unrealistic’ SME applications, however

Connie Danaher, Killimer, Co Clare and Mary Lumbroso, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary at the opening day of Bloom Graden Festival, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Up to 115,000 people are expected to visit exhibition

Hibernia Reit and US investor Starwood Capital could join forces in the redevelopment of Windmill Lane Studios. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Property investor pays €20.16m for the loan secured on the Hanover Building at Windmill Lane

ECB president Mario Draghi pledged to ease monetary policy in June if necessary. Photograph:  EPA/Sergio Garcia

Shares in Irish property investment vehicle Hibernia Reit climb by 1.5 cent

Investment vehicle plans to redevelop Hanover office building and adjoining site

The Central Bank has imposed a fine of ¤650,000 on Bank of Montreal Ireland.

Bank of Montreal Ireland contravened a number of regulations

 Chief executive officer Eamon Rothwell pictured during a press conference following the Annual General Meeting of Irish Continental Group in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Mac Innes Photography

Eamonn Rothwell thinks Tourism Ireland should “go for it”

Index heavyweight CRH dropped by 4.7 per cent to €19.66. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Iseq closes out session over 3% lower with main players suffering badly in general fall

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the ’aggressive tax planning’ that has attracted substantial negative publicity for the Irish corporate tax system is ’a global issue requiring a global coordinated response’.

PayPal’s Louise Phelan says bands should be widened as soon as public finances “allow”

BT made an arrangemetn with Setanta to broadcast the company’s high-profile BT Sport channel in the Republic. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Company says results reflect ‘continued growth’ and addition of corporate customers

Aer Lingus issued a broadly upbeat statement. Shares in the airline were fairly quiet and gained just 1 cent to close at €1.53. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Iseq finishes session slightly ahead as three firms update market on progress

Eoghan Lynch, Arup country director and leader, at the company’s offices in Ringsend, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Arup has played a leading part in the State’s most iconic modern architecture, from the Central Bank to Terminal 2 at Dublin Airpo(...)

Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg at a Facebook/SME event in Dublin. She gently fobbed off queries on her political ambitions at the event.

Sheryl Sandberg’s family philosophy requires layers of support

Facebook COO and author Sheryl Sandberg at a Facebook  event in Dublin.

Facebook chief operating officer says women need to ‘lean in’ as they enter the workforce

Consumer prices rose again in March. Photograph: Eric Luke

Education, alcohol and tobacco among drivers behind increase, CSO says

Former Zynga executive Marcus Segal addresses the Smart People Smart Economy conference at the US Embassy. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

US Embassy event also told education system must be tilted towards entrepreneurship

Marfrig, which supplies McDonald’s and Burger King, is facing investor pressure to cut its debt ratios and speed up expansion.

Brazilian parent Marfrig examines selling stake to pay down debt

Petrol fell by 4.9 per cent annually, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cheaper petrol, food and clothes behind the drop in consumer prices

Ballybunion Golf Club, one of the member-owned clubs that could benefit from repayments of VAT on green fees charged to non members. Photograph: Frank Miller

Claims can be made for the past four years following European Court of Justice decision

The Central Bank’s director of consumer protection, Bernard Sheridan, acknowledged yesterday that PPI can be a suitable product in certain circumstances, but he said consumers should approach the purchase of a policy with their “eyes open”.

Over half PPI policies sold with mortgages and other products fail review

Ben Bernanke: described European response as “striking”. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Transcripts show US policymakers’ view that ECB slow to appreciate scale of problem

Alf-Helge Aarskog sums up Marine Harvest’s business as “growing salmon, selling salmon”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Marine Harvest chief Alf-Helge Aarskog is hoping his company will benefit from plans for new salmon-farming licences

Vodafone climbed 3.7 per cent yesterday after reporting a smaller drop in service revenue than analysts had predicted. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

Iseq closes 1.49% higher, with Bank of Ireland again the busiest stock

Investment strategies offered to DC pension-holders as a default should be detailed in plain language.

Proposal that DC pension schemes should disclose charges on public register

Portmarnock golf club. Following a judgment by the European Court of Justice, member-owned golf clubs can, in theory, apply to the Revenue for a VAT refund on green fees paid by non-members for the past four years. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

European Court of Justice ruling on taxation of green fees could lead to refund

The Central Park site in south Dublin: the largest single property asset to be offered for sale by Nama. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

First-round bids understood to range between €247.5m and €262m

Tesco, which is almost two years into a turnaround plan for its UK business, said more shoppers had turned to discounters and upscale rivals for their Christmas treats. Photograph: Eric Luke

Gains reported by Lidl and Waitrose in UK

The Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Ma Kai (centre), with Edel Flynn, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency (right), at the Digital Hub, in Dublin, during a visit to Ireland last October. Photograph: Press Association

Dublin-based agency attracted 23 new companies to its “cluster” last year

 A Myhome.ie study finds that there is now a 28 per cent difference between asking prices in Dublin and prices across the Republic as a whole. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Prices outside Dublin have not yet bottomed out and divergence is widening

Bank of Ireland says existing terms and conditions are now supplemented by  six new conditions, which would take effect on March 1st next. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

Customers also informed of changes to personal current accounts

Craig Beaumont, Irish IMF mission chief, acknowledged it would be “difficult” to attract private funding for a pooling structure at sufficiently low rates, adding that “there is an obvious role for European support” on the issue.Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Final review calls for greater progress in addressing problems in the banking sector

IMF managing director Christine Lagardepaid tribute to the “steadfast policy implementation” of the Irish Government. Photograph: Peter Cavanagh

CSO figures show positive trend as IMF chief criticises how banks were bailed out

Ajai Chopra, former IMF Ireland mission chief, says it’s “unfair” to make taxpayers carry the cost of supporting banks while senior unguaranteed bondholders get repaid in full. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Former Irish IMF mission chief outlines lessons learned from bailout

International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde said services and training for jobseekers need to be improved. Photo: Reuters

Authority has issued final review under bailout programme

Bill McCluggage:  to leave the post in February for personal reasons.

McCluggage held the role since May

“We need the Government to give us the leadership,” said Terry Leahy, former Tesco chief executive, speaking at a forum entitled Revitalising Ireland Through Retail at Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

Former Tesco chief says functioning economy is key to retail industry success

Joaquín Almunia in Dublin yesterday: ‘Economic sovereignty has disappeared. Nobody is fully sovereign.

EU competition chief gives his verdict on the Irish economy

European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia in Dublin yesterday. “We are not yet at the end of the discussions with Permanent TSB,” he said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Almunia says European Commission is awaiting presentation of ‘clear ideas’ for restructuring

A young boy works at a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Traders traditionally bring their children to work for the half day of trading on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. Photograph: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Dublin stock exchange hardly moves, tipping 0.03 per cent into the red at close

Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland at Baldonnell. Irishman Declan Treacy, a former GPA executive, is among the founding partners of Cloud Investment.

Company in early discussions with US aviation specialist Cloud Investment Partners

Gaelectric has operating windfarms in Skrine in Co Roscommon and Carn Hill in Co Antrim. Photograph: Reuters

Company to use finance to build planned windfarm at Dunbeg, Co Derry

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