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Business Today: City of London prepared for Labour, Airtricity cuts prices and the baby bust



The City of London is ready for a Labour government, as the main UK opposition party canvasses on economic stability after 14 years out of power, according to the top official at the governing body over the Square Mile financial district. Chris Hayward, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, also told The Irish Times during a visit to Dublin on Tuesday for meetings with local financial firms that his organisation iswas pushing for the development of a UK equivalent of IDA Ireland. Joe Brennan has the details.

Irish consumers will start to benefit from a fresh round of energy price cuts this summer with SSE Airtricity reducing the cost of its domestic electricity and gas by 10 per cent from the start of July. It will see customers save an average of €150 a year on electricity and just over €100 on gas. Conor Pope reports.

In 2017, the first EMPOWER programme aimed at female founders living in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon was launched. For its champion, Maria Staunton innovation hub manager at ATU Mayo (Atlantic Technological University), it was an anxious time as she waited to see the response, writes Olive Keogh. She needn’t have worried. Interest was brisk with 170 women applying for the 64 places available.

People live longer than ever before. This has created both opportunities and challenges. But postponing death is only a part of the demographic story. The other is the decline in births. The combination of the two is creating huge changes in the world we inhabit, warns columnist Martin Wolf

Having paid about €115 million to acquire Blackpool Shopping Centre in 2014 and then failing to find a buyer for it at €117 million three years later, US-based investor Varde Partners has agreed an off-market deal to sell the Cork retail scheme at about €49.5 million, reports Ronald Quinalan.

The Broderick family say they have transformed the fortunes of Ina’s Kitchen Desserts after buying back control of the business following a failed attempt to force it into examinership. Sales of the predominantly chocolate-based snacks bounced back by 12 per cent to €13.3 million according to accounts for 2022 – company’s first full year back in the family’s hands. Dominic Coyle reports.

Having failed to secure a buyer at either its original or reduced guide prices of €2.5 million and €2 million, The Lucky Duck pub on Aungier Street in Dublin city centre looks set to be acquired for an undisclosed sum by an existing private investor in developer Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan’s business empire, reports Ronald Quinlan.

Ireland and Europe are on the brink of unprecedented changes against the backdrop of the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, big tech will tell an Oireachtas committee, but the technology also carries risks and companies must work with government to soothe anxieties, reports Ian Curran. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment on Wednesday will hear from representatives of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft, who will discuss recent developments in the technology and its likely impact on businesses here.

Agent WKN Real Estate Advisors is guiding a price of €3.5 million for the Cedar House Nursing Home at Mount Anville Park in Goatstown, Dublin 14. The facility, which operated until its closure in December 2023, is being offered to the market on behalf of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province, with the benefit of immediate vacant possession. Ronald Quinlan reports.

Cross-Border tourism between Northern Ireland and the Republic has more than tripled in a decade, according to new research. Titanic Belfast and Game of Thrones are among the attractions that make the North an easier “sell” to international buyers and local tour operators, but it still lags well behind the South for overnight hotel stays, reports Seanín Graham.

Strategic questions that EY attempted to answer by splitting its audit and consulting businesses globally remain unanswered and future options are “under review” after being shelved last spring, the big four accounting firm’s UK and Ireland managing partner has said. Dubbed Project Everest, the plan to hive off and explore a stock market listing for EY’s lucrative global advisory business received the green light from EY leaders in September 2022. Ian Curran reports.

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