Bitesize Business: FDI growth, hard Brexit and research funding

Business | Tue 3 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
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Business & Finance brings you the day’s Irish business news in brief.


2016 marks second year of record growth for FDI employment

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IDA Ireland has today announced the highest level of employment in its client companies in its history.

Total employment at overseas companies now stands at 199,877 people, the highest level on record.

IDA client companies created 18,627 jobs on the ground during the year across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs.

The performance was produced against a background of unprecedented geopolitical changes, an underperforming European economy and intense competition from other jurisdictions for foreign direct investment.

22% of Irish property professionals believe UK will opt for ‘hard’ Brexit

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The latest Commercial Real Estate Sentiment tracker from Origin Capital, which has been completed by 240 industry professionals, identifies Brexit as both a risk and an opportunity for the Irish commercial property market in 2017.

Of the respondents, 22% believe that the United Kingdom will experience a ‘hard’ Brexit, 61% are forecasting a ‘soft’ Brexit and 17% believe that Brexit will not ultimately happen.

52% of respondents believe that Brexit will have a positive impact on the Irish commercial property market, 38% believe that it will have a negative impact while 10% don’t believe that there will be any material impact.

New trade support service to help firms face Brexit

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A new service to help more Irish and UK businesses trade together is being launched as 2017 sees firms prepare for Brexit.

‘BIG: The British Irish Gateway for Trade’ is an initiative that links together members of business organisations like Chambers of Commerce and trade groups across Britain and Ireland.

The new service lets businesses find the trading partners they want within a trusted network of likeminded firms across the two islands.

It’s backed up by the resources of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and the input of enterprise supporters and Chambers. The new service, which is free to use for members of trade organisations, is now open for registration.

Cyber criminals to change tactics and charge higher ransoms in 2017

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Information security provider Ward Solutions believes that cyber criminals will change their tactics in 2017 to exploit growing fears of brand damage and escalating fines.

The provider expects them to change their ransomware attacks to focus increasingly on acquiring customer data held by organisations and then threatening to disclose these data breaches to relevant authorities such as the Data Protection Commissioner.

While ransomware attacks and data breaches are set to grow this year, Ward expects that ‘breach fatigue‘ will set in amongst the general public, resulting in organisations being held more accountable by key stakeholders such as shareholders and regulators.

Over 370 researchers benefitted from Irish Research Council funding during 2016

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The Irish Research Council awarded €30m in funding to 373 researchers during 2016, bringing the total amount of researchers currently supported by the Council to 1,360.

Details released by the Council show the largest amount of funding, €15.5m, was allocated to participants in the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. In total, 206 researchers received funding under that scheme, meaning the average award was just over €75,000.

Researchers funded under the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme, meanwhile, received an average award of over €83,000, with 80 awards granted in total.

Markets slip slightly after a quiet week of trading

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Market volumes were markedly lower in a shortened week of trading, as the majority of stock exchanges were closed at some point for holidays.

Major US indexes fell, but it is worth reflecting on this in the context of the strong rally seen over the previous seven weeks.

There was little economic news to speak of but the US Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence rose in December to its highest reading since August 2001, suggesting some of the post-election optimism found in stock markets is being passed through to households.

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