Live News

Live News: EU to delay banking rules; Pimco’s stark warning; OpenAI gearing up for an IPO?

Bite-sized servings of the latest in business, tech and current affairs

Welcome to the Business Post’s Live News section. We’re here all day to keep you up to date on the latest developments in business, tech and current affairs.

16.30 Energy bills to rise

Households are set to be charged on their electricity bills to subsidise the generation of renewable energy.

This levy on electricity bills is designed to subsidise the generation of electricity from wind farms and solar panel operations in the coming year.

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CRU) is proposing that the public service obligation (PSO) levy should be set at €225 million next year.

This year the PSO levy on electricity bills was set at zero.

The levy will be imposed from October, when It is imposed on electricity bills a sum of €2.98 a month will be levied on each consumer’s electricity bill, amounting to a levy of €35.76 per year.

15.45 Philip Lane’s rates warning

Irishman Philip Lane is a busy man at the moment given the scrutiny he has to afford EU economic data, and the scrutiny his own words are under.

After moving to cut interest rates last week, the ECB’s every move is now being watched closely. According to Lane, there may not be too many more such moves this year, however.

Speaking at the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) national banking conference on Tuesday, Lane said the price pressures are evident in the indicators for domestic inflation, services inflation and wage growth.

High levels of uncertainty and persistent price pressures meant rates would remain restrictive, he added.

15.20 OpenAI readying itself for an IPO?

Photo by Christopher Goodney

Sarah Friar’s appointment as OpenAI’s new chief financial officer was big news in and of itself but could it signal that an even bigger development is on the cards?

Friar, who hails from Sion Mills, Co Tyrone was chosen as CFO, but as Kathleen Gallagher writes traders are now curious as to whether her listing experience will be put to use at OpenAI.

Read the full analysis from our markets correspondent.

14.55 Conservative leaders calls for pact with far right

The leader of France’s centre-right party has called for an electoral alliance with the far-right Rassemblement National ahead of snap legislative elections on June 30 that have rattled financial markets.

A pact would boost the chances of RN securing an absolute majority in the election called by President Emmanuel Macron in a shock move on Sunday.

Éric Ciotti, leader of the centre-right Les Républicains (LR), said his party needed to strike “an alliance with the RN, its candidates, with all those who identify with ideas of the right, with the values of the right”.

The FT has the full story.

14.35 EU ‘to delay’ bank trading rules

The European Union is set to delay key parts of global bank capital rules by a year, so that the bloc’s lenders will not be disadvantaged by continued wrangling over the standards in the US, people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg.

The EU was due to implement the wider package starting Jan. 1, some seven years after the measures were agreed by regulators on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision as the final part of rule-making designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

The EU now plans a later implementation for rules that affect banks’ trading businesses, since those activities are global in nature, said the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because a decision hasn’t yet been announced. The European Commission has the power to delay that portion without going back to the European Parliament or governments.

13.50 - New CMO named

Professor Mary Horgan has been named the chief medical officer of the HSE.

Horgan, who takes over from Breda Smyth, is a professor of Infectious Diseases at University College Dublin.

Previously Dean of the Medical School in University College Cork, she was elected as the first female President of the Royal College of Physicians since its founding in 1654 and was re-elected to serve her second term in 2020.

13.46 - Bangor-based joinery firm bags new contracts worth over £1 million

Aspire Create Shopfitters, a bespoke joinery company based in Bangor, Co Down has secured two deals to manufacture Barista Bar stands for Spar stores in Scotland and interior joinery products for a London-based interior design firm.

As a result, the company, which provides fit-out services for retail, commercial, and hospitality sectors, will create seven new roles with average salaries of £36,000 and increase turnover by £500,000.

Aspire Create will be supported by Invest NI in their job creation over the next two years.

13.35 Pimco issues stark banking warning

Pacific Investment Management expects more regional bank failures in the US because of a “very high” concentration of troubled commercial real estate loans on their books.

“The real wave of distress is just starting” for lenders to everything from malls to offices, John Murray, Pimco’s head of global private commercial real estate team, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

His division sits within Pimco’s $173 billion alternatives business.

13.25 Ireland to contribute to EU ammo initiative

Ireland set to invest €12 million in a €1 billion EU initiative to replenish ammunition and missile stockpiles which have been depleted by the war in Ukraine.

The Act in Support of Ammunition Production (Asap) was drafted last year to urgently increase munition production in Europe.

Under the two-year plan,€500 million will be diverted from the EU budget and another €500 million will be raised from additional voluntary contributions from member states, according to the Irish Times. It is understood Ireland does not plan on making any additional voluntary contributions.

Ireland’s involvement is drawing criticism as government previously committed to providing only non-lethal military aid to Ukraine, such as fuel, medical supplies and rations.

Also, many companies being funded under Asap are also arming Israel and helping to prosecute its war in Gaza.

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13.05 Ministers publish AI reports

Michael McGrath, the finance minister, and Peter Burke, the enterprise minister, have published a series of reports examining the potential impact artificial intelligence will have on the Irish economy and labour market.

McGrath said the reports raised “important policy questions for the public finances, international competitiveness, productivity, and how we can use AI technologies to support sustainable and equitable economic growth.”

Among the findings of the reports is that Ireland’s labour market is marginally more exposed to AI than the advanced economy average.

12.45 New viewing platform for Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport has submitted a planning application to build a dedicated viewing area for the public to watch planes take off and land on the airport’s runways.

The proposed aircraft observation facility will be located on the site of the current informal airport viewing point on Old Airport Road, locally known as "the mound".

The facility will provide a comfortable and safe space for the community to view aircraft movements, with a clear view of the south runway (10R/28L) and the cross-wind runway (16/34).

The proposed facility will include a car park with 22 parking spaces, with two spaces for people with reduced mobility, two dedicated family spaces, and space for bicycles.

The viewing area will be elevated, covered, and include a seating area. The facility will also be fully lit with power provided by solar panels located on the site.

11.30 - Vodafone launches plan for Apple Watch

Irish carrier Vodafone has launched a plan for the Apple Watch cellular edition to be used without a phone, in a first for the Irish market.

As reported by the Irish Independent, Vodafone is offering the service through its existing OneNumber plan, which costs an additional €5 a month compared to other plans from the company.

Vodafone launched a similar service for Samsung smart watches last year.

11.00 - UK unemployment hits surprise 2.5-year high

UK unemployment unexpectedly rose to the highest in more than 2-and-a-half years, and pay pressures eased, keeping the Bank of England on track to cut interest rates later this year.

As reported by Bloomberg, the jobless rate climbed to 4.4 per cent in the three months through April, a level not seen since the middle of 2021, the Office for National Statistics said today.

Average weekly earnings in the private sector, which the central bank is keeping a close eye on, increased by 5.8 per cent — the slowest pace in two years even though the minimum wage increased by almost 10 per cent.

10.35 - Raspberry Pi soars in London trading debut

British personal computer maker Raspberry Pi shares jumped on its first day as a public company, offering a boost to London’s market for new stock listings.

As reported by Bloomberg, Raspberry Pi shares traded at 360 pence (€4.26) each at the open, well above its initial public offering price of 280 pence. The stock gained as much as 36 per cent from the IPO price.

The company, which makes low-cost computers popular among hobbyists and educators, had a market capitalization of about £542 million (€642 million) after pricing the IPO at the top end of its range.

09.30 - The iPhone will soon allow you to record phone calls

One of the most-requested features announced during WWDC yesterday is the ability for the iPhone to record phone calls, which is to be introduced in iOS 18.

Apple says the feature will notify both participants that the conversation is being recorded, before adding the sound file and transcription to the Notes app.

It is one of many features carrying the Apple Intelligence branding, and will be available at some point in the Autumn when the iPhone’s updated software is released.

The Verge has the full details.

08.58 - Flogas’ new natural gas refuel station

Flogas, the Irish fuels company, has opened the country’s first self-service bio compressed natural gas (Bio-CNG) refuelling station, which it promises will help business reduce their scope 3 emissions.

The station, located at FoodCentral in St Margarets, north County Dublin, will support large firms looking to reduce their emissions by switching their heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) to Bio-CNG.

Bio-CNG is a compressed version of biomethane, generated from the breaking down of organic matter such as food waste, animal slurry and energy crops. By switching their fleet to Bio-CNG, firms could reduce their transportation emissions by up to 90 per cent, while also saving on fuel costs, said Flogas.

Read Liam Coates’ report.

08.12 - Oil holds gains ahead of Opec report

Oil held the biggest jump since March ahead of an Opec report that will provide a snapshot on the market outlook.

Brent traded below $82 (€76.17) a barrel after surging 2.5 per cent on Monday, while West Texas Intermediate was near $78. The Opec report will be followed by a Short-Term Energy Outlook from the US later on Tuesday, and a monthly release from the International Energy Agency on Wednesday.

08.07 - Singapore airlines offers $10,000 compensation to those injured in ‘traumatic’ turbulence incident

Singapore Airlines has offered $10,000 (€9,286.35) in compensation to passengers who sustained minor injuries during a flight that hit extreme turbulence last month.

The airline has also offered to individually discuss compensation for those who sustained more serious injuries, according to a Facebook post on Tuesday. Those recovering from serious injury have been offered an advance payment of $25,000 to address their immediate needs.

The airline also apologized for what it called the “traumatic experience” on board flight SQ321 on May 20, which claimed the life of a 73-year-old British man and left several dozen passengers and crew on board were severely hurt.

07.42 - Raspberry Pi shares to IPO at top of price range

Raspberry Pi, the UK budget computer firm, will price its shares at 280p, at the top of its estimated pricing range, in its initial public offering, it said on Tuesday.

The terms suggest a valuation of £541.6 million (€639.6 million), the company said in a stock market update.

Shares will begin trading on the London Stock Exchange once the market opens at 8am on June 11.

Raspberry Pi is set to raise £166 million from the listing, which has been hyped as a boost to the London Stock Exchange.

Eben Upton, chief executive of Raspberry Pi, said: “The quality of the interactions during the marketing process has underlined our belief that London has the right calibre and sophistication of investor to support growing, ambitious technology businesses such as Raspberry Pi.”

Our writers Dominic McGrath and Kathleen Gallagher have been taking a look at the state of play in the UK stock exchange in light of recent IPO news.

Catch up here:

07.27 - UK unemployment rises to 2.5 year high

UK unemployment unexpectedly rose to the highest in more than two and a half years as wage growth held at an elevated level, complicating the Bank of England’s decision about when to cut interest rates.

Unemployment rose to 4.4 per cent in the three months through April, the most since the middle of 2021, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday. Regular pay increases held at 6 per cent instead of ticking up to 6.1 per cent as economists had expected.

07.18 - Aer Lingus/Ialpa talks to get under way

Discussions between Aer Lingus and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) are to get underway on Tuesday morning, as pilots ballot for strike action.

The talks and potential industrial action relate to a long-running row over Aer Lingus pilot’s pay, with almost 800 Ialpa members at Aer Lingus having already rejected proposals from an independent pay tribunal and the Labour Court.

It is not expected that the talks today will result in any resolution. The outcome of the pilot ballot on industrial action is likely to be known by tomorrow, the Irish Independent reports.

The discussions come after the Business Post reported that Aer Lingus is at risk of losing out on half a billion euros worth of new aircraft critical to its transatlantic strategy as the pay dispute threatens to scupper its growth plans.

Catch up on Ellie Donnelly’s coverage of the row here.