Opening Bell: Ireland's draft public pay agreement, 100 jobs for Dublin, €50m Cork hotel investment

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Almost a quarter of a million public sector workers will be waking up to a new pay agreement today.

The deal to replace the Lansdowne Road Agreement takes into account the fact that Ireland is officially out of recession. 90% of all public servants will be out of emergency FEMPI pay provisions by the year 2020.

The proposals hammered out between the Government and trade unions also include salary increases of up to 10% over the next three years - employees with smaller pensions will get the biggest raises.

But it's not a done deal just yet - workers will now be balloted on whether they wish to accept the new terms.

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Smartbox Group, the European leader in the 'experience gift market,' has announced that it is bringing 100 new jobs to Ireland.

This expansion will create systems engineer, front and back end developer, BI and Data analysts, sales, and DevOps engineer roles.

CEO of Smartbox Group, John Perkins commented: "I am delighted to announce the creation of an additional 100 new jobs at our Dublin offices. The expansion of our Dublin Headquarters will see headcount rise to over 500 people this year. The company recorded strong growth in fiscal year 2016/2017, with a record €480m in business volume, an 11% increase."

The service is used to gift experiences such as spa getaways, trackdays, and other activities.

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Trigon Hotels Limited has announced a €50m investment in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City.

It will submit plans to refurbish and expand the Metropole hotel and to build a "contemporary urban hotel" called The M on an adjacent site.

The two hotels will be linked by a glass bridge at first-floor level.

The overall development will deliver more than 400 hotel bedrooms to the city's Victorian Quarter.

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Markets will be keeping a close eye on the UK today as voters take to the polls for its second general election in 25 months.

Investec Ireland has warned that the value of the pound will fall dramatically if the Conservative Party fails to secure a majority.

"It’s now universally agreed that a hung parliament would be the very worst case scenario for the pound with some analysts predicting the single currency to spike as high as £0.92 on the news," it said in a note.

"An outright Labour win would probably be slightly less negative for the pound, while a smaller Tory majority (of 17 seats) would be less again," the firm added.

A strong Conservative victory is unlikely to lead to a spike in sterling's value as investors have already adopted positions assuming that this will be the outcome.