Opening Bell: Exchequer's AIB windfall, CEO confidence, Cairn leads RTÉ bid

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The Government expects to raise between €2.6bn and €3.3bn for the Exchequer from the sale of a 25% slice of AIB.

AIB will be valued at between €10.6bn and €13.3bn once it floats on Dublin and London stock markets, according to a price range prospectus for investors issued last night.

It also warns that the European Central Bank (ECB) could veto an investor trying to build up or offload a major stake in the bank.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that the price range had been set at between €3.90 and €4.90 per ordinary share. The final price won't be known until the bank returns to the stock market later this month.

Noonan said:

"The time is right to move to the next stage in AIB’s IPO process as market conditions remain favourable and I am encouraged by the strong level of interest shown by investors in the offering to date.

"A successful transaction would represent an important milestone in our journey to dispose of our banking investments and ultimately recover all the money the Irish State has invested in AIB."

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The vast majority of Irish CEOs are confident about the continued growth of the economy, with 43% planning to increase their employment numbers in Ireland by 6% in the next three years.

The findings are outlined in KPMG's CEO Outlook survey released this morning, which looked at Irish executive sentiment about the local and global economy.

The study also found that 60% of CEOs believe global uncertainty, such as Brexit, is having a greater impact on their business than previously seen.

Some 37% of the CEOs in the study think that attracting new talent will be the biggest technology challenge facing their companies in the coming years.

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Cairn Homes is considered the frontrunner in the race to purchase a prime site on RTÉ’s Montrose complex.

The Irish Times reports that the national broadcaster is set to net a higher-than-expected windfall from the sale, with bids of nearly €90m lodged for the 8.64 acre site.

Savills had set out a guide price of €75m for the land.

A decision on the successful bidder is expected this week, possibly following an RTÉ board meeting on Thursday.

Irish property group Cairn is understood to have a fully-funded bid that doesn't require external finance, having raised €51.9m in gross proceeds from a share placing last month.

Cairn chief executive Michael Stanley previously confirmed that the RTÉ land was "one of a number of potential opportunities for the company".

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube could be slapped with multimillion euro fines for failing to remove extremist and criminal content under plans by the UK and France.

Online radicalisation will be a top priority during the British PM Theresa May's visit to Paris today, as she holds talk with new French President Emmanuel Macron.

As part of new laws to be drawn up by the two leaders, tech giants face being hit with large financial penalties if they allow unacceptable content such as terrorist propaganda.

May's first foreign trip since losing her majority at the British general election will not be the triumphant outing on the world stage that Downing Street will have envisioned. She is likely to face ongoing questions publicly and privately about what a hung parliament will mean for Brexit and her leadership.

But ahead of the summit, May said the joint campaign would "ensure that the internet cannot be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals".

Last month, in the wake of the suicide bomb in Manchester, leaders of the G7 states – the US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – agreed a package of measures to step up pressure on firms such as Google and Facebook to take down "harmful" content.

Additional reporting by IRN