Opening Bell: IMF Brexit warning, Microsoft's Dublin development, Luas strike continues

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

The IMF will today hit out at Britain's possible exit from the European Union in its annual assessment of the UK economy.

The report will be presented by Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Treasury this morning alongside Chancellor George Osborne.

It comes hours after the Bank of England surprised many by firmly indicating it has concerns about the economic consequences of a vote to leave the EU - the central bank has come under fire for saying a vote to quit the EU could lead to a recession.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that growth could be materially lower, and prices and unemployment higher if Britain votes to leave.

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Microsoft has been given the green light to construct four huge data centres in Dublin - the developments will require an investment of up to €900m.

1,800 construction jobs will be created during the three-year building project - and 140 full-time jobs will be supported by the centres.

The structures will be built at Grange Castle in Clondalkin, west Dublin - where Microsoft and Google already have data center operations.

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Irish residential property firm IRES will acquire 201 apartments with 203 underground parking spaces at Elmpark, the significant seaside property on the south-edge of Dublin 4, in a deal worth €59m.

This transaction is due to be completed by the end of this month, it will leave 2,288 Irish apartments under the control of IRES, the country's biggest landlord.

IRES chief executive David Ehrlich commented on the deal, "Elmpark is really a unique complex in terms of design, quality and location and represents a rare opportunity for IRES to add to its South Dublin portfolio.

"We believe that the completion of the grounds and amenities and other improvements to the complex will add significant long-term value and Elmpark will be a cornerstone property for years to come."

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An eleventh day of strike action by Luas drivers is underway this morning.

Up to 100,000 people are said to be affected by today's stoppage by tram drivers.

Several more days of action are planned for this month and next.

Yesterday, drivers were forced to reschedule some of their planned strikes in June, so that they wouldn't affect secondary school students sitting State exams.