Opening Bell: Rents keep rising, Qatari royalty eye Eir, motor insurance increases to be investigated

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A newly published report shows that rents around the country are continuing to rise, despite last December's extension of rent reviews to two years.

However, the latest quarterly index from the Residential Tenancies Board indicates that the rate of growth in the private sector is starting to slow down.

Nationally, private sector rents grew by 8.6% to March of this year - down from an annual rate of 9.2% in the final quarter of last year.

David Duffy, Economist with the ESRI, says the report also shows that more people are renting outside Dublin:

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The Qatari royal family is reported to be considering acquiring a major stake in Eir as some of its hedge fund sharehlders seek to sell, according to The Irish Times.

It has an investment fund of some €225bn. Eir is not expected to be floated during the next two years.

The fund previously explored taking a stake in Spain's Telefonica two years ago and was in talks to fund Three's abandoned attempt to buy o2 in the UK.

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The Dáil is set to pass a motion calling for a taskforce to investigate the rising cost of motor insurance.

The motion has been tabled by Fianna Fáil, and is not likely to be opposed by the government when a vote is called this lunchtime.

However, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, denies the government has been sitting idly by.

He says several government departments are doing their bit to try and manage the rising costs: ______________________________________________________

Carbon emissions stopped growing last year for the first time in 10 years as energy efficiency and renewable power continue to grow.

BP predicts that emmissions will increase by 0.1% - the lowest rate in 25 years.

Coal use fell by 1.8%, the largest fall on BP's records.

Oil remains the main source of energy, providing 32.9% of the world's energy needs.