Opening Bell: Broadband & biopharma jobs creation, property crash worse than believed, US Fed holds firm on rates

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

Almost 200 new Irish jobs have been announced this morning.

Eir is creating 100 positions with the rollout of high speed fibre broadband across the country.

Eir confirmed that the the majority of roles – which include poling crews and cabling technicians – will be filled in the next three months.

The company is also committed to recruiting 300 apprentices over the course of the broadband roll-out and will be announcing a further recruitment drive for apprentice and engineering roles in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Biopharma Engineering is set to take on 70 people in Dublin and Cork over the next three years.

With a headquarters already in Cork, it has now opened offices in the capital.

The engineering design company are looking for everything from entry-level graduates and people in mechanical and processed chemical engineering, to more senior personnel and project managers with life science/biopharma experience.

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The Irish property market collapse was even more severe than previously thought, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The peak-to-trough fall in prices between 2007 and 2013 was 54.4% according to its revamped Residential Property Price Index, not the previously-recorded 50.9%.

However, the index showed that the rebound in prices in the last three years has been stronger than previously measured.

The figures are based on stamp duty returns, rather than mortgage drawdown data.

The research also found that cash buyers are paying significantly less for property than other buyers. First-time buyers have been badly impacted in recent times, with their share of transactions having fallen considerably since 2010.

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The European Commission has scrapped plans to limit its free roaming policy to 90 days.

The decision comes after heavy public criticism of the previous plan to put a fair usage limit on people's free mobile roaming in the region.

The new draft policy, agreed by the college of commissioners on Wednesday, states that there will be no limit on timing or volume when the policy comes into effect next June.

Instead, to prevent abuses of the system, the commission has proposed safeguard mechanisms based on the principle of residence or state links in the EU country where the customer's mobile provider is based.

This could take the form of operators looking at whether a user has insignificant domestic traffic on their account when compared to roaming traffic.

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The US Federal Reserve left its interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but also gave strong indications that it could tighten monetary policy by the end of the year.

The decision comes as the labour market and economic activity in the US continues to improve with the Fed saying job gains had been "solid" in recent months.

It was, however, not raising rates "for the time being" until further evidence of progress was shown.

Its target rate for overnight lending between banks has been in the range of 0.25% to 0.5% since December.