Opening Bell: Michael Noonan heads for US, construction's seven-month high, Egypt gets a bailout

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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has flown out to the US amid fears that President-elect Donald Trump will try to lure back multinationals.

Noonan's trip was arranged before Trump won the election, and officially includes a Brexit meeting with the IMF and World Bank.

However, threats to compete with Ireland's low corporate tax rate have led Minister Noonan to arrange meetings with US firms who have offices based here.

He'll reportedly try to highlight Ireland's "enduring investment appeal" during the week-long series of meetings.

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Construction activity has hit a seven month-high, with the accelerating output causing a rise in demand for workers.

Ulster Bank's Construction Purchasing Managers' Index hit 62.3 in October, up from 58.7 in September.

The rate of hiring also reached an eight-month high last month, with one-third of Irish building firms reporting an increase in employment.

However, strong activity has started to push up costs, as suppliers increase charges due to high demand.

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A new 'hybrid' Christmas card for business could bring a welcome boost for the homeless.

An Post has married the idea of an online Christmas greeting with a traditional card – and 20% of the sales will go to the Peter McVerry trust.

An Post's Sales and Marketing Director, Liam Sheehan explained:

"You go in to AdMailer.ie. There's a number of pre-designed cards up there. If you have your own design you want to use, you can use that. You download your data base and the whole process takes less than 15 minutes.

"The cards are printed and sent automatically for you, and each card is personalised and also has your signature on it."

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF)) has approved a $12 billion bailout for Egypt.

The IMF has said that the three-year programme is intended to help Egypt "restore macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth".

The country will receive a first instalment of $2.75bn immediately.

The IMF's decision comes roughly a week after Egypt floated its currency and raised fuel prices to qualify for the loan.