Opening Bell: Irish employers plan 2017 bonuses, Japanese banks look to Ireland, our cashless future

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

More than 70% of Irish employers plan to pay bonuses in 2017.

Research by Abrivia Recruitment and the Trinity Business School – also found that more than three quarters of workers expect to get a pay rise.

Some 84% of firms plan to hire more staff, while 40% of Irish employers say the shortage of rental accommodation is affecting their ability to recruit.

Abrivia Recruitment managing director Donal O'Brien said the numbers of Irish returning from overseas is still low:

"Would you believe that 50% of them had not taken anyone from overseas?

"So in as much as we're anecdotally hearing that a lot of people are returning to Ireland from the likes of Canada, Australia and the UK, I suppose we're not seeing as big an uptick in that as might have been expected."

______________________________________________________

Over half of Irish consumers believe Ireland will become a cashless society in the future, according to a new survey from Core Media.

The study also found that three-quarters of people under the age of 22 trust the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google to provide financial and payment services.

It is expected that mobile and peer-to-peer transactions will lead the way, with nearly half of under-35s having already used these kinds of payment methods on their smartphones.

Google introduced its own Android Pay system in Ireland in December. Apple is thought to be primed to introduce its own system into the Irish market, with Samsung Pay possibly arriving in 2017.

______________________________________________________

The head of the IDA has revealed that Japanese financial services firms have expressed "a lot of interest" in a move to Ireland.

Martin Shanahan told the Irish Independent that investors in Tokyo see the country as a viable alternative to London post-Brexit.

The Financial Times reported last month that Japanese financial houses, including Nomura and Daiwa Capital, had informed the British government that they would begin moving some of their operations out of London within six months unless the UK's future relationship with the EU is clarified.

An IDA spokesman told the Irish Independent that it was "actively looking at opportunities for additional Japanese banks to locate here."

______________________________________________________

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan was advised Ireland that it should focus on new relationships with European partners when it comes to Brexit talks.

He believes Ireland's interests in the negotiations could be hit by concentrating too much on the relationship with the UK.

The former government minister has been speaking in a number of newspapers this morning.

Writing in the Irish Times, he said it would be an "enormous mistake" to allow our relationship with Europe to be defined by our relationship with the UK.