Opening Bell: Preparing for a 'hard Brexit,' CEO anxiety, Rolls-Royce's bribery pay-out

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

Theresa May will unveil her 12-point plan for Brexit later this morning, she is expected to propose a "new and equal partnership" between an "independent, self-governing Global Britain" and its friends and allies in the EU.

In her clearest statement yet on Brexit, she will declare that she will seek: "Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out," according to leaks in the British press this morning.

If she chooses independence and control over the movement of labour over single market and customs union access, this is likely to put further downward pressure on sterling values - this would be bad news for Irish exporters who are already struggling as the currency falls in value.

Last night the FT100 index rose to record levels for the eighth consecutive day.

The British leader spoke to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night and discussed the speech.

______________________________________________________

PwC's annual survey of CEOs worldwide shows that 38% are very confident about their company's growth prospects in 2017.

29% believe global economic growth will pick up in during the next 12 months.

However, concern about economic uncertainty (82%), over-regulation (80%), availability of key skills (77%) remains very high.

A growing trend towards protectionism is also a concern - 59% of CEOs are worried about this issue. That number rises to 64% in the United States and Mexico.

______________________________________________________

Rolls-Royce will pay £671m (€764) to settle a long-running investigation into claims that the company paid bribes to land export contracts.

This means that the firm will avoid prosecution by authorities in the UK, US and Brazil.

The pay-out comes after a five year investigation into allegations that the company paid officials to secure lucrative contracts.

______________________________________________________

The share price of Tullow Oil rose by more than 4% at one stage late yesterday afternoon after the company announced a deal to sell two thirds of its holding in a key oil and gas exploration prospect in Uganda, to the French energy group, Total.

The deal, which is ultimately valued at up to $900m should deliver $200m in cash to the heavily-indebted Irish firm and also pay much of the ongoing exploration and pipeline costs associated with its remaining 11% stake.

Shares closed 2.5% higher at £3.33.