Opening Bell: Dublin's new urban centre, Tesco strike, America's Coca-Cola love affair

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Work has commenced on a new €2 billion urban centre in south Dublin.

The Cherrywood site will eventually provide 8,000 new homes for 30,000 people, The Irish Times reports.

US developer Hines and private-equity firm King Street Capital purchased the 412-acre plot from NAMA and a group of banks for €270 million in 2014.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney broke ground on the development on Thursday, and said the Government would announce details of a €200m fund for required infrastructure next month.

Hines also plans to add shops, offices, a cinema and 1,300 apartments to the development. Work on this town centre will employ 3,000 people at peak and cost €875m.

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The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is already halfway towards its fund-raising target for 2017, as the State borrowed €1.25bn on the markets yesterday.

It involved two bond deals, the first such dual-track auction since before the bailout.

The NTMA raised €600m to be repaid in 2022 and €650m that will be due in 2026.

The agency is aiming to borrow between €9bn and €13bn this year, having secured €4bn last month in a rare 20-year bond deal.

While the cost of borrowing has risen in recent months, with the new yields at twice the October level, the cost remains relatively cheap historically.

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The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called on its 600,000 members to "shop with their consciences" when a Tesco strike gets underway on Valentine's Day.

Workers at nine Irish stores are taking action from Tuesday, with five more now set to join three days later.

Tesco is urging them to accept a recommendation from the Workplace Relations Commission and call off the action, calling it "unnecessary".

The supermarket chain has been attempting to phase out contracts dating back to 1996 to give it more flexibility, but around 250 workers have refused to transfer as they say it would reduce their income and disrupt their family life.

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North America's taste for fizzy drinks has helped Coca-Cola to a stronger-than-expected revenue performance in the last quarter of 2016.

Volume sales rose 1% across the Atlantic, which is the iconic drinks manufacturer's biggest market, with 1% growth in the volume of Sprite and Fanta being sold.

Overall however, global sales were down 1% in the fourth quarter, hurt by high inflation in some Latin American countries.

Net operating revenue was down about 6% to $9.41bn, which marked the seventh drop in a row. Despite this, it easily beat analysts' estimates of $9.13bn.