Opening Bell: Amazon's Dublin campus, Clerys workers speak out, Brexit opportunities

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

Amazon is set to build a €1 billion data centre campus in Dublin.

The web services and online retail giant has submitted plans to build a 20,739 sq metre data centre in Mulhuddart, which will cost up to €200m. However, a further seven smaller centres could follow on the IDA-owned location, involving an estimated future spend of another €700m.

The Irish Independent reports that work on 'Project G' will commence this year and take roughly 18 months to complete. It already has a number of data centres in Blanchardstown and three around the Tallaght area, and is currently building a massive data centre beside Dublin Airport.

______________________________________________________

Global investment giant Legg Mason plans to establish a fund management company in Dublin.

A spokeswoman for the group, which controls over $710 billion (€670bn) in assets, told The Irish Times:

"The firm has a management company in the UK and will have one in Dublin to allow us flexibility to serve clients as needed.

"As the outline of Brexit becomes clearer, we are well-positioned to respond as needed to ensure we are ready to serve our clients."

It is not known how many jobs will be created as a result of the move.

______________________________________________________

The Central Bank has confirmed that 30 insurance firms have either expressed an interest in, or sought authorisation for, establishing a post-Brexit base in Ireland.

The news comes a day after US insurance heavyweight AIG announced that it had opted for Luxembourg to become the home of its new operation for European Economic Area and Switzerland, rather than Dublin.

Five companies have gone as far as seeking authorisation as insurance or reinsurance undertakings since November, with another five firmly intending to do so.

The remaining 20 have contacted the Central Bank to discuss the matter.

Sylvia Cronin, director of insurance supervision at the Central Bank, said at a KPMG-organised event on Thursday:

"Unlike other financial sectors, insurance firms are not generally waiting for Article 50 to be triggered before implementing their strategies on location."

______________________________________________________

Former Clerys workers will have the chance to come face-to-face with the people behind the iconic O'Connell Street department store's redevelopment plan later this month.

An Bord Pleanála has scheduled an oral hearing on the site's redevelopment, the Irish Independent reports.

Siptu is appealing Dublin City Council's decision to give the €150m project the green light and will call a large number of the 467 people who lost their jobs due to the store's closure in 2015 as witnesses.

The four-day hearing kicks off on March 20th, despite protests from John Spain & Associates – acting as consultants for OCS Properties – that it could delay the project.

Mr Spain said the redevelopment would "play a vital role in the regeneration of O'Connell Street and the north inner city", creating 1,450 new jobs in the process.