Opening Bell: Workers favour startups, AIB's summer flotation, Trump threat to Irish pharma

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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has moved to allay fears that the snap UK election in June will delay AIB's stock market flotation.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Central Bank's new docklands HQ in Dublin yesterday, Mr Noonan insisted the timeframe for the bank's return to the stock market had not changed.

He noted that the IPO had always been scheduled for some time between mid-May and early July and that the election "doesn't change the window", though he said there was no specific date set.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that the Government was preparing to hold off the IPO until the outcome of the June 8th election became apparent.

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A major cut in US corporation tax would strangle investment in Ireland's pharma and medtech sectors, according to Deloitte Ireland.

Joan O'Connor, head of international tax at the consultancy firm, told The Irish Times that future investment could be "mothballed with a preference given to bringing those jobs back to America".

US President Donald Trump has pledged to slash corporate tax from 35% to 15%, with White House aides indicating that he would even be willing to reduce the rate at the expense of growing the national debt. His reform package is set to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Ms O'Connor said the Ireland's IT sector is not under the same threat as the industry runs a lot of auxiliary services which necessitate multiple locations.

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Nearly 70% of Irish workers believe that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups offer the best office culture.

Almost half of those surveyed by One4All stated they would be more motivated to give up free time and work longer hours for a smaller company.

When it came to younger workers, nearly half of those aged under 25 voiced a preference for working in an SME, with a further 20% saying they would like to work in a startup.

The survey of attitudes to office culture, wellness and perks also found that 39% of workers disagree that providing office perks, such as breakfast or snacks in the office, puts pressure on people to work longer hours.

While salary is the most important factor for jobseekers, a friendly work environment was second in the list of most popular priorities.

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The victory of a centrist candidate in the first round of the French presidential election spelled good news for Irish shares on Monday.

The ISEQ index closed 23.1% higher at 6,946.55 points, reaching a level not seen since January 2008.

It easily surpassed a previous post-crisis high of 6,886 hit in December 2015.

Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland were two of the big gainers following Emmanuel Macron's win.

The FTSE 100 was up 2.1% in London and France's CAC 40 jumped 4.25%, while German's DAX index gained 3.4% to hit an all-time high.

Macron will now face second-place finisher Marine Le Pen in a May 7th run-off.

Le Pen announced last night she will temporarily step down as the leader of the National Front party to focus on her presidential bid.