Opening Bell: Irish tax take concerns, Dublin v Frankfurt, Facebook loves mobile ads

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It is becoming increasingly clear that Exchequer takings are falling short of expectations, The Irish Times reports.

Data published on Wednesday confirmed a continuation of the poor performance in expected tax revenues seen earlier in the year.

The Department of Finance revealed total tax receipts for the four months to April are 2.4% lower than forecast – making for a €344 million deficit.

Receipts from income tax, corporation tax and excise duties did not match expectations, with only VAT reaching projected levels.

The department said it is "not at the point where we are worried" and that it does not think the trends will continue. A spokesman added, however, that it accepts if it does continue next month, there will be implications for budgetary policy.

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Management and unions at An Post are to begin fresh negotiations on the future of the sector.

It comes amid concerns that the company plans to close more than 200 post offices around the country.

The Irish Postmasters' Union wants post offices to support more public and financial services, as well as transport, tourism and training in communities.

General Secretary Ned O'Hara said the future of the sector has reached a critical point:

"We've been looking for this for the last two, three years. And it is almost like Groundhog Day. We're sitting down in 2017 to do something that we sat down in 2015 to do and did again in 2016 with Bobby Kerr.

"The postmasters feel very upset, annoyed, betrayed if you like, by the lack of any action or any decision-making by the Government. We just feel we've been left in the doldrums."

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A top European property expert believes that Dublin is beating Paris but losing out to Frankfurt in the hunt for financial services firms looking to leave London in the wake of Brexit.

Peter Leyburn, Colliers International's director of client services for Europe the Middle East and Africa, has gathered evidence that property deals for the movement of less than 6,000 roles to Frankfurt, Dublin and Paris have been signed.

According to the Irish Independent, Leyburn said:

"At the moment, Frankfurt is about 3,700 desks, Dublin is about 1,150 and Paris is about 1,000 desks. That adds up to about 5,850 desks. Those are things that are signed."

The revelation came as a top JPMorgan Chase executive confirmed that it would move hundreds of London staff to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

Standard Chartered also confirmed yesterday that it was setting up a subsidiary in Frankfurt to handle its EU business, rather than Dublin.

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Facebook has posted a 76.6% surge in quarterly profit, helped by strong growth in its mobile advertising business.

Revenue from mobile ads accounted for 85% of total ad revenue of $7.86 billion (€7.2bn) in the three months to March 31st.

This was up three percentage points from the same period a year previous.

Research firm eMarketer has said Mark Zuckerberg's social media giant should generate $31.94 billion in mobile ad revenue this year, a 42.1% jump from 2016.

Total revenue at Facebook climbed from $5.38bn to $8.03bn. Net income attributable to shareholders rose $3.06bn ($1.04 per share) from $1.73bn (60 cents per share).