Opening Bell: Ireland's real growth will be half the headline rate, Airbnb looks for a tax deal, Cork start-up sells for €40m

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

Real growth in Ireland's economy for 2015 is predicted to come to 3.5% according to Davy Stockbrokers - this is likely to be half of the official rate.

The Central Bank released figures which show that Ireland's economy grew by 7% year-on-year to the end of September.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, predicted this week that Ireland's economic growth in 2015 will be greater than 7%.

Davy Stockbrokers notes that Ireland's growth remains "solid" but not as spectacular as the headline figures may suggest. The official growth rate is inflated by the large impact that multinational corporations have on the Irish economy.

______________________________________________________

Airbnb has been holding discussions with the Government about potentially creating a tax-free threshold which would allow house-sharers to pay less tax on income made from renting their properties.

Its head of public policy Patrick Robinson revealed that Airbnb has been in talks with a number of Government departments as he launched the company's report on the impact of home-sharing in Ireland.

“The Government has said they think that something at a lower level might be appropriate, they’ve told us that a threshold for the sharing economy might need to be at a lower level than rent-a-room which is there for long-term accommodation so the amount of income may be significant,” he told The Irish Times.

______________________________________________________

Cork-based start-up Trustev has been sold for $44m (€40m) - the company was founded less than three years ago by Pat Phelan and Chris Kennedy.

US-based TransUnion will pay $21m in cash and up to $23m if the fraud-prevention company meets certain targets between now and 2018.

Trustev verifies the identity of online shoppers by scanning social media accounts to create a digital fingerprint for individuals.

______________________________________________________

Brown Thomas expects to record double digit growth in 2015 as consumer confidence and the Irish economy continue to improve.

Newly filed accounts show that Carlow Investment Company Ltd, which operates Brown Thomas enjoyed 7% revenue growth, rising to €156.2m in the year to the end of January.

The company plans to invest €15m into its businesses next year - including a spend of €10.5m upgrading the second floor in its landmark Grafton St store.

It will also invest in developing its online shopping platform, 3% of the company's overall sales currently come from online.