Opening Bell: Ryanair profits double, UK/EU negotiations stall, Irish inversion deals remain a hot topic in Iowa

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Ryanair has announced a €800m share buyback after its profits doubled.

Accounts for the Irish airline's third quarter, which ended on December 31st swelled to €103m, up from €49m 12 months ago.

This was fuelled by a 25% surge in passenger numbers to 20 million, with average fares falling by 1%.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said that the company's decision to buy back shares was due to "rising profitability and improving cash flow."

The buyback will begin on Friday, February 5th and it will span nine months.


David Cameron's hopes of securing a re-negotiation of the terms of the UK's membership of the EU have suffered a setback.

The president of the European Council walked out of crunch talks less than two hours after arriving in Downing Street. As he left Number 10, Donald Tusk said there was "no deal."

This throws Mr Cameron's hopes of holding a referendum on EU membership this summer into serious doubt.

British negotiators will travel to Brussels today - if the Brexit referendum is to be held in June it is believed that a major breakthrough is needed today.

The UK's migrant demands have been the main sticking point, David Cameron's government is pushing for reforms which will restrict access to benefits for in-work and out-of-work migrants.

The government in London wants to block benefits for migrants who have not lived in UK for a minimum of four years. Sources in the UK's civil service are reported by the BBC to have said that this period could be cut to one year.


The front runners in the opening round of the race to see which candidates run for US president are just a few percentage points apart from each other as Iowa goes to the polls.

Opinion polls show that leading Democrat Hillary Clinton is supported by 47% of people likely to vote in the Iowa caucuses, compared to her main rival Bernie Sanders' 44%.

Donald Trump, the Republican setting the early pace, is backed by 30% of his party's supporters, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz on 24% and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on 15%, RealClearPolitics found.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Hillary Clinton has again criticised the practise of companies moving their tax bases out of the US as part of merger deals.

As Johnson and Tyco plan to move their combined tax residency to Ireland in a 'tax inversion deal' she has referred to these deals as a "perversion."


Dalata is set to end its hotel buying-spree in Ireland as it shifts focus to acquiring properties in the UK. The group controls over 5,000 rooms across the country.

"We'd expect to have finished buying in Ireland by the end of this year," Dalata deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley told the Irish Independent.

"We have a war chest of about €130m for acquisitions but we will only use it if there is value in the market," he continued.