Opening Bell: Bank of Ireland says no to Iranian transactions, EU praises Irish growth, Brexit support builds

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Bank of Ireland will not remove its restrictions on Iranian-related banking transactions, despite the lifting of sanctions in January, according to the Irish Independent.

Irish state trade bodies have been keen to forge links with the country, Enterprise Ireland (EI) will visit Iran with 20 healthcare companies in May during Ireland's first trade mission to the state since international sanctions were lifted.

AIB has not commented on its plans relating to Iranian transactions.

"Ongoing complications and risks persist, including the continued application of US primary sanctions," Bank of Ireland said, explaining the decision.

Sean Davis, EI's Dubai-based regional manager Middle East & North Africa highlighted the importance of banking services for Irish businesses in Iran:

"From a banking perspective, it does mean that client companies are going to need their bank to resume normal business, and that is going to take some time as well.

"There are a number of different factors for trade to revert to what we might call normal."

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Ireland's economy is expected to remain the fastest growing in the EU accoring to the European Commission.

It is forecast to expand by 4.5% this year - that's more than twice the European average.

The Commission described the economy's performance as "brilliant and balanced."

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David Cameron's plans for an EU reform deal appear to have failed to win over the British public.

A new poll suggests support for the UK leaving the European Union has grown.

45 percent of people told the YouGov survey for The Times - that they intended to vote out - compared to 36 percent who want to stay in.

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Apple has been fined $625m for violating patent laws on security features from its Facetime in iMessage services.

A federal jury in Texas ruled that it had willfully infringed on patent laws by using technology developed by VirnetX.

The iPhone maker has since filed papers seeking a mistrial, claiming that VirnetX's lawyer misled and confused the jury during closing arguments.