Opening Bell: State's major move into NI energy market, Ireland is Corporate America's "beachhead", Oneview hits Australian SE

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The Irish State is set to become the biggest player in Northern Ireland's energy market if a potentially €1 billion bid for Viridian comes to pass.

It is a joint venture between the State-controlled Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Goldman Sachs-controlled funds to buy the power firm, according to the Irish Independent.

The deal would also see much of Ireland's small private energy market come under State control.

The Irish State would then have effective control of most of Ireland's power generation and supply, as well as distribution of electricity and gas.

Final binding bids for Viridian – which trades as Energia in the Republic of Ireland – were due yesterday.
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Oneview Healthcare has become the first Irish company to be floated on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The €40 million initial public offering was made yesterday to tie in with St Patrick's Day and placed Oneview's value at 140 million.

Oneview is a Blackrock-based global software company that develops platforms to help patients take a more active role in their care.

It provides outpatient and inpatient platforms and is currently live in three hospitals in Australia, three in San Francisco, two in Dubai, and in Dublin's LauraLynn Children's Hospice.

On this morning's Business Breakfast, Oneview founder Mark McCloskey discussed the company's plans to enter nine further facilities in Australia and the University of Iowa Hospital this year.

McCloskey said of the company, which currently employs 80 people:

"There will definitely be increases in employment, not only in Dublin, but in America and Australia."

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Ireland has been named as one of the most attractive destination for US firms.

US assets here were placed at approximately €1 trillion by the Transatlantic Economy 2016 report.

The report, which painted Ireland as a "strategic beachhead" for Corporate America when it comes to entering the EU, said:

"America's assets in Ireland ($1.1 trillion in 2013) are much larger than those in either France ($393 billion) or Switzerland ($696 billion), and light years ahead of those in China ($290 billion)."

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HighWire Press is set to create 74 new jobs in Belfast.

The US epublishing platform is planning an investment of £6 million in Northern Ireland over the next three years. Jobs with average salaries of £34,000 will include positions for software developers and support engineers.

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met HighWire head honcho Dan Filby in San Francisco this week as part of their four-day visit across the Atlantic.

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The Bank of England has issued a Brexit warning, blaming the falling pound on the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming referendum.

The Bank voted to keep its main interest rate static on Thursday in the face of poor growth outlook in Britain.

It means borrowing costs remain at 0.50%, which they have now done for seven years, and follows the US Federal Reserves decision to leave their rates unchanged on Wednesday.