Opening Bell: Cyber attack Monday, Irish construction's growth spurt, China's new plan

Get up to speed with today's breaking business news...

Businesses around the world are braced for a fresh wave of cyber attacks.

A ransomware attack starting hitting computers across the world on Friday, with the UK's National Health Service (NHS) among the organisations most severely affected.

The 'WannaCry' attack - which is believed to have infected around 200,000 computers across at least 150 countries - encrypts a user's important files, with the attackers demanding a bitcoin payment to unlock the files.

Microsoft has blamed security vulnerability data 'stolen' from the US National Security Agency (NSA) for the devastating cyber attack.

There are fears this morning that when business computers which have not been used since Friday are turned on a new wave of victims will be discovered.

In Ireland the HSE has been one of the affected organisations, its workers have been told to not log-on to their computers this morning until two hours after they have been turned on, to allow anti-virus scans to run.


Construction activity is continuing to increase according to the latest Ulster Bank Index. 

The financial institution says April was the busiest month since October 2016.

It's the third month in which the pace of expansion has sped up - output, new orders and employment all grew at faster rates during the month.


China's President unveiled the country's $124bn plan to build a modern-day Silk Road yesterday - he said it will be the "project of the century."

The "Belt and Road initiative" is intended to recreate the trading routes of old overland and sea through central Asia, to Europe and beyond, with massive investment in infrastructure along the way.

The initiative is set to expand China's influence outside of its borders. The ambitious plans span at least 65 countries, including more than 60% of the world's population, and 30% of global GDP.

The estimated $900bn cost would make it one of the most expensive development projects ever attempted, and many times the size of the US Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.


The organisation which represents consultants claims hospitals are hiring doctors to do work they're not qualified to do.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association says it's seriously concerned that patient care is being undermined as a result of the practice.

It's calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE to release the details of posts filled by doctors who are not registered in the speciality they're practising in.

Dr Tom Ryan, IHCA President, said: “The practice of appointing doctors who are not on the specialist register to work as Consultants in our health services must stop immediately. It is not acceptable that doctors who do not have the essential specialist training, skills and expertise are treating patients as consultants in our acute health services.