Citibank, one of the world's largest financial institutions, is to make a €35m investment in Ireland.

The bank is to base its research and development facility for the next generation of financial software in its Irish operation in Dublin’s IFSC.

Citibank’s Dublin office already employs over 2,200 people.

The new investment, backed by IDA Ireland, will result in the creation of 30 'high calibre' positions, such as project managers, technology architects, business analysts and software and hardware engineers.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced the investment from New York, where he is on an official visit.

Over 1,000 multinational companies have set up in Ireland to date. More of them are from the US than any other single country. There are over 450 US companies operating out of Ireland, with an investment of over €55bn.

In less positive jobs news, the local and international economic downturn is being blamed for job losses in Co Westmeath today, as two companies seek voluntary redundancies.

The Wright Windows System factory in Milltownpass is to lay off up to 50 members of its staff. The windows manufacturer employs 150 people, and redundancies will be made across the workforce.

Management at the GMAC Commercial mortgage call centre in Mullingar has also written to staff seeking voluntary redundancies.

The company is not commenting on how many job losses it is seeking, but workers have been given a weekend deadline to indicate whether or not they will participate in the scheme.

IMAC was opened in 2000 by the then Minister for Enterprise and Employment Mary Harney and employs more than 100 people.

Meanwhile, shares on the Irish stock market have jumped in value by 5% today following surges in US and European markets.

After weeks of bleak news from the financial sector, the most valuable bank in the US, JP Morgan Chase, reported better than expected results.

The development lifted shares in Ireland, which have lost more than 50% of their value since spring of last year.