HIBERNIAN PRICE PLEDGE AFTER VIVAS BUY - Insurer Hibernian has taken a 70% in the number three health insurer in the Irish market, Vivas. The beneficiaries of that deal include original investor Dermot Desmond and management and staff including boss Oliver Tattan.

Hibernian chief executive Stuart Purdy would not say how much the company paid. He said health insurance consumers would have a 'real option' with a company of Hibernian's scale entering the market. He said Hibernian would try to 'build scale' but keep innovation and attractive prices.

Asked about risk equalisation, Mr Purdy said the issue was before the courts and Hibernian would abide by the rules.


NEW RESEARCH ON INTERNET USAGE - Research this morning suggests that Google, Yahoo, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and RTE have the most popular websites amongst Ireland's 1.5 million users.

Emmet Kelly of Net Behaviour said it was not a surprise that Google was the most popular site as most internet users use the site five or ten times a day.

The research found that Aer Lingus was marginally ahead of Ryanair, while AIB was ahead of Bank of Ireland in the financial sector. RTE was the popular media site.


CURRENCIES - The euro is worth $1.5669 and 78.85p sterling.