The vast majority of project managers here expect an increase in the number of projects coming to Ireland as a direct result of Brexit, according to a survey of members of the Project Management Institute. 80% of respondents saw a pick up in international work in the near future, largely thanks to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

"We would probably see a selection of different programmes that might be coming to Ireland," said Niall Murphy, president of the Project Management Institute. "Certainly in the case of the financial services, there may be firms in London that would be concerned about their passporting rights and would like to relocate some of their operation to Ireland. That may also, in turn, attract more associated projects, just as technology development firms."

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Many of these types of projects are highly mobile, he said, which would allow companies to shift them to Ireland as the need arises. Mr Murphy also suggested that there's a 'pull' effect here too as talent and expertise draws firms to this country instead of others. 

However project managers based in Ireland are concerned that the country is not in a position to make the most of this potential influx of work, due to some of the infrastructural limitations that exist in the country at the moment. "Our membership does have some key concerns and the primary one - almost 2/3 of the members - was around the housing crisis, and specific the rising house and rent costs," he said. "(That) could be something that might slow down or stop inward investment."

Other concerns were expressed by the respondents, particularly around the lack of technical infrastructure in the country. A further 17% also suggested that potential tax cuts in the US could increase competition coming from overseas, however Mr Murphy suggested that being an attractive location for project management goes beyond the rate of corporation tax. 

"Ireland is an attractive tax environment, and that is one of the things that we use as an attraction to Ireland," he said. "But we don't have to rely just on that - we also should rely on our people - we've invested as a country in our people heavily over the last number of years and that's resulted in a great breadth and depth of experience. That's much harder to replicate - other countries can compete easily by cutting their taxes but they can't, overnight, create a body of very experienced professionals," he concluded.

MORNING BRIEFS - The Euro strengthened against the dollar again overnight - hitting highs not seen since early 2015. The currency has surged in recent days as a speech from ECB President Mario Draghi was interpreted as a signal that the bank's monetary easing policy could wind down sooner than had been expected. ECB officials have since tried to pour cool water on that suggestion, but that appears to have been ignored by traders. Having also risen against the pound the euro has fallen back there, however, largely due to sterling strengthening on the back of comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, which suggested he may raise rates in the near future.

*** The vast majority of Irish professionals have a poor or substandard knowledge of IT issues, according to a survey by the Code Institute. The institute conducted a "tech diagnostic" survey, which aimed to see if professionals know what was meant by terms like "open source" or "internet of things", and if they knew how different programming languages were used. 40% of respondents were deemed to have failed the test, with another 28% getting a sub-standard mark of between 50-60%. Only 19% of people showed a competence at the entry level. The vast majority of respondents were employed, which the Code Institute said should be a concern for businesses as technology becomes an increasingly important part of all professional roles.

*** Fashion retailer H&M has posted a 10% increase in fiscal second-quarter pretax profit, beating expectations for a 1.6% increase. H&M said its performance was helped by continued expansion and tight cost control.  Pretax profit in the three months from March to May period grew to 7.71 billion Swedish crowns - or about €793m - from a 7 billion crowns a year earlier.