BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager with $5.4 trillion (€4.75 trillion) of assets under management, is considering Dublin among a shortlist of potential European cities to set up a post-Brexit EU base.

Sources said that planning remains at an early stage and that the Republic, where it has almost 70 staff, is competing against Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. The operation in Dublin is currently mainly made up of two businesses: providing management services to Irish-domiciled funds and investment advisory services to the group’s renewable power fund, says the Irish Times. "BlackRock has not made any decisions yet as we wait until more information becomes available about what the UK’s exit from the EU will eventually look like," a spokeswoman for the group said. "Given BlackRock’s experience operating in multiple jurisdictions it remains well placed to meet its clients’ needs and has commenced efforts to lay the groundwork for our longer term response. As part of this effort, and in line with our broader strategy to grow our business in Europe, we are considering several options to increase our presence in key markets on the Continent," she added. The European Central Bank and Bank of England each warned on Friday that some financial groups’ Brexit plans are not good enough as regulators scrutinise firms’ strategies to deal with a potential abrupt cut-off in cross-border financial links under a "hard Brexit".


DUBLIN LIBERTIES IN LINE FOR €200m REGENERATION - A scheme with an estimated value of over €200m and aimed towards the regeneration of the Newmarket Square area in Dublin's historic Liberties has been announced.

The proposed scheme, the plans for which are currently being lodged with Dublin City Council, would see the delivery of a 239-bedroom hotel, a new indoor market, micro brewery, retail and office space and residential accommodation. A total of 500 jobs are to be created during the project's construction phase according to the project's promoters, the Newmarket Partnership, while an estimated 1,700 permanent positions will become available upon its completion. The regeneration of Newmarket Square will involve the demolition of a 1970s enterprise centre and its replacement with a hotel, retail space and residential units, says the Irish Independent. The overall development, which includes regeneration work on the adjoining Mill Street, is set to extend to over 400,000 sq ft. The scheme will, according to its promoters, augment the already-successful Teelings Distillery which is now one of the top visitor attractions in the country. It will also complement Dublin City Council's proposed €3.2m upgrade works to Newmarket Square. The wider Liberties area has undergone significant change in recent years with the construction of student and other accommodation, including new hotel construction. The hotel proposed for Newmarket Square would be located directly across from the Teeling Distillery.

DOMICILE LEVY RAISES €2.3m FROM 13 PEOPLE - Just €2.3m was collected from 13 individuals in 2015 for the domicile levy, a tax introduced at the height of the recession to target the wealthy - leading to calls for it to now be scrapped by some experts.

The domicile levy was brought in by the late Brian Lenihan, who was finance minister in 2010, to ensure the State received some form of payment from wealthy tax exiles and non-resident Irish people who had paid little income tax. Individuals liable for the domicile levy are those whose worldwide income exceeds €1m, whose Irish property is greater in value than €5m and whose income tax in a year was less than €200,000. The levy is imposed each year before October 31 and is done on a self-assessment basis. In 2012, the levy was amended to include non-Irish citizens, says the Irish Examiner. Following parliamentary questions from Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath and Labour finance spokesperson Joan Burton, former Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed that so far in 2017, just €2.3m was collected from 13 returns for 2015. The number of individuals paying has dropped since it was introduced in 2010. In the first year, 32 individuals paid a combined €3.43m. But the amount has dropped every year to 2014 when just 12 people paid €1.99m. The returns for 2016 will not be calculated until after October 31. Overall, €15.75m has been collected from 134 individuals.

HINKLEY POINT COST TO RISE BY £1.5 BILLION - Britain’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station could cost £1.5 billion more than initially expected, according to estimates by French energy group EDF that come less than a year after the project received final approval.

EDF said on Monday that the estimated cost of the project was now £19.6 billion following an internal review. But the French company also warned that the project could be further delayed by up to 15 months, a move that would see the completion date extended long past 2025 and add another £700m to the final bill, pushing the total to more than £20 billion, reports the Financial Times. Vincent de Rivaz, outgoing head of EDF Energy, said that the new estimates and potential delay will have "no impact" on the Hinkley Point contract signed between the company and the UK government. Nonetheless, the admission will add further fuel to criticisms within EDF that the project is unmanageable and overly risky for a company already weighed down by high levels of debt. EDF now expects a rate of return of 8.5% on the project, half a point less than was previously the case. Potential delays could push that down further to 8.2%, the company said. Hinkley Point has been a controversial project, with critics railing against its high cost. In June, the UK government spending watchdog warned that electricity consumers face paying £30 billion above market prices for a "risky and expensive" deal to build Hinkley Point.