GERMAN FUND PAYS  €100m FOR HAROLD'S CROSS BUILD-TO-RENT APARTMENT SCHEME - The German fund, Patrizia AG, has agreed to pay about €100 million to acquire 179 apartments being developed by the Marlet Property Group at Mount Argus in Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W. 

Patrizia's off-market acquisition of the portfolio represents its third investment in the capital's fast-growing private rented sector (PRS) since its arrival here four years ago, says the Irish Times. The company's first Irish purchase saw it secure ownership in 2015 of 63 apartments at the Park Lodge scheme on the North Circular Road for €15 million, or an average of €238,095 per unit. In 2017, Patrizia grew its Dublin portfolio substantially when it paid €132 million, or an average of €413,000 per unit, for 319 apartments in the Leona and Charlotte buildings at Cosgrave Property Group's Honeypark development in Dún Laoghaire. The company's latest €100 million deal with developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group will see it pay an average of €558,659 per unit for the 179 apartments at the Mount Argus scheme. While a cursory examination of the numbers would suggest that Patrizia's cost per unit has more than doubled since its first investment here, it should be noted that the Mount Argus development represents a rather different proposition to that of Park Lodge. Quite apart from its mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, the Harold's Cross scheme will include a concierge, resident's lounge, business centre, meeting room and gym, along with a 201-space basement car park. The development is nearing completion, and is expected to be ready for occupation this October. Average rents at the scheme are expected to be about €2,200 per month.

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DIESEL REMAINS IN POLE POSITION BUT MORE DRIVERS EYE GREEN CARS - The Hyundai Kona is the top-selling battery-powered car in Ireland, while around a quarter of car shoppers say they are planning to make their next purchase an electric or a hybrid, a motor industry review has found.

Of more than 1,000 prospective buyers surveyed in the April-June quarter, a narrow majority - 52% - said they still plan to make their next car a diesel, the fuel that powers three out of every four vehicles on Irish roads. But around a quarter intend to go green, by buying either a hybrid (17%) or fully electric vehicle (9%), writes the Irish Independent. This is reflected in strong sales growth for 191-plated electric and hybrid cars, the report found, with electric car sales through June totalling 1,954 units - more than for the whole of 2018. The Hyundai Kona accounted for 37% of all electric sales, the Nissan Leaf 33%, and a trio of competitors - the Volkswagen e-Golf, the Renault Zoe and BMW i3 - split the rest. Toyota dominates Irish sales of new hybrids, producing the four most popular makes, led by the Corolla. "With the Government target of 2030 as the year that 100% of all cars on Irish roads will be electric, the data in this report highlights that consumers already are making the switch," said Martin Clancy, marketing manager of DoneDeal.ie, which compiled the report.

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REVENUES SURGE AT CYSTIC FIBROSIS DRUG FIRM - Pharmaceutical firm Vertex Ireland's revenues soared last year on the back of the company's deal with the HSE on the groundbreaking blockbuster cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi. 

Newly-filed accounts for the company show its revenues surged 71% to €60m. In June 2017, Vertex Ireland reached an agreement with the HSE for the sale of Orkambi to around 600 people with cystic fibrosis in Ireland. The deal followed people living with cystic fibrosis taking to the streets demanding from the Government free access to the drug which treats the underlying causes of the disorder, says the Irish Examiner. The company's operating profits increased by 73% from to €1.8m. However, Vertex Ireland recorded a pre-tax loss of €1.6m, chiefly as a result of foreign exchange losses of €2.4m and interest payable of €1.4m. Vertex Ireland said the rise in revenue and operating profit was "predominantly due to increased revenues" from the Orkambi deal. Ireland has the highest incidence of cystic fibrosis in the world and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland has said that there has been "a very high take-up" of Orkambi here. Vertex also sells another cystic fibrosis treatment drug called Kalydeco. 

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DEUTSCHE BANK BOSSES FITTED FOR £1,200 SUITS AS THOUSANDS LOSE THEIR JOBS - On the day Deutsche Bank began making thousands of employees redundant, some managing directors at the company's office in the City of London were being fitted for suits that cost at least £1,200, it has emerged. 

Tailors from Fielding & Nicholson, an upmarket tailor, were pictured walking out of the bank’s office with suit bags on Monday, reports today's Guardian. Ian Fielding-Calcutt, the tailor's founder, and Alex Riley were there to fit suits for senior managers in spite of plans to cut 18,000 jobs worldwide. Germany's biggest bank has started the first wave of cuts that some recruiters have predicted could lead to as many as 3,000 job losses in London, where it employs about 7,000 people. Some laid-off staff were reported to be in tears before leaving the building for the last time. "Our timing was not great," Fielding-Calcutt told Financial News. "I think a lot of the people getting laid off were traders of some sort, who don’t wear suits, and so we just went ahead as normal with our clients who obviously weren’t affected by the cuts." Fielding & Nicholson suits take up to eight weeks to make. Prices start at £1,200 and can go as high as the customer chooses, an employee said. The image of top managers being fitted for luxury suits while other employees, including contract workers and support staff, were laid off was not what Deutsche wanted. Its chief executive, Christian Sewing, visited London on Monday and repeatedly said how much he regretted the decision to scrap a fifth of his global workforce.