The briefcase

Here's everything you need to know about business this week

Everyone was talking about rental prices, plain packaging and newspaper figures.

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EVERY WEEKEND, gives its readers the chance to put their feet up and take a look back at all the goings-on from the world of business.

Once again it’s time to delve deep inside The Briefcase for all the important – and sometimes less-important – financial news that has come out this working week:

Rising rental prices in Dublin are finally starting to taper off. But that doesn’t mean they’re cheap – the average going rate is now close to the 2007 peak - and those prices are pushing people out of the capital and into commuter counties. One potential way to lower the cost of construction in the capital would be to build taller, smaller apartments

Big tobacco companies are stepping up the fight against plain packaging. JTI Ireland has been threatening the government with legal action over the plan, which the country would be the first in Europe to introduce. But Children and Youth Affairs Minister James Reilly hit back, responding that big tobacco was fighting the move for one reason – because it worked to cut smoking levels

The Irish Times will be introducing a very leaky paywall from Monday. The daily broadsheet will start charging customers up to €16 a month to access its website – although readers will get free articles a week before they need to pay. New circulation figures showed The Times lost 6.3% of its sales last year as every major paper in the country lost ground

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European leaders continued trying to hammer out a deal over Greek debt. The country’s new government has already made several concessions on their earlier demands for a six-month extension on its EU loan program and a longer-term debt deal without strict austerity conditions

Snapchat was valued at a whopping €16 billion in its latest funding round. The instant-messaging company previously knocked back a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook and there are some good reasons why its worth that kind of coin

Tesco is poised to lose its spot as Ireland’s biggest supermarket chain. After years at the top of the tree, the UK company could shortly be overtaken by SuperValu after it was the only major chain to lose sales over the most-recent rating period

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No surprises here, but Ireland is an expensive place to live. Despite having the lowest inflation in Europe between 2009 and 2013, Ireland was still the fifth most-expensive country in Europe for living costs, according to the CSO

Allowing Anglo Irish Bank to collapse wouldn’t have been “the right thing to do”. That’s according to former IMF official and Irish Fiscal Advisory Council member Dónal Donovan, who appeared before the Oireachtas banking inquiry this week

Ryanair is among the most-hated brands in the UK. A survey from ad agency Isobel found the Irish budget carrier finished behind only Ukip, the Conservative Party and Marmite as the country’s most hated. But Ryanair wasn’t worried – noting the 1,500 people who took part in the ‘survey’ would fill only eight of the 1,600 flights it operated every day

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Ireland’s latest crop of promising startups were revealed. The new companies came together at an Enterprise Ireland passing-out ceremony, where the organisation’s 183 startups supported this year included a lot of technology businesses – as well as an ever-growing share of female entrepreneurs

And one for the road…

An Oireachtas Finance Committee would probably be the last place you would expect to stumble across a bit of craic.

But there’s a first time for everything, as a thumb-twiddling Michael Noonan and his sparring partner, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, proved at this week’s session.

The to-and-fro shifted from Sinn Féin’s financial policies to the kind of correspondence Noonan routinely received, to which the Finance Minister retorted: ”Most of the emails I get tell me what a wonderful job I’m doing.”

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