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Business briefs: AIB says ‘no thanks’

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

No thanks

Allied Irish Banks followed through on its April promise not to reappoint PriceWaterhouseCoopers as its external auditor.

The change is one of several measures designed to reinspire confidence in the bank, after the Baltimore-based Allfirst Bank foreign currency scandal.

AIB lost approximately $691 million after the company said foreign exchange trader John Rusnack carried out fraudulent trading over five years.

H&W successes

Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard will stay in business after Regional Development Minister Peter Robinson announced that the shipyard could lease land that it no longer uses, for other economic purposes.

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The deal would raise _20 million for Harland and Wolff, according to Robinson.

A spokesman for the commissioners said they would work with Titanic Quarter, the yard’s development subsidiary, to redevelop the land concerned.

“A masterplan will be prepared to coordinate the redevelopment of the area, building on the success of the Laganside initiative,” the spokesperson said.

“It is envisaged that the range of land uses will include residential, cultural, leisure, entertainment, light industrial, educational and heritage,” he said.

As many as 700 jobs could be created.

Also Africa-bound

Northern Irish workers will head for South Africa next week, with a plan to build 100 homes in five days.

The “Global Village” project has attracted 39 employees from Business in the Community to the site in Durban.

“The experience of having helped to build a house in just five days was unbelievable, but having gotten to know the family who built with us during that week and then to see their excitement at moving into a decent home of their own was unforgettable,” said Ivan Jackson.

Belfast-Paris route pondered

The latest air route to connect Belfast with the European continent will take travelers straight to Paris.

Belfast International Airport has had talks with several airlines about the route.

“Currently some 720,000 passengers a year fly between Dublin and Paris,” Aldergrove managing director Albert Harrison said.

“This means there must be demand for such a service from Belfast, provided we can offer competitive prices. But I am encouraged by the feedback we are getting and I would say it is probable we could be looking at a Paris service next year.”

According to the Belfast Telegraph, at present, the twice-daily EasyJet service to Amsterdam is the sole scheduled service between Northern Ireland and the Continent.

Between October and March this service was used by 73,646 passengers, most of them in the leisure sector.

By comparison, some 25 destinations on the Continent are served from Dublin.

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