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Big Tech to the rescue




Week in Review

Stocks trended downwards early in the week despite positive earnings reports as rising COVID-19 cases, inflation and economic growth all weighed on investor sentiment.


Panic selling gripped Chinese stocks early in the week as fears over a regulatory crackdown by the Chinese Government continued to mount.

Although the sell-off centred around a new set of restrictions on Chinese for-profit tutoring companies, it's the latest example of the communist party's unwavering ability to destroying shareholder value with an unexpected decision.

China's largest tech names have all recorded significant losses in recent months. Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce company, has now seen its market cap fall by over 300 billion dollars since its market highs set back in October.

Big tech

The mega-cap tech companies continued to produce mind-boggling revenue numbers this week. Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft all reported record quarters after the closing bell on Tuesday, with a combined profit of $57 billion in Q2, which equates to $626 million a day.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, was particularly noteworthy, with advertising revenue up 69% year over year. YouTube alone generated $7 billion in revenue for the quarter.

While it's easy to look at record high numbers in the stock market and assume a bubble, record earnings figures and improving fundamentals from the biggest hitters in the index will continue to act as a support, justifying further gains.

Bitcoin Bounce

The major crypto names experienced a late-night surge on Sunday, with bitcoin now sitting at a six-week high just below $40,000.

Bullish comments last week from the tech trio of Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Cathie Wood spurred the recent positive sentiment.

The outlook has been boosted further by the news that Amazon may accept cryptocurrency payments - by the end of the year. While early reports are vague and yet to be confirmed by Amazon, inclusion across the Amazon infrastructure would be a significant steppingstone in the cryptocurrency space.

Stock Watch:

Snap Inc jumped a colossal 24% last Thursday after reporting its biggest growth quarter in four years.

Snap's next significant growth opportunity appears to be in the AR space. The company has invested heavily in Augmented reality and is looking to change the e-commerce experience by allowing those shopping online to "try on" clothing using its AR technology. I’m listening.

While revenue more than doubled to $982 million in Q2 2021 and the AR tech offers significant growth opportunities, valuations appear stretched, to say the least.

For me, Snap Inc will need to show an ability to turn its lower-income younger users into paying customers and turn big revenue gains into realised profits before the current market cap is justified.


De facto Guardian of the retail investor in the fight against the Wall Street elite, Robinhood has fast become the poster child of retail investor revolution.

As such, its IPO this week was always guaranteed to generate a lot of interest.

With almost 18 million active users, $80 billion in AUM and revenue close to $1 billion last year's Robinhood makes for a compelling investment opportunity, but with a predicted valuation of $35 billion, much of the juice may have already been squeezed by the private market before it becomes available to the public.

While I'm skeptical in the long run, especially with the majority of earnings coming from the sale of order flows, this IPO will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest over the near term.

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Cost of agricultural land set to increase by 8% this year

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week. […]




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week.

It predicts an increase in land values by an average of 8% this year and an increase of 14% on average in rental values.

The report titled, ‘SCSI/Teagasc Agricultural Land Market Review & Outlook Report 2023’, analyses the agri sector performance over the past year and projects how it will perform over the next 12 months.

In all 134 agri professionals and valuers were surveyed, who expect the outlook for dairy farmers to ease and a challenging future for sheep and tillage farming.

Rental Land values in Munster increased by an average of 13% in the last year with a 9% increase experienced in Leinster.

The report indicates that the average non-residential farmland prices in 2022 ranged from €5,564 per acre for poor quality land – up five percent from €5,308 in 2021 – to €11,172 per acre for good quality land – up two percent from €10,962 the previous year. Strong demand from dairy farmers for good quality land is driving the market.

The majority of those surveyed believe there is likely to be an increase in demand from dairy farmers to purchase farmland in 2023.

One point to note however, is that changes to the European Nitrates Directive, particularly measures aimed at protecting water quality, may have an impact on land prices, especially rental prices.

In order to maintain current levels of milk production – and to comply with the directive – many dairy farms will need to either increase their land area or reduce milk production.

The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) is also coming down the line at an alarming rate, farmers have until May 1 to make a written appeal. Under the new legislation farmers owning currently zoned land face an annual tax bill of 3% of the market value of their zoned land.

This will result in countless numbers of landowners facing crippling tax bills from next year on. It is expected that this new tax may bring forward extra land sales later this year before the tax takes hold.

The IFA (Irish Farmers Association) have this week sought a senior counsel review of the legislation governing the Residential Zoned Land Tax.


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What is a Fire Safety Certificate?

By John Healy of Healy Insurances A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in […]




By John Healy of Healy Insurances

A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by the Building Control Authority, comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Fire Safety Certificates are issued by a Building Control Authority. The certificate confirms that the building has adequate escape facilities and that the building is designed in a way that prevents and limits the spread of fire. While all buildings must comply with the fire regulations, not all buildings will need a Fire Safety Certificate.

Which developments require a Fire Safety Certificate?

The Building Control Act (1990 & 2007) specifies the development types that require Fire Safety Certificates:

· Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a day centre, a building containing a flat, a hotel, hostel or guest building, an institutional building, a place of assembly, a shopping centre
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub-divided into a number of units for separate occupancy
· Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres
· A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.

Some developments are exempted from requiring a Fire Certificate and can include:

· Certain single storey agricultural buildings
· A building used as a dwelling (other than a flat)
· A single storey domestic garage
· A single storey building ancillary to a dwelling which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for any trade or business or for human habitation
· Works in connection with a Garda station, a courthouse, a barracks and certain government buildings.

If a building is inspected by a member of the building control authority and it transpired that no Fire Safety Certificate is in place, the building could be subject to closure. For more information see


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