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Dublin grows in importance as issuance and investment centre Back  
With two domestic issues during 2003, Ireland’s share in the European securitisation market has increased, and as of the end of Q2, 2003, Ireland accounted for three per cent of total issuance in Europe delegates at the second annual Finance Dublin International Securitisation Conference were told. Pictured are speakers on the arbitrage funds panel (l-r): Ray Wyer, director, Bank of Ireland International Finance, Donal Daly, managing director, Avoca Capital and Alan Kerr,credit analyst and loan portfolio manager, Harbourmaster Capital.
OOver 200 delegates from all over Europe attended the second annual Finance Dublin Conference held on November 3rd in The Four Season’s Hotel. Following on from the success of the inaugural conference held in 2002, the conference aimed to address all sectors of this diverse industry including investment, issuance, SPV location, repackaging, and arbitrage funds, as well as examining developments in the European securitisation market and analysing implications of forthcoming regulations such as Basel II and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on securitisation.

Issuance was a key topic debated at the event, with 2003 being a busy year on the domestic issuance front - both First Active and EBS issued rresidential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) early in the year. Collateralised debt obligations (CDO) also featured strongly with participation on the day from Martina Maher of Bank of Ireland, who launched a €410 million CDO of leveraged loans in October, Partholon, as well as from Terry McCabe of AIB, who closed its third CDO of leveraged loans in September, the €407 million Galway Bay. McCabe expects that AIB will continue its trend of issuing one CDO per year of approximately €450 million.

Ireland as a location for establishing special purpose vehicles (SPVs) was also discussed, with speakers saying that changes enacted in the Finance Act 2003 have enhanced the jurisdiction’s appeal. Indeed since the Act one large securitisation - BOI’s Partholon deal - has been completed in Ireland. Before the restructuring of the taxation framework, more complex transactions such as CDOs, CLOs and synthetic deals were unable to be structured through Irish vehicles. Turlough Galvin of Matheson Ormbsy Prentice expects that this ruling will continue to generate more business for the centre.

Investment in asset-backed securities (ABS) is continuing to grow in popularity amongst Dublin’s investment houses, and Dublin is now one of the leading centres for ABS investment, Alexander Batchvarov of Merrill Lynch told delegates. He estimates that there are now between 15 to 17 investors active in the market, with oveer €30 billion of assets under management.

Several of these investors spoke on the day, with Gavin Barlow, senior manager with AIB Capital Markets, Ludo Schockaert, managing director of Dexia Bank Belgium, Dublin branch, Neil Ryan, managing director of Garras Bank and Ray Wyer, director and head of securitised finance at Bank of Ireland International Finance, all giving presentations on the day.

One institutional investor that has not yet joined the ABS investor ranks is the €8.4 billion National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF). Head of asset allocation at the NPRF, Dr. Ronan O’Connor said that the NPRF has not yet invested in ABS, because the products they were being presented with were too complex.

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