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New company on IEX
Irish Estates plc began trading on September 30th on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX) market, becoming the third new company on the IEX in 2005. Irish Estates plc, the property management and facilities management group, joined the IEX market for small and medium-sized companies, increasing the number of companies listed on IEX to 12.

ICAI says Directive poses issues for Ireland
The European Parliament voted for the revision of the Eighth Company Law Directive on September 28th. Aidan Lambe, director of representation and technical policy at The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI) in Ireland, says that the Directive creates a number of issues for this country.
Lambe welcomed the harmonisation practices of audit practices across Europe but said ‘the application of these new standards is somewhat problematic in the Republic of Ireland where the audit exemption threshold is comparatively low in European terms’ and the standards, because of their orientation to other more complex European capital markets, will be ‘applied to much smaller entities in Ireland than elsewhere in Europe.’

New head at IAIM
Robert Richardson, chief executive officer of Pioneer Investment Management Limited has been appointed chairman of the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM),the representative body for institutional investment managers in Ireland. The 13 members of the Association manage assets in excess of €202 billion on behalf of Irish and international clients, ranging from pension funds to the retail investor. Richardson will replace outgoing chairman Ruth O’Briain, managing director of F&C Ireland.
Robert Richardson

Richardson joined Pioneer Investments in 1994 to manage new investment management and administration ventures in Europe. He established Pioneer Investments’ Irish operation the same year and has also been involved in Pioneer Investments businesses throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Prior to joining Pioneer Investments he was Vice President in the company’s fund administration division.

Upgrade for Ulster Bank
Standard and Poor’s have upgraded Ulster Bank’s long-term counterparty credit rating. The rating has been raised from AA- to AA on UK-incorporated Ulster Bank (UB) and its subsidiary, Republic of Ireland-incorporated Ulster Bank. In addition, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its A-1+ short-term ratings on the banks.

This upgrade reflects the increasing interdependence of UBL with its ultimate parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBSG). Standard & Poor’s group rating methodology designates UBL as a core subsidiary of RBSG.

In June 2004 UBL announced that it would be migrating onto RBSG’s manufacturing platform, although the migration will not be complete until 2007. RBSG is now managing its manufacturing division across its U.K. and Irish banking and insurance operations. Furthermore, the integration of First Active into UBL is now largely complete.

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