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Prospectus Directive is driving growth on the ISE Back  
Since its inception in 1999, the debt listings function on the Irish Stock Exchange has gone from strength to strength, with listings growing by 49 per cent. in 2005, writes Gerard Scully. This strong performance looks set to continue into 2006, with Quarter 1 statistics showing a 50 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2005.
Over the past year the debt listings function within the Irish Stock Exchange has continued to experience significant growth. 2005 saw a 49 per cent rise in the number of debt listings over the previous year, increasing from 1170 to 1745. The first 4 months of 2006, have seen a 50 per cent increase in listings over the corresponding period for 2005. Growth in listings on the Exchange has led to an increase in the debt listings team to 20 people, and the domicile of issuers listing on the Exchange now encompasses all continents of the globe.
Gerard Scully

The implementation of the Prospectus Directive
The Prospectus Directive was implemented in Ireland in advance of the 1st July 2005 deadline, and the transition to review and approval under the Prospectus Directive requirements has been seamless. The Financial Regulator now acts as Competent Authority for the approval of prospectuses relating to securities to be admitted to the regulated market of the Irish Stock Exchange. The review function has been delegated back to the Irish Stock Exchange and is carried out by employees of the Exchange. The excellent working relationship between the Exchange and the Financial Regulator in carrying out the review and approval function under the directive has stood Ireland in good stead and has served to underpin the exceptional growth over the last year.

Areas of growth
In the aftermath of the implementation of the Prospectus Directive, the Irish Stock Exchange has seen considerable growth in the listing of corporate non structured debt securities.

Notable straight debt listings in the last year included Gazprom, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, Proctor & Gamble, Kelloggs Europe, Eletrobras, Telewest Communications, TUI AG, BASF AG, Fiat Finance and Trade and O2. Notable new medium term note programme listings have come from UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Banca Firenze SpA, Citibank International, ENEL, SanPaulo IMI, Banesto, New York Life and AIG.

The last year has also seen the Exchange copper fasten its standing as the pre-eminent European Exchange for the listing of asset backed securities. In December 2005 the ISE listed the largest ever European securitisation – a securitisation by ABN of €22 billion of Dutch residential mortgages through their issuing vehicle Shield 1 BV.

Industry initiatives
Whilst the Stock Exchange has continued to increase its market share in the structured products and asset backed market, this has been in tandem with certain industry initiatives which will serve to enhance the standing of Ireland as a place to do securitisation and capital markets business.
The launch of the Irish Securitisation Forum (ISF) on November 9th, 2005, by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, TD, gave form and voice to industry practitioners. Dublin is now ranked second to London and ahead of Frankfurt in terms of asset backed securities. The ISF, though Financial Services Ireland (FSI), and in tandem with Skillsnet (an enterprise-led industry support body funded from the National Training Fund), has established Securitisation Skillnet, whose objective is the development of a training framework to promote competitiveness and innovation within the Irish securitisation sector.

Securitisation Skillsnet completed its first successful seminar, ‘An Introduction to Securitisation’ on Friday May 12th, 2006, which was attended by 17 industry practitioners. Securitisation Skillsnet has three main aims:
• Development and delivery of a professional development programme in Securitisation.
• Increase the number of individuals within member companies with capital markets skills.
• Enhance the competitiveness of the Irish Securitisation Sector.

The past year has been an exciting time for both the ISE and industry, in terms of establishing Ireland as a hub for capital markets and securitisation in Europe. Speaking on a recent visit to Dublin, Rick Watson, managing director of the European Securitisation Forum, the representative body for the industry in Europe, said, ‘Ireland has succeeded in firmly establishing itself as a centre for securitisation and associated operations’.

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