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Finance Magazine - February 2002 Issue

Managers’ move from Irish equities gains pace
AIB and Elan share price drops highlight need to minimise stock-specific risk in pension funds and will re-launch pension fund drift away from Irish equities.
IFSC continues to expand
The number of new cross border financial services companies that moved into Ireland during 2001 is on a par with the 1990s when the 10 per cent tax regime existed, returns for the Finance Dublin Yearbook 2002 show.
Credit risk tops concerns for Irish bankers
The banking industry faces its most stressful period for ten years with the onset of world economic recession and the danger of escalating bad debts. This warning comes in a poll of top bankers, regulators and analysts from 15 countries, including Ireland.
Finance Bill ignores transfer pricing
In the lead up to the December 2001 Budget there was much speculation about whether the introduction of a transfer pricing regime would be announced by the Minister for Finance.
Adoption of ‘wise men’ programme to speed up financial reform
The European Parliament has adopted the programme put forward by the committee of ‘wise men’ headed by former Belgian central banker Alexandre Lamfalussy.
Bill to be enacted by Easter
The Pensions Bill will be enacted by the end of March, the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs, Dermot Ahern has promised.
Irish economy to grow fastest in developed world
The Irish economy is likely to grow faster than any other economy in the developed world over the next three years a report published by economists at PricewaterhouseCoopers says.
Euro to fall further
The euro looks set to struggle as prospects for a US recovery outweigh any possible European recovery says Jim Power of Friends First in the first Markets Outlook: The Finance Economic Panel.
Government to discuss plans for IFSC
The Minister of Finance, Charlie McCreevy will give a key note speech at the forthcoming Finance Dublin Conference to be held on April 9-10th, in the Burlington Hotel Dublin.
The gathering pace of securitisation in Dublin
The gathering pace of securitisation in the IFSC, is a focus of a seminar being held at the 3rd Annual Finance Dublin conference on Wednesday, April 10th.
New guidelines created for bank audits
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) have jointly developed two papers on new international guidelines for bank audits.
Anglo Irish aim to increase presence stateside
Anglo Irish Bank is looking into opening an office in New York.
Taxes: to hold or to cut, that is the question
Enron casts long shadow
With the collapse of Enron, the investigations into its affairs have given the role of the independent auditor a major media profile. The next 12 months will see a renewal of the debate on the degree to which the auditing profession in Ireland can self regulate. With substantial changes taking place on an international scale, the profession will have a lot of work to do in arguing the case for self-regulation says Peter Carroll.
Managers look forward to recovery at last
The global downturn combined with one of the worst profit recessions in the past 50 years meant that 2001 was a tough year for pension funds with the average pension managed fund falling by 5.4 per cent. However, despite the recent poor performances of several leading Irish stocks,a recovery is predicted for 2002. In this Finance pensions review, Ireland’s leading pension fund managers look back on the year that was and outline their investment strategies for 2002.
Hedging against the weather
Scientists put a man on the moon over thirty years ago, but we still cannot produce a reliable weather forecast beyond five days. Robert McGlynn explains weather derivatives and details how they allow you to manage risk.
Real returns to be gained from investment in technology
It is unfortunate but true that many companies only realise the benefits of technology when the expensive systems in which they’ve invested crash. With an economic slowdown, ever increasing competition and tighter margins, it is noe essential that investments be made wisely with a clear recognition of the returns to be achieved says Frank Noonan
Tax strategy from the inside
Part of the deliberations of the Tax Strategy Group within the Civil Service have been published in relation to the 2001 Budget. Some of these papers read strangely in the light of the subsequent Budget, suggesting that the Civil Service machine was not on the same wavelength as the Minister on all issues. Large parts of the papers are withheld for reasons that are questionable.
Revenue audits exposed
The Revenue Commissioners have prepared a report on the conduct of Revenue audits and anti-evasion measures generally. It raises worries that larger companies are being unduly penalised.
EU and retrospective legislation
A European Court of Justice case may reinforce objections to retrospective taxation legislation . The case is based on EU principles of law which are similar to provisions of our Irish constitution and therefore has a potentially wide scope.
The bond yield curve is a valuable forecasting tool
At present in bond markets there’s lots of fancy jargon being used, some of it reasonably, self-explanatory but some of it quite confusing, says David Green. When we say that a bond yield curve is steepening, what we mean is that yields at the long-end (say 30 year bonds) are increasing at a faster rate / falling at a slower rate than yields at the short-end (say two year bonds).
ECB expected to cut rates again
This month we introduce The Finance Economic Panel, consisting of leading Irish market participants and analysts, who each month will provide views on key financial markets, covering currencies, equities and the gilt markets.
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