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Finance Magazine - October 2003 Issue

Accountancy Survey 2003 shows fee income up more than 15 p.c.
The Irish accountancy industry remains in rude financial health, according to the latest survey of the industry by FINANCE, with fee income for the 17 largest firms rising by more than 15 per cent to €574 million. But for those working in the industry, salary expectations for the next year should be modest with most firms believing that average salaries will rise by no more than 5 per cent. PricewaterhouseCoopers has retained its pole position as Ireland's largest accountancy firm in terms of fee income - but only just! PwC reported a decidedly modest 4.6 per cent increase in fee income compared to last year - by far the smallest increase in income of the 'big four' accountancy firms although that fee income of €136 million was just sufficient to keep PwC ahead of KPMG for the number one position. A factor behind PwC's comparatively modest growth is the absence of the demerged PwC Consulting. KPMG's figures include an 8 month contribution from Andersen, which on an annualised basis would have made them biggest in the latest year. So far the slowdown in the domestic and global economies does not seem to have impacted on the industry to any significant degree - but as with previous FINANCE surveys, there are wide variations in the financial performance of the major accountancy firms.
Savings Directive on way for January 1
The EU draft directive on interest on savings has been slowed down, but seems likely to impact the Financial Services community sooner rather than later. The first key date is 1 January 2004, and some businesses may not yet have geared up to deal with it.
UK stamp duty
Irish businesses and individuals are major investors in the UK. Investments are made both in property and in shares and securities. It is no longer safe to assume that UK stamp duty is minimal, or resembles Irish stamp duty.
Welcome to AIB Capital Markets News
AIB Capital Markets comprises AIB Group's Global Treasury, Investment Banking and Corporate Banking businesses. The Division operates world-wide through offices in Ireland, UK, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific through a range of specialist business units and subsidiary companies. AIB Capital Markets plc is registered in Ireland. Registered No. 24484. Registered Office: Bankcentre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. AIB Capital Markets plc is regulated by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is registered in Ireland. Registered No.24173. Registered Office: Bankcentre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority.
AIB Capital Markets launches €400m Polonia Property Fund
AIB Capital Markets (AIBCM), has closed a €400m Polish Property Investment Fund through its wholly owned subsidiary in Warsaw, AIB PPM Sp. z o.o. The fund target is commercial property in Poland, however, up to 20 per cent of the fund can be invested in Hungary and Czech Republic.
AIB Consolidates Position as Leading Player in European Leveraged Buy Out Market with Close of €407m CDO
September 2nd, 2003: AIB Acquisition Finance, a division of AIB Capital Markets plc, today announced the closing of its latest Collateralised Debt Obligation (Galway Bay CDO) totalling €407million. The fund places AIB as one of the top CDO managers in Europe and consolidates AIB’s position as a leading player in the European leveraged buy out (LBO) market, having arranged over €8.5bn of senior and mezzanine debt over its 13 years in operation to date.
Gearing is the Key to Property’s Attractions
John Moran examines some of the main factors behind the continuing buoyancy of the property investment market
Commercial property investment slows across Europe despite strong demand
Direct investment in commercial property in Europe in the first half of this year was €31.4 billion, 18% lower than the € 36.5 billion recorded in the same period of 2002, according to Jones Lang LaSalle€s European Capital Markets Bulletin.
Stamp Duty Rise Changes Property Investors€ Policies
Dr Clare McParland writes on the results of a new survey into the effects of the Government€s decision to increase commercial property stamp duty to 9%.
Economists still out on whether to fix rates
In an interest rate survey conducted in last month€s FINANCE, only four of the ten participating economists recommended corporate treasurers fix their borrowings, despite long-term rates rising. This month FINANCE caught up with some of the economists, and dealers, and discovered that once again a consensus has yet to emerge on the fixing of interest rates, with one economist predicting that the probability of a rate cut has actually increased in the past number of weeks.
Who€s who in Finance: John O'Neill, CEO, AXA Ireland
Who€s who in Finance: Denis Casey, CEO, Irish Life Retail
A review group is currently examining Revenue powers.
A high level review group is currently examining the powers possessed by the Revenue. Inadequate powers in the past may have contributed to tax evasion. Are the current powers adequate, and are safeguards needed for compliant taxpayers?
€410 mn CDO for Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland’s acquisition finance team launched a €410 million collateralised debt obligation (CDO),Partholon CDO 1 plc, of mainly European leveraged loans on September 19th. This is BOI’s first such CDO, and will close on October 6th.
The time is now ripe to invest in gold.
With bonds and property offering mixed returns, Mark Hutchinson examines the investment case for gold.
First private placement for Bord Gais
After a successful €375 million first transaction, Bord Gais would recommend the private placement market to other corporates looking for medium to long-term funding.
Merrill Lynch launches global product from Dublin office
Merrill Lynch has launched a new mutual fund that will offer its Irish high net worth clients access to the world’s top-tier asset managers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers pips KPMG to the post as Ireland’s largest accountancy firm
PricewaterhouseCoopers has retained its position as Ireland’s largest accountancy firm, but the gap with KPMG has closed dramatically with KPMG being given a major income boost from the acquisition during the year of Andersen’s Irish accountancy practice, according to the 2003 Annual FINANCE Accountancy Survey.
A Day in the Life of Esat BT's CFO
Having turned a negative EBITDA of €40 million into a positive €20 million, Tom Byrne, chief financial officer of Esat BT, (and president of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) is aiming to keep the cash flow positive this year 'as we continue to drive cost out of the business'.
IAS 39 and Macro Hedging – a significant win for the banking industry?
The recent proposal by IASB in relation to IAS 39, and the use of macro hedging, should allow banks to apply macro hedging to their loan and deposit book, something the banking industry has long been calling for writes Glenn Gillard.
CRH America completes $1 bn bond issue
CRH America, the wholly owned subsidiary of Irish building materials group CRH plc, has completed its second global bond offering, which will be used to partly finance CRH’s euro 646 million acquisition of Cementbouw Handel & Industrie (Cementbouw).
Banks need to produce detailed analysis of five years event loss history
Although Basel II won’t be transposed into Irish legislation until 2006/7, financial institutions will need to be able to produce detailed analysis by this date, so they need to start examining their data now, writes Alan Lush, in this overview of how Irish financial institutions, and their European counterparts are preparing for the New Capital Accord.
Best practice treasury delivers payback to DCC
DCC's strategy of investing in best practice initiatives such as implementing treasury management software and standardising banking documentation delivers a substantial payback in terms of leveraging treasury resources to support Group initiatives, organic growth and acquisition integration writes Niall Kelly, in this profile of DCC's treasury department.
Choosing an investment manager for your pension fund
Appointing the right investment manager is a critical part of the pension trustee’s job, writes Fiona Daly, and trustees need to follow a strategy that seeks to maximize the returns achieved on the scheme’s assets while having regard to the fundamental need to meet the scheme’s liabilities as they arise.
Opportunities exist for canny investors in VC
The venture capital industry in Ireland this year is characterised by increased competition, fewer investment opportunities and concerns over returns to investors writes Neil O’Leary - but the outlook is not all bleak.
ISD will lead to greater harmony in EU, but problems remain to be overcome
The revised Investment Services Directive has provoked a great deal of debate amongst the stockbroking and fund management sectors writes Patrick Wilkinson, particularly in relation to the €internationalisation€ of client orders by investment firms.
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