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Finance Magazine - April 2000 Issue

Strong political backing for international financial services
Leading political, business and public service speakers urge continued internationalisation
Duisenberg makes no prescriptions
The European Central Bank has confirmed that its President, Wim Duisenberg, ‘declined to make any recommendations to specific countries’ in relation to policies to address inflation.
Non-interest income grows for banks
Irish banks second highest in EU for fees and commissions as a proportion of non-interest income
Support for Pfandbriefe
The Governor of the Central Bank, Maurice O’Connell, has issued a clear welcome to the development of a mortgage bond market in Ireland.
Ministerial white smoke awaited by all
The Department of Finance remains ‘ready to roll’ with a memorandum to Government and a scheme of a bill to implement a decision on a single regulatory authority for financial services, according to a spokesman.
NZ Stock Exchange starts WAP trading
The New Zealand Stock Exchange has become the first in the Asia Pacific region to host direct market access trades using wireless application protocol (WAP).
UCD to host global insurance conference
The Centre for Insurance Studies at UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduates School of Business is to host the Geneva Association Millennium Conference on 10-11 October this year.
More banks to offer on-line forex
Following Ulster Bank’s announcement of plans to launch an on-line foreign exchange dealing service, both AIB and Bank of Ireland have confirmed that they will be offering a similar service to corporate clients before the end of the year.
World treasury forum in Dublin
Dublin is to host a major international cash and treasury management conference in October, with over 1,000 senior finance professionals from Europe and North America expected to attend.
McCreevy pension fund now IEP4.1 billion
The temporary fund managed by the NTMA in advance of legislation setting up the pre-funded state pension funds received a further contribution of IEP1.1 billion in the first quarter of this year.
Perils highlighted of insurers’ move to broad financial services
Property and Casualty insurers face daunting challenges in widening their product ranges
ICAI looks for new designation
The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI), has joined with seven other professional institutes from around the world to form a Global task Force to explore the creation of a new international business professional designation.
Bank in ?30m equity, mezzanine and debt deal
Bank of Scotland will provide ?30 million to a joint venture property development company in direct equity, mezzanine finance, and senior debt for a residential site in Santry.
Business tax receipts shoot up
The record 16.7 per cent year on year growth in tax returns announced by the Minister for Finance in early April shows that receipts from corporation tax, capital gains tax, VAT and stamp duty posted strong growth in the first quarter of 2000.
Tightness ahead in Irish banking
The Irish banking arena is likely to become much tighter and more focused on internet banking in the next few years, according to research released this month by Datamonitor.
ERP redesign needed
The transformation from traditional manufacturing to web-based business has created a need for radical redesign of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) investment, according to a new international study conducted by Cap Gemini.
‘No shortage of equity for PPPs’
As pilot projects gear up, financing options are set out
To those who spend their working lives in financial services, and particularly in banking, the tone of speech made by the Minister for Finance at the launch of the Finance Dublin Yearbook 2000 was very welcome.
Generational accounts point to over-restrictive Irish fiscal policy
Standing out from Western countries, Ireland has no problem with generational imbalances, but the argument that the pensions problem for major economies could cause EMU to fail is over-cooked, writes Dermot O'Brien
Striking parallels between vibrant venture capital sectors in Romania and Ireland
The telecoms sector is at the heart of both countries’ dynamic markets, writes Viorel Udma.
Irish banks safe from takeovers?
The relatively small size of the domestic Irish banking market could serve as a natural 'buffer zone' between Irish banks and international takeovers, writes Eamonn Hughes, in this analysis of a European banking sector in flux.
Euro appreciation against sterling would bring problems too
Robin Aspinall was in Dublin earlier this year to pick up local intelligence on the Irish economy and to share views on the Euro, Sterling, Ireland and the UK with clients of National Irish Bank. Here he offers some reflections on those themes.
Move on towards global reporting standards
All European fund managers who responded to a recent survey expect to become compliant with the Global Investment Performance Standards (‘GIPS’) or equivalent local standards within the next two years. Vincent Mac Mahon looks at the results of the recent survey and the global standards one year after their issuance
Best practices recommended for fund directors
A report for the the US Investment Company Institute last year set out the following best practices for funds
Long bonds: ‘remarkable’ decline in uncertainty
European Central Bank comment
Limited volatility as bond yields rise
Strong economic growth combined with the rise in headline inflation rates following the surge in oil prices implies that central banks can be expected to continue tightening policy in the coming quarter.
Majority sees euro recovery against dollar
At the beginning of each quarter, Finance invites bond and currency market experts to give their outlook for the quarter, and to predict the level of key indicators at the quarter end. The second quarter of this year began on 3rd April, and will end on Friday 30th June. Next July, analysts will have an opportunity to look back on the quarter past and review how the market performed against expectations. The following are the assessments for the current quarter.
PPP framework to be completed this year
A year ago IBEC and the CIF made a submission to government which identified potential barriers to the successful and rapid launch of an ambitious PPP investment programme. Peter Brennan reviews developments since then.
Canada’s Highway 407 transformed by PPP structure
Last November, a full page ad was placed in the Financial Times announcing that Citibank/Salomon Smith Barney had put together a multi-billion dollar financing package for Canadian Highway 407 in seventeen days. Conor O'Malley of Citibank in Dublin provides a brief description of the project.
Moving shared services to the internet can save millions through efficiencies
As the inefficiencies of shared services centres become apparent, millions could be saved and the customer could be happier if e- shared services were to become the norm, according to Dermot Reidy.
From Ballsbridge to the Bernebeu
6.45 am The shower helps me regain consciousness and organise my thoughts to assault the day ahead. Commute by car for breakfast in the Berkeley Court. En route I check voice mail and respond where possible, then ‘crank up’ with Moby’s new album ‘Play’ on the CD.
Finance Bill sparks
It’s not all dry, technical stuff at the Committee State of the Finance Bill. Here are some extracts from the cut and thrust of political exchanges.
Wild geese
Ireland’s financial experts roam Gibraltar and Glasgow this month.
Who’s who in Finance: Bernadette McGrory-Farrell Partner, W.O.McGrory & Company, Certified Public Accountants & Registered Auditors, current President of the Institute of Certified Public Acc
Who’s who in Finance: Oliver O’Shea, Senior Banking/Financials Analyst, Goodbody Stockbrokers
Who’s who in Finance: Gary Kennedy, Group Financial Director, AIB Group
Who’s who in Finance: Tony Donnelly, Group Finance Director, ESB
The pressure, the buzz, smart people - Keatinge looks back on corporate finance
Internationalisation, technology and changes in the way corporate finance business is done have been major features of the last decade, Richard Keatinge tells Finance.
Who will survive?
Aidan Pender reviews Sole Survivors - How Exceptional Companies Survive and Thrive at the Edge by Anto T Kerins (DIT), Oak Tree Press, 1999
Divisions between actual and ‘desired’ culture in financial services
You accept that the culture of the organisation matters a lot to business success, but what if the culture you want is not the culture you have? The areas where the gaps are greatest between desired culture and actual culture in financial services are described by Mary Fulton and Mark Campbell, who recommends that companies adopt a ‘learning culture’.
More time please
The Finance Act 2000 has been processed through the Oireachtas in the same fashion as its numerous predecessors. New tax proposals are unveiled when there are only three days available to digest them, and where necessary, amend them. This is a silly system and does not lead to good law.
Work abroad to save tax?
Foreign earnings deduction (FED) was restricted by the Finance Act 2000. The manner in which the restriction was introduced was unfair. The thinking behind the restriction seems narrow.
Employee shares
High-tech industries have lobbied for a low tax rate on share options and shares for key workers. The Finance Act has instead offered a tax deferral provided the shares continue to be held.
Radical change to pensions accounting loom for finance directors in FRED20
Accounting for the cost of defined benefit pension schemes will mean that balance sheets will be more volatile, writes Philip Shier, but actuarial judgement will still be required in the critical area of the choice of expected return.
Investment products
New tax regimes have been introduced for life assurance products and other unitised investment products. They provide a single tax code for these products both in the IFSC, and nation-wide.
High techs and start ups can outsource treasury
Outsourcing treasury can grow from a few transactions a month to meet the rapid development of hi-tech, start-up companies, writes John Moriarty
Derivatives - single currency, interest rate contracts
Forward Rate Agreement
New insurance behemoths scoop up business globally
Global concentration of insurance has a direct effect on the Irish market and points to risks for market stability which must be addressed, writes Ray Kinsella
Taxing the change to e-finance
The transition from 'bricks' to 'clicks and mortar' will have profound effects for an e-finance company's strategy, according to Pat Wall.
Consulting outgrowing the accountancy firm
The drivers behind the current consulting breakaway from accountancy practices are manifold, writes Greg Sparks.
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