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Finance Magazine - March 2000 Issue

Irish ‘Pfandbrief’ market proposed by mortgage lenders
Bond issuance by banks based in Ireland could extend beyond Irish mortgages to Irish and international public infrastructure.
Over 60 project financings at Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland’s project finance unit is growing rapidly, with a substantial deal flow of international project financings, including PPPs.
‘Earnings no longer enough’
Companies must release quantified, earnings predictive news
Minister defends DWT decision
The repeal of dividend withholding tax was ‘not on’, the Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy has said.
AIB's mobile treasury
A new service has been launched which will allow AIB corporate customers to access online financial information through their mobile phones for the price of a text message.
Finance Dublin Conference final seats
Please book now to ensure a place at the Finance Dublin Conference in March as bookings indicate that it is almost sold out.
New partners at McCann FitzGerald
The latest new partners at McCann FitzGerald all work in the area of corporate finance and M&A. All three are in their early thirties and trained and qualified as solicitors with the firm.
Promotion for IACT chair
Valerie Little, current chair of the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers (IACT) has been appointed group internal auditor at ESB. Little was formerly group treasurer at ESB. Mick Roche, former financial controller of ESB's customer services business unit, has now filled this position
Internet seminar
The Irish Centre for Commercial Law Studies is hosting a morning seminar on financial services and the internet on March 16th at the Industry Centre in UCD, Belfield.
Huber to present First-e case study
Finance Dublin Conference speaker, Gerhard Huber, and author of 'A Day in the Life' in the January issue of the new Finance has been named CEO of Unofirst Group - after the E2.4 billion merger to form ‘the world’s first global internet banking group’.
Smaller countries diversify portfolios faster - ECB
Diversification of portfolios by Irish investment managers has been picked up by the European Central Bank.
No gross roll-up for existing business
Speaking at the second stage of the Finance Bill 2000, the Minister for Finance confirmed that the possible conversion of existing life business to gross roll-up had been abandoned following industry representations.
Euro stimulates M&A growth
A 153% growth in value in M&A in the eurozone in eleven months of 1999 has been pointed out by the European Central Bank.
A German view on Irish mortgage bond proposal
Finance spoke to Frank Damerow, fixed income strategist in international markets at HypoVereinsbank in Munich and Dieter Heusel, managing director of HypoVereinsbank Ireland on the potential for Irish ‘Pfandbriefe’.
Investment managers plan gross roll-up products
Financial planning specialty at Grant Thornton
The new-look Grant Thornton plans to develop a particular competence in personal financial planing for high-wealth individuals, says Jimmy Murphy, managing partner.
Chairman of Revenue Commissioners to speak at Finance Dublin conference
Dermot Quigley will address delegates at the Finance Dublin conference on March 29th on the topic ‘The Revenue Commissioners and the IFSC’.
Irish banks known for excellence worldwide - Hourihan
Bank of Ireland was the first Irish Harvard business case
The views of corporate finance advisers in the Finance M&A Survey capture the paradox of high buoyancy and a sense of resignation side by side in Irish private and public equity markets.
OECD highlights low regulatory burden in Irish economy
One aspect of the transformation of the Irish economy in recent years has been the degree to which Ireland has increased its competitiveness relative to European and other OECD countries by the lightness of its product market regulation. Sean D. Barrett comments.
House prices: McLoughlin riposte to Slattery
William Slattery's article in February's Finance on private sector credit growth and house prices provoked a sustained debate in the media. The strongest contrary view came from Dr Dan McLoughlin of ABN AMRO Stockbrokers who wrote an initial riposte in his weekly 'Trader' note, and published a longer analysis of house prices with his colleague, Eamonn Hughes, provocatively titled - 'Housing in Ireland - cheap at the price'. The following was McLoughlin's analysis directly following Slattery's article.
Corporate finance advisers bullish on technology, more cautious on restructuring
For this year’s special focus on Mergers and Acquisitions, Finance has carried out an opinion survey among corporate finance advisers on market developments in Mergers and Acquisitions, MBOs, and other corporate finance transactions. The answers together capture present thinking among Ireland’s corporate finance advisers on important topics such as sources of new finance, valuations, best deal structures, corporate restructuring and the degree of risk aversion among Irish management.
Early stage acquisitions and MBOs to dominate in telecoms
In which areas do you expect most M&A activity among Irish companies in the coming 12 months, by industry sector; by deal type; by value of deals?
Investment managers concentrate on strong fundamentals
While the rationale for corporate restructuring and M&A among small cap stocks is strong, the difficulty in predicting which companies will restructure means the focus should be on fundamentals, writes Lenny McLoughlin.
Sources of finance for M&A
Please rank in order of importance the sources of new funds for M&A/corporate finance transactions of the type covered by this survey
Apart from telecoms, Irish private companies estimated to be worth nine times earnings
What is your estimate of the P/E of Irish private companies, based on private corporate finance activity you have seen in the last 12 months?
Opinion divided over trigger for restructuring
What could most likely trigger a wave of corporate restructuring in Irish second line stocks?
BT-ESAT most admired deal
Apart from deals your firm has been involved in, which deal of 1999 - early 2000 do you most admire and why?
International interest in technology and large deals
What is the level of international interest in Irish M&A deals and what are its characteristics?
Irish management ‘risk comfortable’
How would you characterise Irish management’s attitude to risk in relation to corporate finance deals at present (from ‘over-cautious’ to ‘too risk seeking’) ?
‘M&A.com’ new name for corporate finance
“We have a history of losses, expect to incur future losses and may never achieve profitability...” (CacheFlow Inc. NASDAQ Prospectus). So why is a company like this worth US$4.4bn?, asks Michael Flynn
Critical success factors for international deals
Gerard Flood writes that integrated pre-deal planning is even more critical in cross-border deals, and cautions that operational details should not get left behind in the attention on deal structuring.
Opportunities and difficulties in ‘Public Take Private’ as solution to undervaluation
While the undervaluation of Irish stocks provides an opening for MBOs and going private, relatively few companies are likely to be able to meet the tests of a worthwhile deal, writes Adrian Shanaher
Tax rates for land
The Finance Bill 2000 implements the latest attempt to use taxation to cool the housing market. Complex legislation complements a complex structure.
Property tax incentives
The Finance Bill has unveiled yet another renewal scheme - this time for small towns. It joins several renewal schemes in the Brussels limboland, fully announced but only half operational. The big surprise is in the small print.
Individualisation arrives
The controversial individualisation proposal of the budget has been reduced to boring technical detail in the Finance Bill. So too has the post-budget IEP3,000 sweetener designed to placate the more numerous voting sex.
Equity markets and tennis balls
After a day bouncing around the world’s equity markets, John Reynolds, head of equity research and strategy at NCB, spends the evening on the court.
Good theory, little use
Danny Kitchen reviews Dividend Policy - its impact on firm value by Ronald C Lease (editor) et al, Harvard Business School Press, 1999.
Who’s who in Finance: Declan Cantwell, Chief Financial Officer, ebeon
Who's who in Finance: Richard Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, IFG Group plc
Who’s who in Finance: Donal O'Reilly, Finance & Administration Director, Guinness Ireland Group
Who’s who in Finance: R Peter Butler, Director Area Offices, Anglo Irish Bank plc
Wild geese
Q&A with two of Ireland’s financial wild geese who now work in Hong Kong and Australia respectively
Acquisitions: synergies must be realised, not assumed
Bryan Evans writes that a disciplined process helps companies be part of the minority of acquirors which capture value by acquisitions
LBOs - funding, sources and cost
This is a good time for leveraged buy-outs, with a variety of funding structures and different cost levels to consider, writes Peter Coyne.
‘Value at Risk’ useful, but beware the pitfalls
Tony Morley, winner of the treasury FTI Award for Excellence for 1999, writes that Value at Risk is a first order approximation for possible losses from adverse financial risk, but the numbers cannot be taken directly at face value without understanding the assumptions and flaws of the model.
Beta and the Capital Asset Pricing Model
Possibly one of the biggest practical issues facing finance professionals, and especially portfolio managers, is to develop a means of assessing the risk-return trade-off for a security, or a portfolio as a whole.
Already bad at mega-mergers, banks face ‘take-no-prisoners’ newcomers
UCD's Professor Anthony Hourihan told the World Economic Forum that few banks have a proven competence at merger execution and the internet is a poweful force for 'creative destruction' of traditional banking. The following is an edited version of his remarks.
Dividend witholding tax improved - Revenue
Following consultations and lobbying, the Finance Bill 2000 proposes significant changes to dividend withholding tax, writes Philip Brennan.
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