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Finance Magazine - November 2003 Issue

€3bn issued in October
It has been a busy month for the burgeoning Irish asset covered security market with two new issues from WestLB and DEPFA Bank.
Pensions Directive to benefit Ireland
Ireland is among the European countries set to capitalise on the recent EU pensions directive, according to a report by business information company Datamonitor.
Banks line up to issue CDs, as market forecast to explode
A number of Irish banks are looking at issuing CDs following legislative changes in the last Finance Act.
Davy is overall winner but Goodbody performs strongly
Davy Stockbrokers has emerged as the overall winner of the 2003 FINANCE Stockbroking Survey, winning the most categories, but the other brokers, Merrion, NCB and most notably Goodbody, also put in good performances. The honour of most-improved stockbroking firm however, goes to Goodbody, who put in a sterling performance this year to win a host of categories, including repeat winner Colin Hunt for 'Best Research Economist', and 'Analyst of the Year' which went to buiding materials analyst Robert Eason.
Challenge will be to restore competitiveness - The various submissions made by the financial services industry associations to Minister for FINANCE Charlie McCreevy in advance of the Budget 2004, and which are reported on to some extent in this issue all have a common message.
National inconsistencies need to be overcome for pan-European banking industry to develop
In his discussion of the role of the Eurosystem in financial markets at the recent ACI Financial Markets dinner, Professor Eugenio Domingo Solans highlighted the importance of overcoming the inconsistencies which remain between national legislation. These inconsistencies, says Solans, such as the heterogeneity of bankruptcy laws and the absence of a Directive on takeover bids, continue to hamper the full integration of the financial system, and the development of a European banking industry.
FSI urges McCreevy to restore competitiveness
The finance industry’s main representative association, Financial Services Ireland (FSI), has warned against any increases in taxation that would adversely affect its members in Budget 2004.
Greencore raises $302mn
Greencore, the Irish food and agribusiness plc, has completed a private placement of $302 million in senior notes with nine institutional investors.
AIB signs outsourcing agreement with ABN AMRO
Deal will result in first online package for trade finance.
HIM to stay
Hibernian Investment Managers (HIM) Irish office is to retain key investment activities despite loosing the management of international equities to London. Hibernian is one of Ireland’s largest asset managers with control of almost seven billion euro worth of assets.
Minister warns institutions to be aware of regulatory risk
The Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, has warned financial institutions of the risks posed by changes in financial regulation.
New MP at Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox has appointed Padraig O’Riordain as the new managing partner of the firm. He succeeds Eugene McCague, who will resume fulltime practice in the firm’s Corporate Department.
COMIT signs agreement
The Irish owned arm of Swiss IT consultancy, COMIT Gruppe, has signed a partnership with Business Objects, a provider of business intelligence.
Solans attends ACI dinner
Eugenio Domingo Solans, executive board member of the ECB spoke on the subject of stability in financial systems at the recent dinner event held by ACI Ireland.
Venture capitalists against Companies Bill
The Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA), Michael Murphy, has cautioned against a number of proposed legal, accounting and regulatory changes that could hinder the growth of the venture capital industry, despite signs of optimism in the market and the IVCA having €325 million available for investment.
O’Briain new head of IAIM
Ruth O’Briain, managing director of F&C Ireland, has been appointed chairman of the Irish Association of Investment Managers.
Borrowers need to manage their relationships, but must also look out for new lenders
Julian van Kan and Simon Alloca offer advice to corporates considering raising funds via a syndicated loan.
European syndicated loan market is now worth over €600bn
Increased demand for corporate borrowing has meant a proliferation of debt instruments over the past twenty years. Vanilla debt financing, such as syndicated loans, however, continues to prove a resilient means of tapping the market for liquidity writes Bill Fish.
European LBO volume continues to increase
In this overview of the European leveraged loans and CDO funds market, market participant AIB Acquisition Finance, which to date has issued three CDOs of leveraged loans, explains why and how AIB got into this market.
Financial reporting – the European highway
Time is running out on preparations for the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards in 2005 writes Brendan Sheridan. While listed companies need to step up a gear to make the deadline, the future remains uncertain for Irish non-listed entities, as the Government has yet to decide whether to extend the application of IFRS to non-listed entities or to retain the currently adopted standards.
Over-regulation - fact or fiction?
While company directors are increasingly arguing that the increased emphasis new regulations such as the Companies Bill is placing on their role is a bad thing, Fiona Delahunty says that increased director responsibility can only be good for a company and its stakeholders.
MBOs forecast to increase in 2004 as funding remains plentiful
Activity levels in the Irish management buy-out (MBO) market looks likely to remain strong into 2004 writes Gervaise McAteer (pictured right) driven by the strong availability of funding.whilst traditional M&A activity may have slowed, market conditions are ideal for management buy-outs (MBOs). This is clearly evident from the level of activity in the market with seven public to private transactions with a combined capital value of EUR 5.4 billion completed in the twelve-month period to August 2003, pushing Ireland to the forefront of European buy-out surveys.
Irish private banks to exceed growth of European counterparts
With new money the key source of Irish wealth, Muriel Moroney and Denis Cremins predict that the growth rates for revenues and assets under management for the next three years for Irish private banks will be well in excess of the growth rates predicted for their UK and European counterparts.
Wish lists
The main players in the pre-budget lobby game have now published their submissions to the Minister for Finance. There is a lack of consensus and no major widely supported themes emerge. The range of demands also seems modest compared to previous years, and a defeatist air can be detected in them.
Squeezing employment
The extension of PAYE and PRSI to benefits-in-kind is scheduled for 1 January 2004. The present indications are that it will not be postponed. Not all employers know that they are facing additional tax cost, administrative costs and confusion, and potential industrial relations problems.
Budget issues
Elsewhere there is a summary of the advice given to the Minister from outside the Civil Service, in the framing of his budget. There are other issues known to be under consideration. Some will be acted on, some kicked into a 'consultation' waiting room, and others ducked.
Glossary of securitisation terms
Here is our selection of the most commonly used terms in securitsation transactions.
First Active’s diversified funding strategy
With credit growing increasing rapidly in Ireland, financial institutions are increasingly turning to the capital markets for funding. No stranger to this is First Active, who this year alone raised funds via the syndicated loan market, by issuing private placements off its MTN programme, by securitisation, and by raising sub-ordinated debt, Gerry Murray reports.
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