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Finance Magazine - March 2004 Issue

Covered bond market to grow to €50 billion as new issuer joins
Bank of Ireland’s intention to issue €10 billion in asset covered securities over the next 4/5 years has given a boost to the Irish asset covered securities market, which is currently the third largest in Europe, (See adjacent graph which shows Ireland's share of the European covered bond market, year to date) with the overall size of the market predicted to grow to €50 billion.
The financial instruments standards
The revisions to IAS 32 and IAS 39 published in December 2003 include consequential amendments to IFRS 1, First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. John McDonnell looks at the implications of the amendments.
ISE to launch first Irish ETF
The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) is currently working with three other entities on launching an exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will comprise of a basket of fifteen of the most liquid equities traded on the Irish market. It is expected that this first ETF will be traded within six months.
Dublin - an emerging centre
With increasing advancements in technology, hedge funds no longer have to operate in the main centres, and Dublin is emerging as a new management centre.
Nominations for ‘Deal of the Year’ 2004
Ireland’s leading corporate financiers have nominated a selection of the most significant deals of 2003/2004 for the annual ‘Deal of the Year’ award, which will be announced in next month’s issue.
Another new member on the Irish Stock Exchange
Susquehanna International Securities Limited, the Dublin based market-making firm, has been admitted as a new member firm of the ISE.The company will deal with market professionals on a principal basis, and will also carry out market making activities in nine Irish securities on ISE Xetra, the Exchange's electronic trading platform. Susquehanna has become the second firm this year to join the ISE, following on from Pershing International Securities’ membership last month.
A worthwhile project
The announcement this month that Bank of Ireland is to join DEPFA Bank and WestLB in issuing asset covered securities is a welcome development for this new market, which continues to go from strength to strength. (See page 1)
EU initiative needed to solve regulatory gap in indemnity insurance
There exists a major regulatory anomaly in Ireland in respect of Medical Indemnity/Insurance contracts Professor Ray Kinsella writes. Unless it is addressed, in terms of legislation and regulatory process, it will constitute a threat, not alone to the patient but, also, to the wider public interest.
Audit committee guide
PricewaterhouseCoopers has launched an Audit Committees Best Practice Guide, which is intended to provide audit committees with details of best practice on areas such as audit committee organisation,the role to be played in overseeing internal control processes and financial reporting,managing the internal and external audit relationships and communicating the committee’s activities to the relevant stakeholders. It also includes guidance on the issue of reviewing audit committee effectiveness.
New centre for Institute of Bankers
The Institute of Bankers in Ireland, the professional education body for banking and financial services with a membership of over 20,000, has opened a new education centre in the IFSC, aimed at educating bankers to the highest international standards.
Groups to work on implementation of ISD II
The Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) has been charged with advising the Commission on possible technical measures, or Level 2 measures, to implement the proposed Financial Instruments Markets Directive (FIM), which will revise the existing Investment Services Directive (ISD).
Flow of new jobs in hedge funds continues
This month we introduce a new column - ‘Top Jobs in Finance’ in which we shall review employment trends and opportunities for senior staff in financial services, and in finance generally. A number of international financial services companies ramped up their recruiting drives in March, with jobs in hedge funds, securitisation and aviation finance featuring. If you have a job, or if you are recruiting for a significant top job which you think should be profiled here please contact us with the details (email: topjobs@finance-magazine.com).
Deal of the Year 2004: Eircom�s �3.4 billion IPO leads the deals in 2004�s M&A directory
The telecommunications company eircom has gone against the trend of companies de-listing, by going public on March 19th, and in doing so, becoming the first IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange since 2000. However, the other top deals of the past 12 months as selected by Ireland�s leading corporate financiers the acquisition of First Active by Royal Bank of Scotland, and the management buy-out (MBO) of Riverdeep are further examples of companies either going, or being taken, private.
FINEX Europe and the seed capital regime: an update
While the operation of the FINEX seed capital scheme has been extended to December, it is still subject to EU approval, and although more Irish traders may now be able to avail of the scheme, the critical mass of FINEX traders that the FINEX seed capital scheme hoped to attract may not now be achieved writes Gary O’Mahony.
New course aims to educate graduates in more sophisticated financial products
Responding to the Government’s desire to create a more front-office oriented international financial services sector, the University of Limerick has created a masters programme aimed at equipping graduates with the necessary technical skills for specialised fund-management, hedge-fund and proprietary trading / capital markets operations, Bernard Murphy writes.
Getting the story right
Ita Gibney details the media strategy behind Royal Bank of Scotland’s acquisition of First Active, and how it played a role in contributing to the success of the transaction.
IAS 19 - the 'employee benefits standard' - implications for Irish multinationals
From 2005, all companies listed on a European Union stock exchange will be required to report their employee benefit costs in accordance with the international accounting standard IAS19. Philip Collins and Ciaran McGrath examine the key issues to be considered by Irish (and indeed all EU-based) companies and multinationals when preparing a process to adopt and annually report the retirement pension aspects of IAS19.
Advice to CFOs: don’t fail to find failure in the supply chain
The financial performance and overall success of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and distributors may depend heavily on the effectiveness and reliability of their supply chains. Here, Kieran McHugh discusses the less obvious potential disruptions that can be as devastating to a firm as more familiar catastrophes like fire and flood.
New client money rules to impact on investment intermediaries, stockbrokers and fund administrators
Two recent High Court cases involving MMI and W&R Morrogh, an investment management firm and a stockbroking firm respectively, which each resulted in the loss of client assets and payments by the Investor Compensation Company, have necessitated a review of existing client money requirements by IFSRA. Following a long period of consultation with interested parties new client money rules will be issued shortly to replace the original Client Money Rules issued in 1996 write Paula Kelleher and Orla Beaton. The New Rules will be contained within a revised IFSRA Handbook and there will be a 6-month transitional period before the requirements come into force.
Accenture’s ‘showcase’ goes from strength to strength
Accenture set up its European shared service centre in Dublin in 1999. Five years on the centre has become increasingly critical to the company’s finance operations, and has added several new value added functions such as controllership, procurement and alliance utilisation, Kevin Graham writes.
New competition?
On May 1 2004 Malta and Cyprus will become full members of the EU. Both states have ambitions to become international financial services centres. Their taxation systems support this ambition.
DIRT problems?
Recent decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have struck down thin capitalisation rules, cast doubts on the legality of aspects of deposit interest retention tax, and struck down exit charges on changing residence. Further judgements are likely to strike down controlled foreign company legislation and denial of relief for overseas losses.
Minimising VAT in financial services
In the EU VAT is a significant cost for the financial services industry. Because most financial services are treated as exempt from VAT, the financial service industry is largely treated as a ‘final consumer’ for VAT purposes, and forced to bear the VAT cost. Banks, insurance companies, brokers, fund managers, all need to pay attention to minimising their VAT cost.
Key investment terms
Mercer Investment Consulting present an ‘investment dictionary’ of terms commonly used in investment management. Part one A-N.
A Day in the Life of an equity analyst
Stuart Draper, head of research at Dolmen Securities, describes how a typical day involves providing analysis and views on the main events affecting the share prices of Irish publicly quoted companies.
Who’s who in Finance: Gerry Ryan, Head of HR Service Delivery and Pension Fund Administrator, Eircom Ltd
Ireland seeking Oscar for ‘best holding company location’
With Ireland’s newly introduced holding company tax regime beginning to generate interest amongst multinationals, Evelyn Forde compares the other ‘nominees’ in this category, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and assesses Ireland’s chance of ‘winning’ business away from these jurisdictions.
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