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Finance Magazine - November 2004 Issue

 
Government silent as EU gives green light to renewal of BES and Seed Capital Schemes
Despite the absence of any reference to the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) in the Budget, the Government has been given the green light to renew this key initiative as well as the Seed Capital Scheme (SCS) until 2006, and probably longer, by the European Commission. However, the scheme which allowed traders on FINEX to avail of tax breaks will finish at the end of the year.
Irish film financing industry develops
The growth of film financing under Section 481 has led to the emergence of a pool of expertise in film financing that, while initially focused on Ireland based productions, is now being used for international projects. Irish institutions such as Anglo Irish Bank, AIB and Bank of Ireland are active in the film financing sector. Among the projects to benefit from this financing was The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino.
New BIAM CEO faces challenge
Bank of Ireland Asset Management (BIAM) has appointed a new chief executive, Kevin Dolan, at a time when it, alongside a number of other of Ireland‚€ôs largest fund managers, struggle to grow their businesses. Figures compiled by FINANCE in the course of its 2004 Stockbroking Survey indicate that overall assets under management by Ireland‚€ôs indigenous fund management sector have barely grown for most of the year.
Profile: Farrell Grant Sparks, Ireland's 'most efficient accountancy firm'
This year, the annual FINANCE Accountancy Survey calculated the most efficient accountancy firm in Ireland. With each of its staff members generating income of ‚ā¨127,273, Farrell Grant Sparks (FGS) emerged as the most efficient firm. Joint managing partner Pearse Farrell details the secrets of this success.
A ‚€ėfirst world‚€ô economy and finance sector
International Monetary Fund managing director, Rodrigo de Rato, has defined four criteria for a country to have a first world economy. The first is transparency in policy making, the second is a strong financial sector, the third is well developed capital markets and the fourth is a flexible foreign exchange policy.
McCreevy shows early promise as Commissioner for Finance
The EU's new Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has signalled a let-up in new financial services legislation, reassuring Members of the European Parliament that he would take account of the legislative 'fatigue' experienced by the sector. Fiona Murray reports on the Commissioner's early days in his new Brussels post.
Elan raises $1.15bn
Elan Pharmaceuticals this month issued $1.15 billion in loan notes, well ahead of the $850 million it had previously announced it intended to sell.
Banking industry backs IFSRA strategy
Individual banks have refused to make their feelings known on the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority‚€ôs (IFSRA) recent strategy document, but the industry's representative body, the Irish Bankers Federation (IBF), has welcomed the general trend of the plan, although it has stressed that some significant issues remain to be resolved.
Money market funds portal comes to Ireland
Corporate treasurers and portfolio managers can now access a number of different money market funds through an institutional money fund portal. Run by Institutional Cash Distributors (ICD), the portal offers access to number of different offshore funds including Bank of America Global Liquidity US Dollar Fund, and the SsgA Cash Management GBP Fund.
Directors in dark on non-financial info
Most board directors and executives need more non-financial information on how well their companies are satisfying customers, delivering quality products and services, operating with efficient processes, and developing new products and services, according to a new report conducted on behalf of Deloitte by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Dublin Brent oil trading tops record in first month
The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) traded 95,435 contracts in its first month of operation in Dublin, topping the previous record of 49,565 contracts when the futures contract was introduced in 2001.
Treasurers seek out structured products
Structured derivatives, conditional forward contracts, and callable range accruals are all products now used regularly by Ireland‚€ôs corporate treasurers to hedge against risk.
The role of CESR in enforcing accounting standards
The new IFRS accounting standards must be in use by 2005 but some companies have paid little attention so far to their implementation while many others are in the early stages of planning for transition. Brendan Sheridan looks at the key role of the Committee of European Securities Regulators in ensuring that throughout Europe enforcement processes are in place to ensure IFRS standards are appropriately implemented in 2005.
Irish banks need to win back the trust of their staff if they are to succeed
The Irish banking sector is being undermined by the erosion of trust and a lack of respect for staff, according to Professor Ray Kinsella, who looks at what needs to be done to restore the balance between ethics and success.
Careers in finance and financial services: Profile of an actuary
An aptitude for mathematics is a primary skill required for anyone considering a career as an actuary, but the need for this is sometimes over-stated with many professionals coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, including theology and physics, says Brona McGee, head of Royal Liver‚€ôs actuarial division.
The road to becoming an actuary is long but rewarding
Becoming an actuary isn‚€ôt easy, writes Duncan Robertson, and it takes on average seven years to qualify. Following this, qualified actuaries are expected to demonstrate Continuous Professional Development (CFD), and to continue their education.
The success of the Irish film industry depends on innovative financing and improving services
Ireland‚€ôs film industry has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, but according to Lucy Conran, who was involved in the financing of the forthcoming ‚€ėPhantom of the Opera‚€ô, the sector must improve its service offering and make innovative use of financing options if it is to continue prospering.
Investing in ‚€ėla vie francaise‚€ô is not as easy as it seems
Buying property in France is becoming increasingly popular with Irish investors, writes John Crawley, but potential investors need to be aware that it is not as easy an undertaking as it would seem. Not only is the purchase process different but the tax, legal and financing consequences need to be thought out.
What do we want? We want ---
An analysis of advice to the Minister for Finance in the framing of Finance Bill 2005 shows widespread support for increasing the standard rate tax band and tax credits and increasing the exemption limit for PRSI and health levies. These is also cross-sectional support for credits for child care for working parents, and there is a widespread focus on Local Authority charges and rates.
Budgetary baptism
The new Minister may find that proposals rejected (rightly) by his predecessor are re presented to him prior to the budget. The Minister should reject these proposals. The Minister might also consider correcting some of the errors made by his predecessor who, notwithstanding that he was an excellent Minister, did adopt some poor measures.There are also new landmines being prepared which the Minister would do well to sidestep.
EU institutions ‚€‘ at a glance
With Charlie McCreevy soon to take up his new role as European Commissioner for the Internal Markets, and two of Ireland's Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Eoin Ryan and Gay Mitchell, sitting on the Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Ireland's role and influence in the EU is increasing. But what is the difference between the Commission and the Parliament? FINANCE the opportunity to look at the structure and roles of the various European Union institutions.
Meetings, scones and Christmas parties‚€¶
Mon O‚€ôDriscoll, managing director of AIB Corporate Finance, may be able to avoid the worst of Dublin's traffic every morning, but he still spends a packed day dealing with staff recruitment, marketing, winning next year‚€ôs mandates, clients‚€ô needs and a Christmas party - and that's all before a night of entertaining at the Cork Opera House.
Who‚€ôs who in Finance: Donal Corbett, Director, First Active plc/Ulster Bank
 
The CFA publishes code of ethical standards for asset managers
In an effort to boost investor protection, the CFA Institute has put together an asset manager code of professional conduct. The code sets forth global ethical and professional standards for firms managing assets as separate accounts, or pooled funds.
How FGS got to the top of finance‚€ôs efficiency table
In FINANCE's Annual Accountancy Survey 2004, which was published in last month's issue, Farrell Grant Sparks (FGS) emerged as the most efficient accountancy firm, generating more income more staff member than any other firm in the survey. Pearse Farrell talks to Fiona Reddan about the FGS success story.
Pearse Farrell in person
 
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