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Finance Magazine - March 2005 Issue

 
Finance Bill brings surprise for industry
Amendments to the Finance Bill will have far reaching implications for the financial services industry. The new measures will lead to an increase in the tax payable by Irish resident policy holders, while, according to its detractors, increasing unnecessarily the administrative burden on non-resident policy holders.
Ireland issues $500 million bond
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has just priced its first dollar bond in ten years, taking advantage of an arbitrage opportunity.
KPMG sets up Irish tax centre in US
KPMG has established an Ireland Tax Centre of Excellence in New York, which will assist and advise U.S. companies that currently have or are planning operations in Ireland. The Centre of Excellence will also provide tax services to Ireland-based companies with investment interests in the United States. Pat O‚€ôBrien, a tax partner with the Ireland member firm of KPMG International, has been appointed head of the Centre and will be based in KPMG‚€ôs New York office.
Corporates choose PIKs
Two of Ireland‚€ôs largest private corporates, Jefferson Smurfit and Ardagh Glass, have both issued callable payment in kind (PIK) issues in the past month.
ISE readies ISEQ 20 launch
The first Irish Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), the ISEQ¨20, looks set for a March launch, pending approval from the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA).
Bank of Ireland involved in Qatar gas financing
Bank of Ireland has entered the international resource underwriting market as part of a 36-strong group facilitating the funding of a gas scheme in Qatar that has been hailed as the largest project financing scheme on record.
More options for investors is welcome
The forthcoming launch of Ireland‚€ôs first Exchange-traded fund (ETF) will be warmly welcomed by investors, both institutional and retail (see pThe forthcoming launch of Ireland‚€ôs first Exchange-traded fund (ETF) will be warmly welcomed by investors, both institutional and retail. (see page 1, 11) age 1, 11).
Demand for Dublin office space rises
Demand for office space in Dublin soared in 2004, rising 21 per cent on the year, marking the best performance of the market since the boom year of 1998, according to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle.
Sarb-Ox compliance postponed by a year
Irish companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been granted an extra year by the SEC to comply with the S.404 requirements of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, a decision that has been welcomed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI).
AIB opens Paris office
AIB Capital Markets has established a new European Real Estate Finance operation, headquartered in Paris, to build upon its lucrative corporate banking activities in a market that saw ‚ā¨10 billion worth of business last year and offers significant growth opportunities.
Jobs in hedge funds abound
As Dublin‚€ôs reputation as the leading European centre for hedge fund servicing continues to grow, so too do the number of positions available in this sector, with expansion plans by PFPC and IFS leading to significant demand for appropriate candidates.
Dublin‚€ôs financial services future on agenda at Finance Dublin April conference
The Minister for Finance and EU Commissioner McCreevy will address over 250 delegates at the 6th Annual Finance Dublin Conference to be held in Dublin Castle on Tuesday April 5th and Wednesday April 6th.
FEXCO continues to target new international markets
Global payments company FEXCO has come a long way since it first established itself as a VAT refund operation in 1981, and now has operations in Finland, Malta and Australia, to name just a few locations. Declan Byrne describes its international strategy and discusses the challenges and opportunities FEXCO met along the way.
PPPs offer untapped potential if problems resolved
The Public Private Partnership model has not caught on to the extent initially envisaged in Ireland. Michael Flynn writes that there is untapped potential in this investment vehicle but a number of problems need to be resolved.
Finance Bill imposes extra tax burden on resident assurance policyholders
New measures contained in the Finance Bill 2005 surprised the life assurance industry by changing the definition of a chargeable event for policies linked to funds. Jim Murphy writes that this will increase the tax payable by Irish resident policy holders, while increasing unnecessarily the administrative burden on non-resident policy holders.
Private equity industry looks strong but tax challenges loom
The private equity industry looks to be booming across Europe, but Terry O'Driscoll writes that a number of tax issues need to be addressed if the future growth of the industry is not to be undermined and the levels of returns for investors not significantly lowered.
EU Transparency Directive to enhance interim reporting
The introduction of the EU‚€ôS Transparency Directive into Irish legislation over the next two years will require major changes in how corporates report their performance in line with the IFRS standard on interim reporting, with the addition of interim management statements to current reporting requirements, and increased management responsibility for interim reporting in line with corporate governance standards, writes Brendan Sheridan.
Compensation is not guaranteed when dismissed unfairly
Any employee, regardless of the industry they work in, who feels they have been unfairly sacked has the right to bring a case for unfair dismissal before the Employment Appeals Tribunal, writes John Doyle, but large compensation awards are not guaranteed.
Banking industry welcomes Cowen‚€ôs first Finance Bill
There may have been no radical measures in Finance Minister Brian Cowen‚€ôs first Finance Bill but the clarification of a number of technical concerns put forward by the banking industry has been welcomed by the Irish Bankers Federation, although Cathrine Burke writes that issues still remain to be addressed.
Debate on tax harmonisation is missing the point
Debate on the controversial topic of tax harmonisation has missed some key points, according to Mike Hayes and Antra Bhargava, who argue that not only are there many factors to consider when assessing relative tax burdens, but that the newly enlarged EU is most certainly not ready for harmonisation of corporate tax.
European covered bonds - how to find value in today‚€ôs market
The launch of Irish covered bonds in 2003 spurred Irish investors to allocate to this asset class, and Ireland is now one of the biggest centres for covered bond investors in Europe. After two years of outperformance of these bonds, and with a host of new countries entering the market including Italy and Norway, spreads versus government bonds and swaps have now reached historically tight levels. So where can investors find value? Ralf Grossman recommends selective bond picking, and participation in selected primary market transactions.
Banking industry welcomes Cowen‚€ôs first Finance Bill
There may have been no radical measures in Finance Minister Brian Cowen‚€ôs first Finance Bill but the clarification of a number of technical concerns put forward by the banking industry has been welcomed by the Irish Bankers Federation, although Cathrine Burke writes that issues still remain to be addressed.
Picking property in emerging markets - Dubai
Dubai has been getting a lot of attention of late, with many Irish investors looking to follow in David Beckham and Michael Owen's footsteps by purchasing in the Palm development (pictured) where prices for the final phase of three bedroom apartments start at ‚ā¨523,000. But investors should do their research before buying in an Arab country, and one way to get exposure to the market, without incurring the risks involved in purchasing, is by doing so through a property fund.
Key stability on the $306.5 billion global ETF market
The global Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) market continues to grow, with nine new ETFs launched in January - four in Israel, three in Europe and two in the US. A further sixty new ETFs are planned this year - fourteen in Europe (including the first Irish ETF), forty-four in the US and two in China, says Deborah Fuhr.
First Irish exchange-traded fund opens up new market for Irish investors
Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) have taken the world‚€ôs financial markets by storm in recent years with billions currently invested in a range of funds spanning all the major global stock markets. And now, for the first time, an ETF that has been designed to track the performance of the Irish equity market is about to be launched on the Irish Stock Exchange, writes Peter Duff.
‚€ėNobody went broke taking a profit‚€ô
Paul Guest is head of the premier trading desk in Davy‚€ôs Private Client division. The desk provides an institutional style trading service which is tailored to meet the needs of high net worth clients who are interested in active trading rather than long-term investment portfolios.
Who‚€ôs who in Finance: David Reid, Financial Controller, Data Electronics
 
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