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Finance Magazine - February 2007 Issue

Irish covered bond issuance to top €10 billion in 2007
The Irish market is set to continue to grow over the coming year, with the possibility of a new issuer, Anglo Irish Bank. Issuance in the Irish asset covered securities (ACS) is expected to total €10 billion in 2007, up from €9.5 billion in 2006, according to a research report from Barclays Capital.
New HQ incentives in Bill
Irish companies will now be able to pool the tax paid by its branches around Europe before they have to pay any Irish tax, which should make Ireland more attractive as a headquartering jurisdiction, following a provision introduced in this year's Finance Bill published on February 1st.
International firms move in to capture Irish HNWI market
The growing number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) is leading to increased interest in this market from international private banking firms. HSBC has become the latest international private banking firm to establish an operation in Ireland, following Citigroup's move into the market through its acquisition of Morgan Stanley Quilter in late 2006.
Grant Thornton looks to financial services
For the first time, professional services firm Grant Thornton has appointed a partner focused on financial services, as the firm looks to benefit from Ireland's booming financial services sector.
The Finance Bill has some attractive aspects but it could be seen in some quarters as not going far enough to reinforce the country's position in IFS.
Green cards for financial services professionals on the way
A new Green card scheme is set to widen the labour pool for recruiters. The new employment permit regime for foreign workers which came into operation on February 1st, is aimed at alleviating the skills shortage certain sectors are facing in Ireland.
Private equity to boost Irish M&A market in 2007
Private equity will be a major driver of growth in the mergers & acquisitions (M&A) market in 2007. Private equity accounted for 18 per cent of all M&A activity in 2006. The increased buying power of private-equity groups, the availability of cheap debt and increasingly aggressive leverage structures' are factors behind the growth.
Largest securitisation deal issued in busy year as new issuer enters market
Ulster Bank has launched the largest Irish securitisation to date raising funds of €3.9 billion, which is one of the largest funding transactions ever undertaken by an Irish institution. The deal, which is the first mortgage-backed securitisation of Ulster Bank mortgages, is one of the largest securitisation transactions in Europe in 2006, and is the first ever multi-currency Irish deal, with bonds issued in euro, sterling and dollars. It is also the first ever Irish bank securitisation transaction to use all three international credit rating agencies (Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch).
Leading lights line up for conference
The line up of speakers for the forthcoming Eighth Annual Finance Dublin Conference, to be held in Dublin Castle on March 26th and 27th, includes some of Europe and the US' most prominent financial markets luminaries.
Win for Better Regulation
Better Regulation, the online provider of information regarding Irish financial services legislation and regulations, has won a tender to produce the Pension Board's online consolidated legislation service.
NTMA issues tender for shareholder services
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has issued a mandate for shareholder engagement and proxy voting services for the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), which the authority manages.
CRD guidelines published
The Financial Regulator has published its requirements and guidelines for credit institutions and investment firms relating to the implementation of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).
Looking for value in the equity market
In the light of recent market wobbles, value shares are all the more needed. Finance magazine asked the award winners of the recent Finance Magazine stockbroking survey what shares are likely the perform over the coming year.
Working in Merrion Stockbrokers
An employer profile of the stockbroking firm Merrion Stockbrokers, recently taken over by the leading Icelandic bank, Landsbanki.
Looking inside IR
In the inaugural FINANCE Investor Relations Survey 2006 published in December, CRH and Paddy Power emerged as winners. Eimear O'Flynn and Jack Massey explain what makes their respective investor relations functions tick.
Strong growth and tight labour supply opens up opportunities
FinanceJobs.ie looks at current trends in the stockbroking and corporate finance jobs market, and finds opportunities are plentiful for experienced professionals.
Recent ECJ judgements have implications for Irish corporation tax rate
The two most recent ECJ judgements on the topic of cross border dividends have implications for Ireland's 25 per cent corporation tax rate. They also extend tax credit entitlement to all foreign dividends and appear to extend an exemption from tax on Irish dividends to non resident corporates, writes Brian Daly.
New regime for VAT on property
The Revenue have published a white paper setting out proposals for a new VAT regime on property. The proposals are designed to simplify the current regime and draft legislation is to be published shortly. It remains to be seen whether simplification will be achieved. Some financial services businesses could be adversely impacted and it is important to plan now for deals maturing after the proposed implementation date (July 2008). The report is open to discussion with the Revenue, an opportunity not to be missed.
EU Commission publishes report on VAT and financial services
The EU Commission has published a report on VAT and the Financial Services industry. Changes may not be imminent but the outline of medium term changes can be seen. The key problems identified by the EU report are obstacles to outsourcing; hidden irrecoverable VAT costs in FS charges to business; competitive distortions due to inconsistent rules; and reduced international competitivness.
Bringing certainty to foreign exchange needs - how to align hedging with corporate needs
Seamus Strappe and Brian Kelleher were asked to examine how a theoretical company could approach its FX hedging strategy over a 12-month period. In this article, they offer some practical advice for financial decision makers, and say that although the pursuit of rate certainty may not always be practical, it can happily co-exist with the various other competing agendas within a business.
Securitisation programme gets off to a good 'start'
Last year Start Mortgages, the specialist provider of non-conforming mortgages in Ireland, transacted two landmark securitisation deals in the Irish market. Deirdre Barry examines how the deals were structured, and the benefits to Start of securitisation as a funding mechanism.
In appreciation Denis O'Connor
Brian Daly pays tribute to Denis O'Connor's contribution to KPMG.
Outlook - Irish mortgage backed issuance to grow
The past year was a very busy one for the Irish securitisation market, with a number of notable issuers entering the market, including Ulster Bank, Start Mortgages and Treasury Holdings. Looking forward to the year ahead, Fergus Gillen, John Cronin & Adrian Farrell write that the Capital Requirements Directive will significantly influence the market, and along with the continued growth of mortgage lending and the appearance of more niche lenders in the market for whom securitisation is a key funding tool, should keep the domestic mortgage backed pipeline full for the next while.
A Day in the Life: Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers
As chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, an early start is all part of the job for Dermot O'Leary, as getting the firm's morning comment out early is a must. The rest of his day is spent meeting both colleagues and clients and giving his perspective on the economic outlook for Ireland.
People on the move.
Some significant changes in finance
Who's Who in finance
A profile of Tadhg O'Sullivan
GAA glory for finance professionals
Two leading lights of Ireland's financial services sector, Kevin O'Neill, business development manager with Mellon Fund administration, and Karol Mannion, a solicitor in Dillon Eustace's financial services group, are also set to shine in the forthcoming gaelic football season.
Credit Agricole joins ISE
Credit Agricole Cheuvreux (CA Cheuvreux), the French full service broker, has joined the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) as a trading member. There are now 30 trading members on the ISE.
A challenge ahead for the regulators as 'too much regulation' is the top banana skin for the second year in a row
The key message coming from banks in this year's 'Banana Skins Survey' is a challenge to the regulators to show that their regulatory processes are delivering not only a robust regulatory framework, but the right balance of cost and benefit, writes Chand Kohli in an analysis of the report which rates banks' main concerns about the financial system over the next two-three years.
Advisers score in buoyant year for M&A
Corporate finance and legal advisers benefited from an upsurge in mergers & acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2006, boosted by an increase in property related deals and greater participation by private equity firms in the Irish market.
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