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Finance Magazine - April 2007 Issue

Deals of the year 2007: Aer Lingus and Eircom amongst groundbreaking deals
Some of the largest deals ever transacted in the Irish market are recognised in this year's FINANCE 'Deals of the Year' 2007, including Riverdeep's $4.5 billion reverse takeover of Houghton Mifflin, Ulster Bank's €3.9 billion securitisation and Babcock & Brown's €2.4 billion acquisition of Eircom. This year's awards also acknowledge new developments such as the first securitisation of non-conforming mortgages in the Start deal, as well as deal types we haven't seen for some years - such as the Aer Lingus flotation, which was the first privatisation since 1999 and the first listing on the Irish Stock Exchange in over two years. Click here to see all the winners
Investors move out of cash
Continuing low interest rates on offer for cash unit-linked products saw net flows into cash by retail investors fall by €255 million in 2006. In 2005, E106 million was invested in such products. This is according to the Irish Association of Investment Managers' (IAIM) tenth Annual Survey of Investment Trends in the Irish retail funds market.
M&A deals treble in first quarter
Property and private company deals are set to drive growth in the Irish mergers and acquisitions market in 2007.
'All-time high' for commercial property
Demand is at an all-time high in the Dublin office market, with letting activity up 31 per cent in the capital year-on-year.
Transatlantic summit held in Dublin
Dublin hosted the a transatlantic summit - the first in Europe to discuss the ongoing regulatory agenda behind the creation of greater trade in financial services between the EU and the USA as SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins was joined at the Finance Dublin 8th Annual Conference by his European counterpart, Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. The commissioners were joined by Andrew Crockett, president of JPMorgan International and Bob Wigley, chairman of Merrill Lynch EMEA in a discussion on the development of greater trade in financial services between the EU and the USA.
Comments from the editor
Environment issues increasingly on the agenda
Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues are gaining momentum in terms of investor interest, delegates were told at the annual Mercer Investment Consulting conference which was held in Dublin on March 29th.
ING joins Irish Stock Exchange
ING Wholesale Banking, a business line of the Dutch ING Group, has become a member of the Irish Stock Exchange and primary dealer on the Irish government bond market.
CPDO for Pioneer
Pioneer Investments, the Dublin based asset manager, has transacted its first managed constant proportion debt obligation (CPDO) with Lehman Brothers.
Ireland's dealmakers are recognised in annual awards
This year's FINANCE 'Deals of the Year' once more recognise the role the deal makers and deal advisers played in the Irish corporate finance and capital markets over the past year.
Doing its bit for the Celtic Tiger: Competition Authority is getting more aggressive in tackling mergers head-on
Paku Khan reviews the work of the Competition Authority in 2006, which saw the number of merger notifications increase by 17 per cent. The Authority only blocked one transaction in 2006, the proposed acquisition of Xtratherm by Kingspan.
New act has some welcome aspects
Following the enactment of the Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Acts 2006, Abigail St. John Kennedy summarises the main points of this act, including the improvements made in relation to the audit exemption for small companies, and the paving of the way for regulations introducing mandatory dematerialisation of the securities of Irish listed and unlisted PLCs.
Tracking an exchange - a cheaper way to achieve stellar returns
This month marks the second anniversary of the launch of the ISEQ 20 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), the first ETF of its kind in Ireland. Since its launch the product, which offers low-cost exposure to the Irish market, has performed well and is up about 50 per cent on its initial price. With plans afoot to launch other ETF products for Irish investors on the Irish Stock Exchange, Brian Healy and Niall Gibney explain ETFs and their benefits to investors
Property stamp duty proposals need reconsideration
Stamp duty provisions relating to resting on contract, licences and agreements for lease were introduced in the late stages of the Finance Act. These provisions, if implemented, will be damaging to the interests of parties involved in property development transactions. The industry now needs to make urgent representations in this regard.
Salvage the remittance basis
The European Commission ('EC') has requested that Ireland amend its remittance basis legislation. It is important that this recommendation be followed. However this should not precipitate further damage to what remains of the remittance basis following its needless curtailment in 2006.
Stamp duty changes on securities transactions
The Finance Act heralded a fundamental and welcome change in the stamp duty regime governing securities transactions. This followed a useful process of consultation with industry prior to the introduction of legislation.
A Day in the Life: Tom McAleese Managing Director of Barclays Bank
As managing director of Barclays Bank Ireland plc, Tom McAleese is responsible for managing and growing the bank's presence in Ireland. On a daily basis, this involves identifying new business opportunities, keeping up to date with all of the bank's various departments, dealing with the firm's corporate profile and meeting with potential job candidates.
People on the move
A brief look at some recent appointments in Ireland's financial sector
So you've made a million - what next?
As Ireland's wealthy grow both in prominence and numbers, a new book has been launched aimed at advising the fortunate on how to manage their hard-earned cash.
Dealing with the continuing price volatility of oil
Asset prices can be prone to large movements, and this year we have seen this in equity prices and commodity prices, including oil. Recent volatility of around 2 per cent per day in oil prices has led to uncertainty for treasurers and asset managers. Professor John Cotter and Jim Hanly recommend the use of futures and forwards to reduce and indeed eliminate financial risk in the short term.
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