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Finance Magazine - November 2007 Issue

BOI brings €400m deal to market
Bank of Ireland has launched a securitisation deal, despite the adverse conditions in the market, created by the credit and liquidity crisis. The deal is the first Irish embedded value securitisation deal, and the first open book deal in Europe.
NIB calls for E-Day
National Irish Bank has called on the Government to implement a number of key initiatives to be introduced before an E-Day of November 1st 2008.
Credit crisis impact on private equity to hit M&A
Merger and acquisition activity is likely to be hit in 2008 because of the drying up of private equity deals, due to tightening lending criteria. The credit crisis is expected to impact upon private equity firms’ ability to raise capital to finance deals, paving the way for deals by trade buyers to retake main stage. The deal aims to make more efficient use of the bank’s capital.
Comments from the editor
Companies need to join forces in lobbying campaign
As EU Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs continues to generate more heat behind his campaign to introduce a common basis for corporate taxation in Europe, the Irish financial services industry is being called upon to act together against his efforts.
Bankers call it a day
Two of Ireland’s most prominent bankers are to leave their day jobs to take up new roles in the corporate sector.
Sub-prime backlash would be negative
Despite the word sub-prime being continually linked with the credit and liquidity crisis, a leading US expert on the sub-prime market, Professor Robert Van Order, has said that a backlash against the industry in Ireland would be a bad thing.
Investment in venture capital up 224p.c. in Q3
Young innovative firms in Ireland attracted €29.77 million in venture capital in Q3 2007, according to the Quarterly European Venture Capital Report by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne.
Progress on treaty front
The Revenue Commissioners has agreed double taxation treaties (DTTs) with Macedonia, Moldova, Georgia and Vietnam.
Cowen sets out Government’s perspective on financial sector
Strong acquisition growth in 2007 to continue into 2008 driven by domestic deals
The level of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Ireland has seen strong growth in 2007, with a number of trade and leveraged deals going through. Alan Doherty argues that the strong basics of the Irish economy will continue to attract investors into 2008, but notes that competition in private equity may drop as the availability of credit shrinks.
Funding a bank in a liquidity crisis
Ulster Bank’s funding strategy had a buoyant start to the year, as the bank completed the largest securitisation of residential mortgages ever undertaken by an Irish bank. However, while the bank continues to attract significant amounts of liquidity, the credit crisis during the summer has meant that the cost of that liquidity has increased, writes Donal Corbett, who expects that the liquidity crunch will continue for a number of months.
Super rich can take advantage of liquidity crisis
The credit crisis has drained energy out of the wealth management sector. The one bright spot in the gathering gloom is to be found in the super high net worth arena, where activity is better and brighter than ever, a story that tells us a lot about the different mindsets at play. Expect the negative sentiment to hang over markets for the next few months but on a positive note, writes Brian Turley, chief executive officer of Sorrento Asset Management Ltd., ‘we see this process as eventually signalling a turn for the better’.
Market wobbles cause turbulence in investment sector but Asian opportunities exist
The investment environment has been one of the most turbulent sectors in the light of the credit and liquidity crisis. Jennifer Richards notes the steady decline of the dollar, to trading at $1.44 against the euro on October 31st. She goes on to point out the benefits of investing in two of the world’s emerging powers, India and China.
Moving corporate reporting to the next level
Corporate reports contain many pieces of information that are not accessible and are not benefiting those people the reports were designed for - shareholders and investors. Kevin Egan highlights the reforms proposed in a new report, ‘Report leadership - tomorrow’s reporting today’, which calls for a clearer reporting process that brings investors the information they need.
De-mystifying 130/30 funds
The funds industry has wholeheartedly adopted the so called 130/30 funds industry that has been in the US for the last five years. However, despite the ability to ‘short’ a certain portion of stocks, these funds have offered European investors modest returns to date. Are they really as beneficial as has been claimed?
Cash management banks can offer enhanced value
There is an understandable temptation for fund managers to view their cash management banks as just suppliers of a commoditised service. But the right cash management bank also has expert knowledge that can add considerable business-enhancing value. Bill Wrest highlights how managers can leverage this expertise to their competitive advantage.
D-Day has arrived - MiFID in practice
From November 1st, Irish companies have had to comply with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). For investment firms, the Directive signals significant changes in how they can sell their products, with passporting across the European Union now possible, write Peter Fahy and Patrick Collins.
Credit risk and the pricing of mortgage products
The economic climate has resulted in lenders offering more and more competition to borrowers looking for a mortgage. As the European Central Bank (ECB) has successively raised interest rates, so consumers have begun to see the advantages of switching mortgages. Professor John Cotter argues that, as the economic outlook changes, the key is getting the right price both for the lender to be profitable based on their risk assessment involved and also represent a competitive and attractive price for borrowers.
Distributable profits - how much do we have?
At this time of year, many companies are busy making their final projections of profit for the year, and what will be in the pool of reserves for distribution to their shareholders says Brendan Sheridan. In group situations, companies will also need to focus on what amounts they need to be distributed from their subsidiaries before the year end in order to have sufficient reserves to meet dividend expectations.
Labour supply short of skills
The supply of skilled professionals is still failing to meet demand in Ireland’s financial services industry. Top of the pile is a lack of skilled regulatory and compliance professionals. You can see the number of vacancies in any of these sectors on FinanceJobs.ie.
Growth triggers hiring at KPMG and Deloitte
Two of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms, Deloitte and KPMG, are set to go on a recruitment offensive as they look to hire people at all levels across the country on FINANCEjobs.ie. The accounting industry is continuing to grow at breakneck speed as the big firms hire new staff in an effort to keep up with increasing demand from Irish businesses.
Relating to clients
An understanding of the financial services sector both domestically and internationally is an advantage for anyone looking to enter the financial services market, while continuous development has also helped Rachel Howard to become relationship manager with Barclays Bank Ireland plc.
Counter-offers only a ‘quick fix’
Counter-offers rarely convince Irish employees to remain at a company, according to a recent survey by Robert Walters. In fact, 57 per cent would immediately reject one.
CCCTB - a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Brian Daly questions the stated benefits of European Commission plans to introduce one consolidated EU tax base and urges business leaders to increase their awareness of the real impact of the proposals and assist in the counter-lobby.
VAT abuse - where to now?
Terry O’Neill considers how UK cases concerning VAT abuse are evolving following the principles laid down in the landmark Halifax decision.
Supply and pricing of debt the big issue now
Peter Collins is a Director of Bank of Ireland Private Banking and heads its 25-strong real estate and private equity group. Collins is happy to be dealing in a market where property is ‘re-pricing to a level that is beginning to make a lot of sense again.’
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