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Finance Magazine - February 2008 Issue

Diversify and thrive
Alternative Investment strategies for the Celtic Tiger
The start of a global equities bear market, and the decline in property values both globally and in Ireland has again underlined the value of proper diversification and private wealth risk management. We examine the role of alternative investment strategies for Irish resident investors in a properly diversified portfolio, and their potential in the investment climate of 2008.
Hedge Funds - funds of funds a safer but pricier option
Exchange Traded Funds - low cost and diversified access to a huge range of alternatives
Other ‘Alternatives’
Private Equity - off the boil for now
Private equity - offering high net worth investors the opportunity to avail of special situation investment opportunities - opportunities not available to the general public, and thus inherently attractive to those subscribing to the theory of assymetric market opportunity, has gone off the boil since the spring of 2007. Its time will come again though.
Personal investment vehicles - the growth of self-administered options
Small self-administered pension schemes offer senior executives and directors in the finance sector the opportunity to manage their own retirement funds. They also offer financial and administrative benefits for employers. David Rouse identifies the rapid growth in the self-administered market.
Absolute return portfolios, and the role of hedge funds
Pat McCormack describes the approach one leading wealth manager - Barclays - adopts in designing absolute return portfolios
The trick will be to avoid the ‘value trap'
Eamonn Hughes, Best Analyst Financials in the Survey, fears that despite swift price adjustments the rolling credit cycle will ‘ensure that valuations and share prices will still be far off last year’s highs.’
High earnings risk in cyclical sectors such as construction, packaging and airlines
John Mattimoe’s three sectors of building materials & construction, airlines, and paper & packaging share one thing in common: they are cyclicals. Hence they offer good upside ‘for the rally that will follow’. However, he also says that although valuation levels have become quite attractive, the market continues to face challenges in the coming year, particularly in the first half.
Resources & technology - also impacted by broad sentiment
Gerry Hennigan, who won the Technologyand Resources gongs in the Survey, on unique aspects of both sectors.
Key issue in food the ability of firms to pass on cost increases
Gavin Kelleher, Food & Beverage Analyst, says that while food companies could pass on input price increases in 2007, with a weaker consumer environment likely in 2008, further prices increases may be more of a challenge.
Facility to short a winning factor for some in 2007
Equity Sales Trader of the year Laura Fitzpatrick on trading opportunities in 2008.
Media and gaming - valuations affected by private equity downturn, and economy
Gavin Kelleher, Media and Gaming Analyst, looks at the fortunes and forward prospects of Independent News & Media and Paddy Power.
Economy: a temporary pause, not a prolonged slowdown
Dermot O’Leary, top Economist for 2007, is not panicking about the expected downturn in Irish economic growth in 2008-9; ‘After such a period of record growth, and in particular, the domestically generated nature of this growth more recently, a slowdown was overdue’.
Nurturing talent in finance
The changing environment of the financial world demands that financial professionals are able to enhance their skills with competencies such as change management, strategic thinking, innovation and flexibility. However, a new survey published by Deloitte, The Finance Talent Challenge: How leading CFOs are taking charge, has found that half of chief financial officers (CFOs) believe their finance team demonstrates the skills that are needed to align finance with the business write Shane Mohan and Alan Flanagan.
HM Revenue changes to affect Irish ‘non doms’ in the UK
The Finance Bill 2008 does not contain any provisions on capital gains, despite the fact that under UK law a non-domiciled individual is not liable to capital gains tax on gains arising outside the UK, including gains arising in Ireland, except to the extent that the gain is remitted into the UK, writes Jim Ryan, one of Ernst & Young’s Tax Partners.
The implications of the sub prime crisis for insurance
The global insurance industry is the latest casualty of the sub-prime crisis in the US as investors mark down the value of quoted insurance giants amid fears of a rise in genuine claims and indeed the emergence of higher fraudulent claims. Ronan Foley looks at the implications for the sector.
Varney’s analysis - tied up in knots
PAT WALL reviews the UK Government-commissioned report by Sir David Varney which dismissed the possibility of a special lower corporation tax rate for Northern Ireland and highlights the contradictions therein. He says that in any case there is a potential for the North to grow as a financial centre by building on its strengths - strengths that can overcome the lack of a lower tax rate to match that of the Republic.
MIFID targets Contracts for Difference
CFDs have featured centrally in the drama of the Irish equity market over the past year, and have been a source of leverage at a time of heightened volatility, with predictable results. Now MIFID will have implications for the sale and execution of CFDs. Paul Foley analyses.
Regulatory issues and alternatives: the importance of MIFID
Finance Bill 2008
This year’s Finance Bill includes several useful measures to respond to industry needs but the more significant talking points regarding the treatment of foreign dividends and VAT on property are immersed in unnecessary complexity, write Brian Daly and Niall Campbell.
New VAT on property regime
While the Finance Bill has largely confirmed the Budget Day announcement in respect of the introduction of a new VAT on Property regime, the legislation requires very careful consideration as it has the potential to impact a very wide range of current and future property transactions. There are some key points to note for the financial services sector writes Niall Campbell.
Tax intermediaries - ‘enhancing’ Revenue relations
Tom Woods takes a look at a study published by the OECD in January, which looks at the role of tax advisers and banks as ‘intermediaries’ in ‘aggressive tax planning’.
Bonuses - the credit crisis has shifted the goalposts
In the first of a series of Symposiums on key topics in financial services HR, organised by FINANCEJOBS.IE, the jobs website of Finance and Finance Dublin, we examine the impact of the linking of bonuses as an element in the credit crisis
Generating ‘alpha’ as your day job
Profile of Sean Crowe, C.O.O. and Head of Global Fixed Income and Specialist Products Bank of Ireland Asset Management.
Ireland’s securitised mortgage markets - what 2008 may hold
Paul Fenn looks at how the world changed between the first and second half of 2007, and considers what 2008 may hold.
Funds leader
Gerry Brady is Country Head of Northern Trust in Ireland. Northern Trust is a US Financial Institution founded in 1889 with $4.1 trillion of assets in custody and $996 billion of assets under administration. In Ireland, Northern Trust has licensed management, fund administration and custody /trustee companies, employing 505 staff in offices in Dublin and Limerick and administering $160 billion of assets as at December 31st 2007.
New HSBC Chief Executive Officer for Ireland
PwC launches non-life actuarial consultancy practice
Dublin only Irish region with salary increases in 2007
NTMA targets diversification into alternatives for National Pension Reserve Fund for 2009
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