Friday, September 20 08:04:01
Canadian financial group Great-West Lifeco is keen to follow up its recent E1.3 billion acquisition of Irish Life from the State with other deals here, according to Bill Kyle, the new head of its life and pensions operations in Ireland.
Mr Kyle moved from Canada at the beginning of July to become chief executive of Irish Life and oversee its integration with the local operation of Canada Life, which was already owned by Great-West Lifeco. These businesses have a combined 35 per cent market share.
In an interview with The Irish Times today, Mr Kyle said the life and pensions market here is ripe for consolidation. "For the size of the market there's an awful lot of smaller players and . . . there's probably an opportunity for consolidation," Mr Kyle said. "Where there are opportunities we would certainly be interested in pursuing them." The Irish Times
Virtu Financial,one of the world's top electronic trading firms, yesterday switched its European headquarters from London to Dublin, creating at least 30 high-end jobs. The US company is now looking to hire Irish-based graduates from mathematics and computer science degrees, up to masters or doctorate level. It said it "fully expects" to hire more than 30 staff in time.
The announcement was made yesterday by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Virtu's new offices on Dublin's quays. Virtu, founded by US investor Vincent Viola, operates as a "market mover", facilitating automated transactions on the stock market. It matches buyers of stocks and other quoted instruments with available sellers at high speed, taking a small margin for itself on the transaction. The Irish Times
Up to five investors are understood to be willing to bid at least E950 million to buy the loans given to the property group controlled by Michael O'Flynn from Nama, although the State agency has yet to put them on the market
Mr O'Flynn, the main shareholder behind Cork-based O'Flynn Construction and Tiger Developments, was one of the "top 10" developers whose loans were the first taken over by Nama when it began buying property-backed debt from the Republic's banks in 2010. His businesses had liabilities of about E1.5 billion, tied to property developments in Ireland and Britain that included the Elysian Tower residential tower in Cork and commercial projects in London and Edinburgh.
Yesterday it emerged that up to five institutions in all are circling the loan portfolio and have approached Nama about the possibility of buying the debts. Deutsche Bank, specialist investor, Apollo, which bought credit card company MBNA's Irish business and US-based Lone Star, whose Irish division is led by Eddie Byrne, who was head of lending at Anglo Irish Bank's US branch, have all been named as possible suitors. The Irish Times
XXXX Microsoft has been given the go-ahead for a massive E380m data centre in Dublin that will employ up to 450 construction workers and result in 150 full-time jobs. South Dublin County Council has just given the all-clear for the project, which will be Microsoft's fourth data centre in the Clondalkin area of Dublin. Construction works have been slated to begin next month.
It will bring to roughly E900m the amount of money Microsoft has spent on building data centres in Ireland.
It also further cements Ireland's credentials as a leading international location for data centres. A number of major global online giants, including Google and Amazon, have also based large data centres in Ireland that they use to deal with the growing demands of internet usage. The Irish Independent
The Government should write off a E3.5bn rescue loan to AIB by converting the debt into shares in the bank, according to Merrion Capital. In a wide-ranging report on all the main banks, Merrion Capital says E3.5bn of so-called preferred shares the State holds in AIB should be converted into equity "to enhance the bank's viability".
However, with taxpayers already owning almost all of the shares in the bank, any debt-for-equity swap would not materially increase the State holding in the bank.
Merrion Capital says it expects AIB to break even next year. The Irish Independent