A&L GOODBODY LOSES OUT IN LOTTERY 'CONFLICT OF INTEREST' - Legal firm A&L Goodbody has lost two big advisory contracts over a “conflict of interest” connected with the lottery licence competition. The firm had been advising the winning bidding consortium involving UK operator Camelot and An Post on the licence auction before the relationship ended three weeks ago, says the Irish Times. It subsequently emerged that A&L Goodbody had simultaneously been advising charity group Rehab on a possible legal challenge to the National Lottery, which may have serious consequences for the next operator. It is understood that the firm provided legal advice to both parties for more than a year. A&L Goodbody declined to comment on the matter, despite a number of requests from Times. “A&L does not comment on client matters,” a spokesman said. Rehab was informed by A&L Goodbody two weeks ago that it could no longer be its legal adviser due to a conflict of interest. The nature of the conflict was not specified in the disclosure. Rehab said it had been unaware of the legal firm’s role in advising one of the bidders for the lottery licence.
IRISH PASSIVE FUNDS PERFORM BETTER THAN ACTIVELY- MANAGED ONES - Investment funds with no manager making decisions on where to put clients' cash have outperformed Irish-managed funds over the last five years, a new survey shows. A passive fund tracks an index like the ISEQ or the FTSE, rather than trying to beat it by investing in companies in accordance with the constituents of an index, writes the Irish Independent. Now a survey by chartered financial planner Marc Westlake has found that low-cost passive investment funds have performed well over the last half decade. Mr Westlake, who is head of wealth management at Goldcore in Dublin, surveyed 895 funds available in this market. Some funds lost close to 80% over the past five years, with others showing gains of close to 130%. The average fund returned 32%. But the fee-based adviser said the best returns were to be found by buying and holding, and annually rebalancing, a portfolio of passively managed investments in a fund. The advantage of a passive fund was that there was no stock picking, no market timing and no active fund management.
CORK ONLY AIRPORT TO RECORD NEGATIVE GROWTH AS DAILY FLIGHTS DOWN BY 5% - Cork Airport was the only airport to record negative growth in new monthly figures published by the Irish Aviation Authority. Dublin and Shannon both recorded more than a 5% increase in the average number of daily flights but Cork Airport saw a 5% fall in the daily average in September of this year, says the Irish Examiner. The total number of flights in Irish airspace increased by 0.8% when compared to September 2012, with the busiest day being September 6 with 1,557 flights in Irish airspace. On a cumulative basis commercial terminal traffic for Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports for January to September 2013 was up by +2.7%, compared to the same period in 2012. The head of the IAA, Eamonn Brennan, said that the growth of traffic in Dublin, up 6.6%, was a positive development. “This sustained growth is very encouraging news for Dublin Airport and the wider economy,'' he added.
BAE WARNS OF THREAT FROM US SHUTDOWN - BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence contractor by sales, has stepped squarely into the political morass that is the US government shutdown. The Financial Times says that the company has warned that a “protracted” closure would impact on the group’s US operations. It is now day 10 of the shutdown, and with no compromise agreement between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans yet in sight over a measure to fund the government, European companies with significant exposure to US government contracts are expected to feel the effect. In its interim management statement for the three months ended October 9, BAE said: “US budget uncertainty continues, with sequestration measures impacting government spending and procurement decisions. In addition, disagreements over the terms of a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government beyond the end of the US government’s 2013 fiscal year have resulted in a partial government shutdown. Whilst the impact of this action has not yet been material to the group’s overall financial performance, some progressive impact to the group’s US operations would result from a protracted government shutdown. Since the October 1 shutdown, approximately 1,200 employees across the intelligence and security and support solutions businesses have been temporarily directed not to report to work.”