Sunday 20 January 2019

Brexit, costs drive stockbroker deals

Bernard Byrne, chief executive of Allied Irish Banks
Bernard Byrne, chief executive of Allied Irish Banks
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The Irish stockbroking sector is set for the biggest shake up in more than a decade with Goodbody Stockbrokers and Investec now takeover targets and bidders in the hunt for other assets.

Rising regulatory costs, the fallout from Brexit and opportunities linked to the economic recovery are driving activity, market sources say.

The Irish Independent revealed on Friday that South Africa's Investec is in talks with bidders, including AIB, to offload its Irish arm. 'The Sunday Times' reported yesterday that a Chinese consortium fronted by an unnamed Irish business figure is looking to buy Goodbody for €100m.

US broker Cantor Fitzgerald and Bank of Ireland are also lined up as potential consolidators in the broking and wealth management sectors.

Taxpayer-owned AIB sold Goodbody for €24m in 2011 to Kerry-based Fexco and Goodbody management. A €100m sale of Goodbody will raise questions over that sale, made at the behest of European bailout authorities. AIB also missed out on about €1bn by selling its stake in Polish lender Bank Zachodni in 2010.

Meanwhile, the country's largest broker, Davy, is targeting expansion in the UK, including a possible bid for IFG's investment adviser Saunderson House.

Irish Independent

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