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Irish tech firm lists on Australian Stock Exchange

An Irish software company has taken out the title of Australia’s largest foreign stock market listing of the year.

FINEOS has raised $211 million in initial public offering, and was celebrated with Irish performers and the ringing of the opening bell at the Australian Securities Exchange.

The leading tech company provides software systems to the life, accident and health insurance industry for core process administration, digital engagement capabilities, and data analytics.

Speaking at the listing ceremony, FINEOS founder and CEO Michael Kelly said, “Being Irish in Australia is always a great thing…but you guys have made this very special.”

“We’ve bought our leadership team from Ireland down…this is really the start of the next chapter of our journey.”

FINEOS founder Michael Kelly rang the opening bell at the ASX.

FINEOS founder Michael Kelly rang the opening bell at the ASX.

The ASX approached FINEOS two years ago to propose the listing.

Six of Australia’s top life, accident and health insurance companies use FINEOS software, helping company executives make their decision.

“We thought, ‘we have a great team in Australia, maybe its not a bad idea that we investigate this’,” Mr Kelly said.

ASX Executive General Manager of Listings Max Cunningham said the fintech was an attractive global offering with a workforce across eight countries.

“FINEOS will make the largest ever foreign tech listing that we’ve received and compliment our technology sector,” he said.

Irish Consul General Owen Feeney, FINEOS chairperson Anne Driscoll, the ASX’s executive general manager of listings Max Cunningham, and CEO Michael Kelly celebrated the Irish company’s connection with Australia.

Irish Consul General Owen Feeney, FINEOS chairperson Anne Driscoll, the ASX’s executive general manager of listings Max Cunningham, and CEO Michael Kelly celebrated the Irish company’s connection with Australia.

FINEOS currently has a market capitalisation of over $500 million, 26 years after it was founded in 1993.

Sydney Irish Consul General Owen Feeney said Irish businesses were flourishing in Australia, and that he hoped Australian companies would follow suit in exploring Ireland for market opportunities and a ‘staging post’ into Europe.

“Irish companies…look abroad, it’s in their blood. There’s no better example than FINEOS.”

Fare war delivers amazing flight deals to Ireland

Airlines are offering amazing flight deals to Ireland with return fares as low as $1039 on offer.

A fare war has broken out between carriers flying one-stop into Dublin from Australia’s major cities resulting in record low fares.

While an economy trip to Ireland at peak periods like Christmas can often cost close to $3,000, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific are all promoting return fares under $1500 if people are prepared to fly between September and November or between January and May.

Flights to Dublin airport from Australia have never been cheaper.

Flights to Dublin airport from Australia have never been cheaper.

Until July 22, booking return flights from Perth to Dublin will set travellers back as little as $1,029* when flying with two or more people on Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based carrier is offering similar deals from Sydney ($1059), Melbourne ($1039), Adelaide ($1029) and Canberra ($1079).

To take advantage of the See the World Together offer, travellers need to book on select dates between September 21, 2019 and March 31, 2020, excluding the busy November to December Christmas period.

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Cathay Pacific, the most recent carrier to offer a one-stop option into Dublin, also has a Global Sale on until the end of July.

Travellers can fly to Dublin return for as little as $1210** from Perth. The Hong Kong-based carrier is also offering great return economy fares from Sydney ($1326), Melbourne ($1310) and Brisbane ($1332). Some exclusion dates apply and travel must be completed by the end of May, 2020.

Etihad, meanwhile, is offering great return deals into Dublin from Melbourne ($1294***), Sydney ($1322) and Brisbane ($1477). Bookings must be made by July 26 and travel must be completed by May 31, 2020. Once again, exclusion dates and some terms and conditions apply.

*Qatar Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 22 July 2019, unless sold out prior. Fares (AUD) quoted above are the lowest adult return prices per person including taxes, fees, and airport charges departing from the mentioned cities to Dublin when booked with one or more companions. Other sale dates may be available. ‘Companion’ refers to a minimum of two (2) and maximum of nine (9) people travelling together on the same booking for the entire journey. Economy Class companion fares shown above are for departures from 21 September - 22 November 2019, 23 December - 31 December 2019, and 12 January - 31 March 2020. Business Class companion fares shown above are for departures from 1 October - 30 November 2019, 23 December - 31 December 2019, and 1 February - 31 March 2020. Inbound blackout dates apply: in Economy Class between 25 September - 15 October 2019, 12 December - 22 December 2019, and 1 January - 26 January 2020; in Business Class between 15 September - 31 October 2019 and 10 December 2019 - 31 January 2020. All travel must be completed by 31 March 2020. Fares may vary due to currency fluctuations. Seasonal surcharges, weekend surcharges, and blackout periods may apply. For all other terms and conditions please review at time of booking.

** Cathay Pacific Terms and Conditions: Offer ends: 31 JUL 2019 23:59 (AEST) Departures: UK & Europe: 11 JUL 2019 – 26 JUN 2019; 8 JUL 2019 – 12 Dec 2019; 28 Dec 2019 – 31 MAY 2020. Prices displayed are based on the lowest fare available for travel in low season. Prices are inclusive of all taxes and surcharges, current as at 12 Jul 19. Seats are limited and availability may vary based on flight number, departure date and airport.

***Etihad Terms and Conditions: Discounts only valid for bookings until 26 Jul 2019, for travel until 31 May 2020. Fares are inclusive of applicable taxes, the break down will be shown during the online booking process. Weekend surcharges apply. Flight/day restriction and blackout periods may apply. The airport taxes are subject to change without prior notice and will be confirmed at the time of booking. For full list of destinations and detailed terms & conditions, visit etihad.com .

Heaven help Australian economy, says Eddie Hobbs

Irish economist Eddie Hobbs has predicted “a lot of pain” ahead for the Australian economy.

Irish economist Eddie Hobbs has predicted “a lot of pain” ahead for the Australian economy.

Irish financial guru Eddie Hobbs has declared that Australia is in an economic “trap”, fuelled by a huge speculative property bubble.

Hobbs, writing in the Irish Examiner, says there are disturbing economic parallels between what happened in Ireland before its property crash and what is going on in Australia today.

“Housing values are already down 10 to 15 per cent on average, credit growth is cooling rapidly and early warnings like falling recruitment advertising, white goods and car sales are flashing red as employers and consumers rein in spending as the negative wealth effect takes a grip,” he says.

“Ireland and Australia have different economies that’s for sure, but not different people. Why Irish data matters is because the Australian mortgage book looks to have much higher risk than Ireland before its crisis.

“Forty per cent of all Australian mortgages are on capital repayment holidays, serviced on interest-only terms. This is a huge number,” he writes.

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“The total loan book is also heavily skewed towards buy-to-lets at 34 per cent of which 80 per cent are interest only. These nose bleeding numbers compare to Ireland where 15 per cent of mortgages were buy-to-lets, half of them, interest only. The great bulk of Irish housing mortgages, 85 per cent were owner occupiers spilt even between first-timers and those switching home or mortgage. So, have Australian Banks been more carefully lending than Irish Banks? No.”

The Irish economist said he can not see a way out for Australia without ‘a lot of pain’.

“Despite its AAA status, high per capita wealth and low joblessness, Australia is in a trap. Heaven help them because it is hard to see a way out that doesn’t involve taking a lot of pain. The economy is sitting on a huge speculative bubble. If [the economic doomsayers] are right, Australia is staring into a full-blown systemic crisis for banks, for mortgage insurers and for sovereign debt as loses get socialised.

“Cutting rates, loosening credit rules to reignite credit growth or adopting emergency fiscal policies to provide market supports, could delay and temporarily inflate the bubble further but it cannot be magicked away. When the public is fed reckless Government, regulatory and banking policies for long enough, the results are always the same.”