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  • Irish taxpayers on incomes of €75,000 pay more personal tax than in Sweden | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    of our competitor countries including the UK and Germany When it comes to attracting international executives and key decision makers the special reliefs to attract these people are more competitive in both Sweden and the Netherlands pushing Ireland ahead of these two countries also and to the top of global tax table she added Speaking at the publication of the Irish Tax Institute s Guide to Tax for Budget 2016 Ms Honohan said International reports stress that one of the top three priorities emerging in major economies is to keep down tax on internationally mobile activities so as to attract the key executives who contribute to the economy We need talent to grow our start ups our SMEs and to continue attracting international companies to Ireland Ms Honohan said The higher earners are the mobile executives and decision makers whose preference and choice of country influences where investments and jobs are located With the growing demand for talent everywhere it is vital that we are attractive to these mobile executives It is also crucial in terms of meeting the new OECD global tax rules around substance and the presence of senior decision makers She said that many others countries from Scotland to Singapore and Australia to Belgium have also been focusing on the link between personal taxation and attracting talent as global mobility becomes the key issue The Cap Effect The Irish Tax Institute President said that if personal tax policy continues to cap the benefit of any future income tax cuts on those earning over 70 000 Ireland will continue to be at the higher end of the global tax tables The introduction of a new 8 USC rate last year for those earning over 70 000 means that under current rules the portion of their salary over 70

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-mary-honohan-irish-tax-payers-pay-more-personal-tax-than-in-sweden.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Cyber insurance global market set to reach $7.5 billion by 2020 | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    most damaging cyber attacks insurers will find their clients questioning how much real value is offered in their current policies If insurers continue to simply rely on tight blanket policy restrictions and conservative pricing strategies to cushion the uncertainty they are at serious risk of missing this rare market opportunity to secure high margins in a soft market If the industry takes too long to innovate there is a real risk that a disruptor will move in and corner the market with aggressive pricing and more favourable terms PwC suggests that insurers reinsurers and brokers can capitalise on the cyber risk opportunity whilst managing the exposures by Maintaining their own cyber risk management credibility through effective in house safeguards against cyber attacks Robustly modelling exposures and potential losses will provide a better understanding of the evolving threat and could encourage more reinsurance companies to enter the market Identifying concentrations of exposure and systemic risks in an increasingly inter connected economy Evaluating Probable Maximum Losses and extreme events scenarios and monitoring and modifying these regularly as new types of attack arise Assessing and monitoring trends in frequencies and severities of attritional and large losses and in the types of attack being perpetrated Partnering sharing and coordinating Partnering with technology companies and intelligence agencies to develop a holistic and effective risk evaluation screening and pricing process Data sharing between insurance companies to secure greater pricing accuracy Finding a risk facilitator possibly the broker to bring all parties corporations insurers reinsurers policymakers together to coordinate risk management solutions including global standards set for cyber insurance Making coverage conditional on a full and frequent assessment of policyholder vulnerabilities and agreement to follow agreed prevention and detection steps This could include exercises that mimic attacks to highlight weaknesses and plan for responses Replacing annual renewals with real time analysis and rolling policy updates Ciaran Kelly PwC Ireland Advisory Leader concluded For insurers cyber risk is in many ways a risk like no other It is equally an opportunity including in Ireland Insurers who wish to succeed will base their future coverage offerings on conditional regular risk assessments of client operations and the actions required in response to these reviews A more informed approach will enable insurers to reduce uncertain exposures whilst offering clients the types of coverage and attractive premium rates they are beginning to ask for Insurers also need to continue to invest appropriately in their own cyber security a business which can t protect itself can t expect policyholders to trust them to protect and advise them Given the huge volume of medical financial and other sensitive information they hold it is critical that insurers have closely monitored highly effective cyber security frameworks in place Sustaining credibility in the cyber risk market is crucial when looking to become a leader in this fast growing market If this trust is compromised and with innovative competitors knocking on the door it would be extremely difficult to restore brand reputation ENDS Notes to editors Insurance 2020

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-cyber-insurance-global-market.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Mary Honohan, Tax Partner, PwC and ITI President | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    start ups Over 90 billion is held on deposit in Ireland at end April 2015 If even a small percentage of this capital was invested in small high potential businesses it would make a difference to entrepreneurs The Institute President said Irish investors are very mobile and can make clear comparisons of the return on their investments across jurisdictions Ireland s National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship 2014 has acknowledged that the tax environment for entrepreneurs and investors in Ireland has become more challenging particularly when compared with the UK s tax rates she added Ms Honohan stressed that the problem was not just about getting funds into entrepreneurial activities on Ireland but also about rewarding investors when companies are sold Ireland s capital gains tax environment is immensely restrictive and is exacerbated by the availability of a simpler clearer and more attractive relief in the UK The UK allows a capital gain of 10 million at 10 tax before you hit the higher rate of CGT a limit that has been increased three fold since the UK relief was introduced In Ireland tax on an investor s first capital gain on entrepreneurial investment is taxed at 33 over three times the tax rate of the UK she added Penal tax system for talented hires that are given shares to come on board unusual by international standards The new Irish Tax Institute President said The third challenging element of our tax environment for entrepreneurs is the penal regime for any share options that are given to the talented new hires that are needed to make young start ups successful Many new start ups cannot afford the high salaries that are required to attract in talent at the early stage and so share options in the company are their only way of

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-mary-honohan-tax-partner-iti-president.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Challenging outlook for the Irish Oil & Gas Sector | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    will play a critical role in increasing Ireland s attractiveness as a location of choice for foreign direct investment in the future as 80 of respondents identified this as key for the Irish oil and gas industry In terms of exploration activities generally 48 of respondents identified their intention to enter into farm out arrangements for exploration of Irish fields during the period Over three quarters 77 of those surveyed noted difficulties in obtaining farm in partners for Irish fields Commenting on the survey results Ronan MacNioclais Partner PwC Oil and Gas Practice said The significant fall in the price of oil and gas has had a dramatic impact on the Irish Oil and Gas industry As noted in the prior year Ireland is viewed internationally as a high risk location for investment in oil and gas exploration due to the lack of historic commercial discoveries At times of low oil and gas prices investors will invest in high return low risk locations which unfortunately we are not This is further evidenced by recent commentary that oil groups have shelved 200 billion in new projects due to the decrease in the price of oil The price of oil is expected to be depressed in the short to medium term particularly if the Iranian embargo is lifted bringing more oil production on to the market As such we would expect the Irish Oil and Gas industry to experience continued challenges as the price of oil and gas remains low Ronan MacNioclais continued The economics of supply and demand are responsible for the low price of oil and gas For example US production has nearly doubled in recent years meaning that it has become largely self sufficient Other oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia Iraq and Russia are therefore forced to drop their prices to compete in other markets such as Asia Meanwhile the European economies are still showing some signs of weakness and vehicles and machinery are becoming increasingly energy efficient thereby impacting negatively on demand for oil and gas Such low prices are not helpful to the development of a successful oil and gas industry However there are some positive aspects arising from the survey which Ronan MacNioclais identified as follows While the results provide a negative outlook of the Irish Oil and Gas industry there are some promising results which indicate the long term sustainability of the industry Over three quarters of those surveyed have a high degree of optimism with regard to the level of petroleum yet to be discovered in Ireland Significant interest has also been expressed in the 2015 licensing round Interestingly in excess of 1 5 billion is expected to be invested over the next 2 years by incumbents or new entrants to the market This however must be tempered by the fact that companies may already have been committed to significant expenditure as we have seen a number of players leave the market during the period or curtail their expenditure Ronan MacNioclais continued

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-oil-and-gas-survey.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Irish Insurance Sector more resilient than global industry according to PwC’s Insurance Banana Skins Survey | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    Cyber risk Regulation Interest rates Macro economy Regulation Interest rates Guaranteed products Cyber risk Investment performance Investment performance The top concern for Irish insurers by a large margin is cyber risk This reflects concerns in the industry about data security and the danger of hacking The real concern is anticipated breaches despite best efforts Ciaran Kelly Advisory Leader PwC Ireland said With advancement of digital technologies and many of the large insurance multinationals based in Ireland it is not surprising that the risk of cyber threats is the top concern for Irish insurers Insurance leaders must broaden their focus of prevention and detection to include a risk based approach that prioritises their organisation s most valuable assets and its most relevant threats Conversely cybersecurity also presents an opportunity for insurance companies marketing cyber insurance solutions and given that 81 of Irish CEOs said that cybersecurity was strategically important it will be an area of increased focus for the industry in the years ahead The second greatest concern in Ireland is the impact of low interest rates on the industry s performance and the challenges posed by a heavy agenda of regulatory reform The low interest rate has begun to make itself more deeply felt as the economy improves having a significant impact in many cases The concern is particularly around savings products which offer guaranteed returns and for investment returns at companies mainly life which have a heavy reliance on investment income The third greatest concern in Ireland is the burden of regulation The report says that new rules governing solvency and market conduct could swamp the industry with costs and compliance problems It could also distract management from the task of running healthy businesses at a time when the industry faces radical structural change Typical responses from insurance company directors include A sound regulatory environment is absolutely essential At the same time over regulation potentially strangles perfectly good and sound insurers from conducting good and sound business Padraic Joyce added The survey shows that Irish insurers are concerned about the volume of change and the cost of implementation of Solvency II as well more stringent consumer protection However there is acknowledgement that the new regime will produce stronger and better managed companies Higher concerns in Ireland than globally Concerns around human talent capital availability reputation terrorism and climate change are all much higher in Ireland compared to around the world Human talent in Ireland has also shot up from 24th place in 2013 to 10th place in 2015 Our recovering economy has brought problems of its own and the employment market for skilled resources in Ireland is become tighter and more competitive Companies need to carefully retain and develop their people ensuring they have the skills for the digital economy Less concerns in Ireland than globally Concerns around the macro economy change management business practices and quality of management are much lower in Ireland compared to around the world Macro economic concerns was the top concern in 2013 when

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-insurance-banana-skins.html (2016-02-18)
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  • PwC 2015 CEO Pulse Survey: Greater confidence and greater disruption | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    an increasing tax burden 77 down from 86 last year The top business challenges are rising labour costs 80 cyber threats 75 up from 69 and skills shortages 73 up from 69 last year FDI powering ahead Over nine out of ten 92 MNC CEOs say their investment in Ireland is a success with nearly half 49 planning to increase this investment up from 37 last year Key factors to increase maintain this investment according to the survey are accessing a skilled workforce 69 maintaining our cost competitiveness 61 retention of the 12 5 corporate tax rate 55 and improving Ireland s personal tax regime 35 Over one in ten 14 said that maintaining Ireland s status as an attractive location for innovation R D is critical Joe Tynan PwC Tax Leader said The efforts to re engineer the international tax environment at EU OECD and country level are clearly still on the minds of CEOs Ireland s corporate tax regime which is based on a low but sustainable 12 5 tax rate for companies who have substance in Ireland is increasingly attractive CEOs are also concerned about the burden of tax on their employees The high marginal rate is perceived as an obstacle to growth increasing the cost of attracting and retaining a skilled workforce It is an area the Government are likely to focus on in their October Budget Industry disruption on the up The survey reveals a significant amount of disruption in Irish businesses in the years ahead Two thirds 66 expect organisations to compete in sectors other than their own over the next three years and is significantly greater than global counterparts 56 Changes to customer behaviour 61 is seen as the top business disrupter followed by changes in industry regulation 60 increasing competition 49 and changes in core technologies 43 More value to be got from digital The survey suggests that Irish companies have some way to go to recognise the value from digital technologies compared to their global counterparts For example two thirds say that they are achieving operational efficiencies from digital technologies compared to well over three quarters 88 globally Over half 53 are improving innovation capacity compared to 77 globally However Irish business leaders recognise the strategic importance of specific key digital technologies the most important ones being data mining 82 cybersecurity 81 and mobile technologies 80 Irish CEOs place less emphasis on technologies such as robotics wearable computing and 3D printing compared to global counterparts Also speaking Ciáran Kelly PwC Advisory Leader said The survey upholds the view that Irish business leaders recognise the strategic importance of investing in new technologies developing digital offerings and monetising the value of big data As an economy however the survey also suggests that we are lagging our global counterparts in terms of realising the full benefits from such investments and highlights that there are further opportunities that have yet to be tapped In our experience companies that really embed digital technologies into their company

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-ceo-pulse-survey-greater-confidence-and-greater-disruption.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 92% of Ireland's CEOs confirm their investment in Ireland is a success | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press releases
    the ability to access a highly skilled workforce noted by over three quarters of respondents 69 is the most important factor critical to increasing and maintaining this investment The IMD Competitiveness Year book rankings May 2015 recently ranked Ireland in 1st place for productivity and efficiency Therefore continuing to ensure that we produce the right skills for the digital economy is critical Cost concerns also continue to be high on the agenda for multinational CEOs with well over half 61 saying maintaining our cost competitiveness including wages and rents is vital for winning FDI The retention of our 12 5 corporate tax rate remains very important with over half 55 saying this is a critical factor In the context of the current Global tax debate having a transparent rules based tax system with a competitive low rate as Ireland does will position us very well One of Ireland s key strengths in this area is the pro business approach and the broad stability of our corporate tax regime Improving Ireland s personal tax regime was noted by over a third 35 having increased from around a fifth 22 last year The real pressure for Ireland on personal tax starts to kick in once the salary levels go above c 70 000 The combination of a very high rate which kicks in at a very low level puts Ireland s effective personal tax rates out of synch with our competitors It is particularly relevant in an environment when skills are in short supply and in where Ireland is trying to maintain our cost competitiveness For the FDI sector this increases the challenge when we compete to bring new or incremental projects to Ireland As an economy where research and development is critical for future economic prosperity over one in ten 14

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-thumbs-up-for-fdi.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Strong European IPO activity in Q2 helped by spin-offs - but competing with trade sales | PwC Ireland | Media centre | Press release
    was partly attributed to a number of high profile transactions which completed as trade sales Excluding London European IPO activity was down 19 this quarter compared to the previous year but improved by 22 for the first half of the year Spain Euronext and OMX were the three most active continental exchanges Spanish IPOs almost doubled by value year to date with 6 9bn of proceeds raised including Aena and Cellnex the two largest European transactions in the first half of 2015 On Euronext virtually all of the 4 9bn proceeds raised year to date were PE backed IPOs but overall proceeds were down 25 from 6 6bn last year In the Nordic countries OMX and Oslo activity is up 23 year to date compared to last year with 4 5bn proceeds raised as candidates are taking advantage of the attractive market conditions Denis O Connor Partner Transaction Services PwC Ireland said After leading the PE backed trend for the last two years US PE driven IPOs started to slow down six months ago and we are seeing a similar trend emerge in the UK In stark contrast PE exits across continental Europe remain active whether this continues into the second half of the year remains to be seen due to the continued uncertainty over Greece The top ten list of largest IPOs of Q2 2015 includes one deal in Ireland Across Europe more than half of the companies cancelling their IPO plans in Q2 went on to be acquired via trade sales This is estimated to account for over 2bn of potential proceeds diverted from European markets including long awaited transactions such as New Look Center Parks and Slovak Telekom Denis O Connor continued We are now almost two years into the resurgence of PE driven IPO activity and the backlog of IPO candidates is now naturally slowing For some time we have seen a large number of these transactions being run as dual track processes and as we see private and public valuations converge trade sales become quite attractive as essentially they provide a one time exit to existing shareholders A further trend seen in 2015 has been the predominance of spin offs which have contributed 27 of activity this quarter up from 18 in Q2 2014 as companies seek to take advantage of attractive market conditions Cellnex and Inwit two of the largest transactions of the quarter were spin offs from larger listed groups and we expect more in the pipeline over the coming year Denis O Connor concluded We enter a period of uncertainty following the Greek referendum and wider concerns in the US and China may give rise to market turbulence and volatility In this environment a number of IPO plans may be derailed or postponed and in the short term we expect the summer holiday months to be relatively quiet The pipeline for the second half of the year looks solid and we expect IPO activity to pick up towards the end of the

    Original URL path: http://www.pwc.ie/media-centre/press-release/2015/2015-pwc-ireland-pwcs-latest-european-ipo-watch-report.html (2016-02-18)
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