Emerging markets: special focus

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A cyclical blip in a structural bull market or a fundamental re-appraisal of the growth and investment prospects in developing economies? Euromoney wades into the debate about the recent bear run in emerging markets and provides coverage of FX, fixed income and equity market trends.

Brazil: special focus  •  Russia: special focus  •   India: special focus • China: special focus

Africa bond: special focus •  Iran sanctions: special focus


Argentina: Blejer credits Macri administration for Hipotecario’s global local currency bond
November 2016

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Former adviser to Macri’s opponent in the presidential election endorses macro-economic progress; level of corruption in previous administration a 'shocking surprise’.

Latin America: Mexico to bear the brunt of Trump
November 2016
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Regional FX volatility and capital outflows likely to hit LatAm; biggest risk comes from protectionism policies in the medium term.

Citi’s $1 billion push 'won’t alter’ Mexican dynamics
November 2016
Internal analytics, not retail price war, behind the move; strong growth expectations prompt high bank valuations.

Middle East: Saudi raises doubts as well as debt
November 2016
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Investors should not get too carried away by Saudi’s bond market triumph: there is still much that can derail its long-term strategy.

Njoroge battles Kenya’s conflict of interest
November 2016
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In his first 16 months as governor of Kenya’s central bank, Patrick Njoroge has had to work through constant concerns about the health of the country’s economy and financial sector. Now he faces his biggest challenge yet: a piece of financial regulation he believes will deeply hurt Kenyan banks and their consumers.

Macaskill on Markets: The lucrative new Saudi 'MBS’ market
November 2016
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A recent $17.5 billion bond issue by Saudi Arabia was hailed as a resounding success by capital market participants who have a strong interest in further fundraising by the kingdom, including an expected IPO of Saudi Aramco that could break records with a size around $100 billion.

Private equity funds line up for central Europe bonanza
November 2016
Sale of Poland’s Allegro sets regional record; local currency liquidity adds comfort for global buyers.

Turkish borrowers shake off sovereign downgrade
November 2016
Eurobonds back after three-month post-coup shutdown; October supply tops $3.5 billion.

Morocco’s Attijariwafa enters Egypt
November 2016
Resumes African expansion as Barclays retreats; hints of more jobs to match Egypt’s economic growth. 

Russia investment banking: VTB Capital faces down the doubters
November 2016
Russia’s leading investment bank has seen its fortunes fluctuate over the past two years. Alexei Yakovitsky, VTB Capital’s chief executive, talks to Euromoney about Brexit, Africa and state ownership and explains why sanctions have proved more of a blessing than a curse.

Saudi Arabia aims to capitalize on bond blowout
November 2016
Kingdom’s debut is largest ever EM deal; Vision 2030 chimes with investors.

Latin America: Investment bankers optimistic for upturn
November 2, 2016
Revenues still depressed by poor ECM; DCM and M&A resilient but at low levels.

Saudi’s new finance minister brings unique style
November 2016
The younger and energetic Mohammed Al-Jadaan has a record of transformation.

Correspondent banking: Transfer window closing
November 2016
For countless countries in the emerging markets, remittances are a boon to the economy. In some cases, they are a lifeline.

Asia: Mulyani rides to Indonesia’s rescue (again)
October 2016

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Recalled from Washington by a reform-minded president struggling to fulfil his election promises, Sri Mulyani Indrawati is pushing through a wholesale reform of Indonesia’s tax system. But it is not just about boosting revenues; for Mulyani it also symbolizes the beginning of a new era for the country.

Latin America: Mexico leads way in green-bond push
October 2016
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Some landmark deals from international banks are pioneering the green-bond structure in Latin America. But until the region begins to sell in local currency to local investors, the potential will remain unfulfilled.

Asia: Myanmar's banks at a cash and credit crossroad
October 2016
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The investment case for Myanmar is well known: the resources, the population and the convenient neighbours. What about the reality of banking on the ground? Banks may be growing fast, but they face challenges ranging from an absence of mortgages to changing rules and a national obsession with cash.

Libya: LIA loses the Goldman case
October 2016
Libyan Investment Authority fails to convince court US bank duped it; Société Générale case even bigger but LIA is rudderless.

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Azerbaijan’s risk score slide underlines the region’s red-flag warning
October 2016
Although the CIS is learning to adjust to low oil prices, the recovery is slow, the political risks complex, and with fiscal deficits widening living standards are failing to keep pace with other emerging markets.

Slovenia’s sunny outlook a bright spot amid gloomy neighbours
October 2016
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The country is gradually improving its position in the ECR rankings – unlike several of its neighbours.

Citi rebrands in Mexico as HSBC signals it will stay
October 2016 

Citi seeks to commit to Mexico after Latin America withdrawal; HSBC injects capital but commitment questioned.


 

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Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year 2016

Press release
October 2016
Argentina’s Prat-Gay named Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year 2016.

Prat-Gay lays the ground for a new Argentina
October 2016
Argentina’s ground-breaking return to the bond markets captured the headlines, but finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay’s credibility and rapid reactions have played a vital role in its restored standing.

Latin America: Argentina's Prat-Gay faces his biggest hurdle
October 2016
After Mauricio Macri took power in Argentina at the end of last year, finance minister Alfonso Prat-Gay scored a number of quick and important wins. He settled with the holdout bond investors, removed FX restrictions and started to tackle inflation. But now he faces his toughest challenge – tackling the fiscal deficit.

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Euromoney Central Bank Governor of the Year 2016

Press release
October 2016
Pakistan’s Wathra named Euromoney Central Bank Governor of the Year 2016.
Wathra’s way wins plaudits for Pakistan
October 2016
Pakistan’s central bank governor Ashraf Wathra has played a crucial role in boosting the country’s financial credibility among the international community. Locals now hope to reap the benefits in both banking and capital markets.

Ashraf Wathra ushers in a new era for Pakistan
October 2016
Ashraf Wathra is a different choice as head of the State Bank of Pakistan. An outsider brought in to the inner sanctum of monetary policy, he is keen to promote market-based reforms, boost the banking sector and break the reliance on the IMF. Can he profit from the new positivity about Pakistan and cope with his critics?

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Africa: Bank de-risking hits money transfer firms 
October 2016 
African money movers lose correspondents; remitters turn to informal channels.

Paraguay’s banks contend with slowdown 
October 2016 
Moody’s downgrades banking system outlook to negative; Concerns over lower demand for credit and higher NPLs.

Banking: Two’s company in Georgia
October 2016
Banking sector concentration, rather than proliferation, is the lesser of two evils.

Middle East: Iran’s markets come in from the cold
October 2016
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The country’s financial system is still not easy to access; money has trickled rather than flooded into its stock exchange since January’s deal with the US to lift sanctions. Nevertheless, as the country emerges from years of isolation, important changes are taking place that could herald a new era for Iran’s capital markets.

Country risk: Morocco’s investment grade in doubt
September 2016
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The sovereign borrower still struggles to convince the experts as the elections draw near.

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Emerging Europe: Citi stands firm in CEE as rivals pull back 
September 2016 
Collapsing investment banking volumes have prompted global players to pull back from emerging Europe over the past two years. But Citi’s Jim Cowles, CEO for EMEA, has alternative sources of revenue to fall back on.
CEE sovereigns: Slovenia regains top-tier borrower status
September 2016
Banks’ sovereign coverage models in the spotlight; consistency is key, say market leaders.

Saudi Arabia: IPOs open to foreigners in new shake-up
September 2016
Foreign funds expected to rush in; move coincides with privatisation drive.

Africa: Rabobank cuts reg risk in new venture
September 2016
Regional stakes join FMO and Norfund assets; indirect, lower ownership reduces liability.

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Argentina’s banks seek path to normalization
September 2016
Argentina’s banks are facing a difficult transition period as the government and the central bank (BCRA) attempt to lower inflation and the country’s base rates, as well as facing subdued credit demand thanks to the economic recession.

Central bank becomes Yemen’s latest battleground
September 2016
The Central Bank of Yemen has avoided taking sides in the civil war – until September, when the president replaced the governor and moved the bank, infuriating political opponents and setting off alarm bells for some observers.

ECR correctly predicts S&P’s Hungary upgrade – Bulgaria is surely next
September 2016
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The decision to reassign Hungary’s investment grade will bring delight to Budapest, bringing the sovereign borrower correctly in line with Romania, but S&P needs to take note – Euromoney’s country risk survey is shining the spotlight on another country that is closely aligned.

Electronic trading shows scope for FX growth in Middle East
September 2016
Despite a substantial fall in trading volumes in Bahrain during the past three years and the ability of Saudi Arabia to defend its currency peg, increased electronic trading volumes suggest the Middle East FX market has scope for further development.

Banks at the heart of Cuba's existential battle for reform
September 2016
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Cuba’s return to the international community will be long, complex and fraught with contradictions – not least in financial services. Reform remains a dirty word in a system where banking services for the masses are non-existent. The authorities talk a good game about attracting foreign investment – but how will they attract capital when the central bank won’t even discuss what reserves it holds?

How Argentina beat the bondholder stand-off
September 2016
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As judge Thomas Griesa wrote in his ruling: 'Put simply, President Macri’s election changed everything.’

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CIMB's Nazir battles Malaysia’s demons
September 2016
Nazir Razak has a complicated bio: one of Malaysia’s most talented bankers, architect of CIMB’s expansion into Asean, and brother of besieged prime minister Najib Razak. Despite a clean image, he was dragged into the 1MDB scandal in March, suspended himself from the bank, and was cleared. Now back at work, he discusses the challenges facing his bank, his country and the region.
Asia: Mongolia fights fiscal fall-out
September 2016
Mongolia is living through interesting times. August alone featured, in this order: the revelation of a vast and unexpected deficit, the collapse of the currency, a 4.5 percentage point hike in interest rates in a single hit, a sovereign downgrade, and the subsequent downgrade of almost the entire national banking sector.

Financial inclusion: Fintech & fraud – microfinance faces balancing act in Africa
September 2016
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When microfinance banks in Africa speak of the rise of new technology, they usually focus on its potential and, perhaps disingenuously, play down the risks. They say the spread of mobile phones and internet access enables small loans to reach Africa’s rural poor more efficiently than ever before. But while international microfinancier Finca is aware of these opportunities, it knows from painful experience in Uganda that new technology opens up new vulnerabilities too.

Taiwan’s banks struggle on multiple fronts
September 2016
Sluggish economy, declining profits, slower loan growth; political rift with Beijing dulls Asia expansion hopes.

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Latin America: Valenzuela rides into a new world of challenges
September 2016
When Banorte’s former CEO left Mexico’s top-tier domestic bank, few expected to see him return on a motorbike chasing gym owners for overdue loan payments. But in taking over challenger Banco Azteca, Alejandro Valenzuela has accepted a completely new professional and personal task – running a bank for the previously unbanked.

Middle East: Gulf moves from buyouts to mergers
September 2016
NBAD’s merger with FGB gives Abu Dhabi a bank with a similar market cap to firms such as DBS and Standard Chartered. At the same time, the emirate is merging two of the Gulf’s most powerful state investment companies, Ipic and Mubadala. Amid low oil prices, Gulf states are finding new strategies for national champions.

Middle East: Constantly tested, Lebanese banks remain resilient
September 2016
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Shaken by war on its border, a political crisis that has left it without an elected president for two years, and a collapse in the price of oil, Lebanon’s economy is facing challenges unseen since the country’s own civil war.

Emerging Europe: Latvia looks beyond its big bank clean-up
September 2016
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Its banking sector has earned an unenviable reputation thanks to the growth of financial institutions serving non-residents – principally from Russia. Regulators are now, finally, cleaning house. But the challenge for local banks remains: how to make money in a small, over-banked domestic market.

Emerging Europe: EBRD keeps its appetite for risk
September 2016
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From Moldova to Mongolia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has earned a reputation for going where other institutions fear to tread. Now it is putting its balance sheet to work plugging holes in banks’ capital bases.

Africa: Mozambique runs on empty
September 2016
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When Mozambique struck gas in 2010, it was supposed to herald a bright, lucrative future for the poor African state. It hasn’t turned out that way. Rising debt, sluggish growth and a corrosive financial crisis have culminated in the IMF freezing payments to the struggling state. Its banking industry is one of the few brighter spots.

Bulge bracket gets slimmer in Asian investment banking revenues
September 2016
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New data show multinationals taking a lower chunk of regional revenue – and it’s going to get worse.

Moody’s should stop kicking its heels – a Polish downgrade is overdue
September 2016


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Poland’s declining risk score trend in Euromoney’s survey signals the rating agency is lagging experts in the field.

IMF deal holds the key to Sri Lanka’s improving prospects
September 2016
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The borrower will not challenge Indian safety for the foreseeable future, but faith in the emerging market (EM) is justified by its improving risk score.

Asia: GIC’s Vietcombank stake shows long-awaited EM shift
August 2016
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Singapore’s GIC has promised to expand in emerging markets (EMs) for years. The Vietcombank stake is a good way of doing it.

Zambia’s crumbling commodity-led economy 'must diversify’
August 2016
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The southern African country’s reliance on copper and recent disorderly elections have seen increased instability in the region, potentially adding to the deterioration in its ECR scores.


Latin America: Supreme Court deals blow to Argentina’s recovery plan
August 2016

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Prat-Gay warns on negative impact to FDI flows; cutting energy subsidies 'the biggest bomb’ from past administration.


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Asia: Driven Kapoor breaks the mould 
August 2016 
Yes Bank, started just 12 years ago, is one of India’s fastest growing lenders – and the most interesting by far. Its founder and CEO sits down with Euromoney to discuss risk management, cost cutting, divine intervention and why he doesn’t do the 'wow’ factor.
Malaysia stays ahead with sukuk
August 2016
Dominance of global volumes continues; why aren’t others catching up?

Digital can be Shariah-compliant
August 2016
Digital initiatives boost Hong Leong Islamic Bank; Islamic finance fertile ground for fintech.

Asia: Sitohang’s mission to save Credit Suisse
August 2016 
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With growth hard to come by elsewhere in Credit Suisse’s global network, CEO Tidjane Thiam has turned to Asia. He has given Asia Pacific chief Helman Sitohang not only tough targets, but also a degree of autonomy. Can he deliver?

Emerging Europe: Making the most of Moneta
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August 2016
Tomas Spurny has headed some of the biggest banks in emerging Europe. Now he has the task of transforming Czech consumer lender Moneta Money Bank into a digital leader. He talks about technology, regional risk and the joys of returning to Prague.

Brazilian banks’ share rally to falter?
August 2016
Best global performers so far this year; Rally technical; fundamentals remain poor.

Binbasgil pilots Akbank through Turkey’s turbulence
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August 2016
Hakan Binbasgil has built Akbank into one of the most impressive financial institutions in the emerging markets. Can he keep the bank on track?

Mexico’s banks enjoy strong growth conditions
August 2016
Credit growth and positive margins offset Trump risks; HSBC Mexico still failing to flourish amid sale rumours.

Mexico’s investor risk spikes as the US elections approach
August 2016
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Uncertainty is increasing for peso assets as the fight for the White House heats up. Even a victory for Hillary Clinton comes with reservations attached, demonstrating how it is not just the possibility of Donald Trump winning that is ringing alarm bells.

Latin America: Lacerda plays a grown-up game
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August 2016 
The downturn in Brazil does not faze Ricardo Lacerda, founding partner of local investment bank BR Partners. Advisory remains the bedrock of his business, but political instability makes him think the next five years could undermine the last 20.

Galicia opens Argentina’s new FIG market 
August 2016 
Regulatory-driven tier-2 deal trades up; Brazil banks still prefer local funding.

Skye fall underlines worries over Nigerian banks
August 2016
Central bank’s first post-2008 intervention; Claims Nigeria’s banks remain healthy.

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Middle East: Accad wakes up ABK
August 2016
Two years into what he says will be the last job of his career, ABK’s chief executive Michel Accad has already taken the bank from a domestic to a regional player and begun much-needed modernization.

Tension rises between Lebanon's banks and Hezbollah
July 2016
A US law to curb Hezbollah’s access to finance has caused weeks of turmoil in Lebanon, where the rules were quickly implemented, and even exceeded, by a financial sector eager to avoid US sanctions. The explosion of a bomb outside the Beirut headquarters of the country’s second-biggest bank, Blom Bank, this summer has been even interpreted as a warning signal to bankers to not apply US regulations too zealously.

Ed Royce: 'Lebanese banks are doing the right thing’
July 2016
The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (HIFPA), a US law aimed at blocking Hezbollah’s access to the financial sector, has caused weeks of commotion in Lebanon, where the central bank’s decision to implement the rules has led to tension between the country’s banks and the Lebanese Shi’ite group. For the first time since the law’s implementation in Lebanon, the instigator of HIFPA, US congressman Ed Royce, reacts to the situation in the country.

Europe’s bank stability is in question, say country risk experts
July 2016
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Country-by-country assessments of Europe’s banking sector show that risks are at new highs, as the financial services industry struggles to cope with the aftershocks of the 2007/08 crisis. Resolving the Italian bank crisis is key to how it will all pan out.

The DoJ 1MDB complaint analysed: how the named banks fare 
July 2016 
Who comes out best and worst from the DoJ report into 1MDB?

Euromoney Country Risk survey results H1 2016: Global risk hits new high as Brexit adds to China and EM concerns
July 2016
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The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU has opened a Pandora’s box for global investors at a time when commodity prices are depressed, sovereign bond yields are sinking to new lows and prospects are still dimming for many emerging markets (EMs).

Colombia remains risky despite landmark peace deal
June 2016
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The signing of a ceasefire agreement ending five decades of civil war is nothing short of monumental, but laying down the weapons will not fully resolve the issues and will most likely lead to fiscal repercussions with the economy already under pressure.

What does emerging Europe get out of banking union?
June 2016 
In the great debate on banking union, the smaller markets of emerging Europe are often overlooked. Yet, with banking sectors dominated by eurozone groups, they are uniquely vulnerable to changing regulatory regimes.
Banking: To CEE or not to CEE
June 2016
The old pan-regional banking model is under threat but that presents opportunities for new champions to emerge.

Agbal builds trust in Turkey
June 2016
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Naci Agbal spent most of his career as a technocrat at the Turkish ministry of finance. Euromoney spoke to Agbal about his new role as finance minister when the world around him seems to be falling apart.

Croatia remains a risky prospect as Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania improve
June 2016
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Four months after a new coalition was formed, the economy is brightening, but Croatia remains mired in a political crisis weighing on its country risk rating.

Banks caught up in Nigeria anti-corruption push
June 2016
Access Bank questioned over safe deposit box; law enforcement agency targets two other banks.

Slovenia to privatize NLB in public listing
June 2016
'Cumbersome’ lender may struggle for demand; Apollo targets 25% market share for NKBM.

Saudi banks see a future in Vision 2030
June 2016
As depressed oil prices continue to hit Saudi Arabia’s banks hard, the Kingdom’s plan for radical economic change is being seized upon as cause for optimism.

Saudi accelerates capital markets reform
June 2016
Stock market opens up further; influx of foreign money still capped.

Peru: Segura eyes further regional integration
June 2016
Mila just the start, says Peru’s finance minster; pan-Andean market liquidity coming.

Transaction services: MNCs hit by EM liquidity squeeze
June 2016
Tighter funding in the emerging markets is beginning to affect even the largest multinationals. Banks are being forced to think on their feet to develop workable products to meet the new demands. Is distributor finance the answer?

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Country risk: Kenya, Gabon, Ghana among the borrowers contemplating sub-Saharan shock
May 2016
Euromoney’s country risk survey shows the safety of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) issuers is once again in question, as economies flounder, debts spiral and capital access tightens.

Lira struggles for direction
May 2016
Turkey has made progress in reducing its debts, while expectations for rate rises in the US have abated in recent months. But political upheaval in the country has led investors to run for cover, and a new and relatively unknown central bank governor faces a dilemma on interest rate policy.

Country risk: It’s high time S&P took the plunge on Indonesia
May 2016
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It seems an appropriate time for the Asian borrower to regain its full complement of investment-grade ratings as it becomes safer in Euromoney’s country risk survey.

Latin America: Peru prospers by playing the long game 
May 2016 
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Peru’s strong fundamentals protected the country from the harsh economic conditions in the region. But as solid commodity-led growth returns, will the chance to diversify into a broader economic model be lost?

Country risk: Peru’s risks ease on copper surge and election prospects 
May 2016 
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The borrower is beginning to shine with the presidential race guaranteeing a pro-market candidate winning and the economy improving due to increased copper-mining capacity.

VietJet IPO set to soar 
May 2016 
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Vietnamese carrier has outsized ambitions; seeking $300 million in HK or Singapore IPO.

Argentina makes a speedy return 
May 2016 
Strong demand for new issue; perfect timing as bonds soar.
FX: Pakistan’s climb to the emerging-markets club 
May 2016 
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Pakistan’s economic reform programme is starting to bear fruit, but a huge appreciation in the real exchange rate during the past two years is hurting the country’s export market, warns the IMF, amid expectations the country will soon join the MSCI emerging markets (EMs) index.

Ukraine: The perils of PrivatBank 
May 2016 
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Assailed by conflict and politics, Alexander Dubilet admits that the task of running Ukraine’s biggest bank is complicated. But he insists that PrivatBank can cope with the loss of large parts of its network and dismisses rumours about secret loans and the need for state support.

UAE credit fears return as defaults rise 
May 2016 
Oil rout weakens corporate debt sustainability; Rakbank and UAB suffer in SME downturn.
Country risk: In search of the next investment grade 
April 2016
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Euromoney’s risk survey successfully predicted the move to investment grade for the Philippines in 2013, and it is once again highlighting other sovereign borrowers – in particular Hungary and Paraguay – with prospects for a similar upgrade.

Emerging markets: Fintech for the unbanked
April 2016
If digital payment providers share the cost of building new networks, they might profit handsomely from high volumes of low-value payments between two billion people unserved today by the world’s conventional banks, and become a new testing ground for fintech.
Country risk: Oil crisis sharpens Nigeria’s investor risks
April 2016
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A plunging country risk score illustrates how the problems are still mounting for Africa’s largest economy.

Bangladesh debate: Bangladesh gears up for growth
April 2016
The country faces many challenges as it prepares to make itself the global growth leader of tomorrow, not least in infrastructure, capital-market development and up-skilling its workforce. Part of the solution is to make itself more attractive to foreign investors.

Euromoney Country Risk survey results Q1 2016: Heightened concern over Brazil, China and other EMs accentuates global shock prospects
April 2016
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Country risk scores for many of the large emerging markets (EMs) continued to fall in the first months of the year. Risk scores have now reached levels that do not preclude another global shock if China hits the skids.
Latin America: Reit turn ahead?
April 2016
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Latin America’s real-estate investment trust market has stalled in the face of a general pullback in emerging market investing. In the longer term, however, this could be the shock that spurs on a sector held back by asset size and asset scarcity.

Citi plots next stage of development in Asia
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April 2016
Citi’s Asia-Pacific business is the ultimate test of its universal banking model. New regional CEO Francisco Aristeguieta knows he needs to build on its strong component parts, not just to maintain its position in Asia, but to push the bank forward globally.

Sovereign debt: Uruguay juggles cheap yields and regional flux
April 2016
Plans to pre-fund 2017 in second quarter; Brazil and Argentina imperil growth and investment.

Latin America banking: Packed for good?
April 2016
International banks are picking up the suitcase banking habit in Latin America again. They may find it hard to return.

Sri Lanka debate: Sri Lanka looks to a brighter future
April 2016
With a can-do attitude, the island nation is working hard to move up the league tables by improving domestic conditions for business and inward investment and prompting its international ambitions by signing free-trade agreements with its neighbours.

Bangladesh debate: Bangladesh gears up for growth
April 2016

The country faces many challenges as it prepares to make itself the global growth leader of tomorrow, not least in infrastructure, capital-market development and up-skilling its workforce. Part of the solution is to make itself more attractive to foreign investors.

Middle East: Saudi banks dig deep for debt as liquidity runs dry

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April 2016 A liquidity crunch is affecting banks worldwide and Saudi Arabia is no exception. Deposits are falling as the government pulls out cash to fund the deficit, yet lending continues to grow. Will the banks change their lending models or turn to the capital markets for funding?


Middle East: Scale of Gulf-wide credit crunch comes clear
April 2016
$94 billion coming due by end-2017; Bahrain pays up after downgrade.

Africa: Njoroge stresses need for Kenya banks to innovate
April 2016
After 20 years at the IMF, Patrick Njoroge gave up life in Washington for the rough and tumble of public life in Kenya. It was a culture shock for the new central bank governor. Now his robust approach is proving to be a shock to the Kenyan system.

Kenya central bank governor Njoroge: Calling it as he sees it
April 2016
Patrick Njoroge has spent much of his career outside Kenya, mostly in Washington at the IMF as a senior economist. Two decades in that role took him around the world, occasionally as its ambassador, more often in a team of firemen fixing damaged economies.

Regulation: Banking’s dark side reaches Australia 
April 2016 Asic launches investigations; ANZ, Macquarie and CBA probed.

Barclays Africa eyes growth despite group sale
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April 2016
CEO to press on with pan-African investment; PLC exit comes as African business turns round.

MNCs search for help in EM liquidity squeeze
March 2016
Funding constraints of the kind familiar to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now starting to impact multinational corporations (MNCs) with emerging-market (EM) exposure, pushing them to look to their banks for new options to obtain financing.

Emerging Europe: Romania’s new champion steps into i-banking
April 2016
Bank snaps up local advisory firm; M&A activity 'on upward trajectory’, says CEO.


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EM credit’s stress test
March 2016
There is no need for panic. Emerging market credit is outperforming US high yield and the investor base is stable.

Emerging Europe: Don’t bank on Turkey for a bond market revival
March 2016
Turkish borrowers have become increasingly active in the Eurobond markets in recent years. But with funding costs rising, investment falling and political risk ever-present, could the last large source of new bonds in emerging Europe be about to dry up?

Are Kazakh banks back to the brink?
March 2016
Seven years after the first default of Kazakhstan’s largest bank, its lenders are once again under pressure. Can the sector survive an economic slowdown and dramatic devaluation?

Saudi Arabia plans institutional fund revamp
March 2016
Advice sought on new fund; Shoura eyes GOSI shake-up.

Latin America: Investors seek solace in resilience of corp credit
March 2016
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LatAm fixed income markets have seen a collapse in primary issuance and yields have jumped in the secondary market. But investors and bankers are pointing to a new-found maturity that augers well.

LatAm debt markets have 'high-yield feel’
March 2016
Subdued supply and demand hit deal flow; More European focus at start of 2016.

Latin America: Citi pulls out of more markets
March 2016
Citi has confirmed it is to exit retail banking in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina in a further round of retrenchment from the region – with these latest three joining six other regional businesses sold in the past two years.

Latin America: Ruling raises Argentina debt hopes
March 2016
New York judge lifts injunction; market return could bring $10 billion issuance.


Emerging Europe: Citadele Banka – back from the dead

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February 2016
The bailout of Parex Banka at the height of the financial crisis helped push Latvia into deep recession. Today, reborn as Citadele and with a global all-star cast of owners, the bank is well on the way to becoming a national asset.
Banks frustrated as Iran's swift return is held up
February 2016
Teething troubles for messaging system; ICBC at vanguard of interested foreign banks.

Emerging Europe: Romania’s rocky road to recovery
February 2016
The country’s banking sector has staged a remarkable comeback over the past two years and is well-positioned to support growth and investment. Whether or not that will materialize, however, depends on its politicians.

Kuwait’s banks brace for property crash
February 2016
Market set to slump, claims new report; financials make up 80% of bourse.

Oil slump raises Venezuela default risk
February 2016
Sovereign highly exposed to oil price drop; default still not fully priced into bonds.

Latin America: Will 2016 be the year of euro DCM?
February 2016
Volatility slams international DCM shut; choppy access but strong liquidity in 2016.

Middle East: From differentiation pains to diversification gains?
February 2016
Qatar Financial Centre always wanted to be different to the other Middle East hubs. But the model was confused. Now it aims to be the engine for the broader transformation of the country’s economy.

Middle East: Worried Saudis float an Aramco IPO
February 2016
Saudi Aramco is a behemoth: the world’s most valuable company and the lifeblood of the Saudi state and royal family. Bankers and investors have mixed emotions over plans to list it; this could be a huge opportunity, but is it feasible?

Estonia offers safer option than France or South Korea
January 2016
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The Baltic state leapfrogged both sovereigns in the global ratings last year, making its credit ratings outdated.

Sanction removal unveils Iran currency hopes
January 2016
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Iran is emerging from the shadows to re-establish itself as a prime player in the Middle East. Moves are afoot to rid the country of its black-market exchange rate and develop a working currency forward market.

Lending growth coming, says Ukraine’s CB governor
February 2016
Banking sector clean-up to continue; UniCredit heads for the exit.

Poland should have heeded Hungary’s lesson
February 2016
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Even robots can be made to learn from experience nowadays. Given what happened to Hungary, Poland’s downgrade should be no surprise.

West Africa's BRVM aims for expansion
February 2016
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Bourse expects 20 listings in three years; Nigeria and Ghana links planned.

Country risk expert insight: Green shoots showing in Ukraine
February 2016
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Ukraine finished 2015 with a slightly improved score year-on-year, despite seeing turbulence on all fronts in the ECR scoring categories throughout the year. Its score dipped in the fourth quarter of 2015, but ECR experts see some reasons for hope amid the gloom.

Euromoney Country Risk survey results 2015: China, Brazil and South Africa lead EM credit rout
January 2016
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Political instability, falling commodity prices, central-bank policy uncertainties and conflict were the principal negative risk factors for investors to contemplate at the turn of the year, as China’s troubles were brought into focus by another round of financial volatility.

Poland’s plummeting political risk score foreshadows downgrade
January 2016
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Poland’s sovereign bond spreads are in turmoil, after a shock downgrade by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) late last week. The move follows a sharp drop in its political risk score in the latest Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) survey.

Country risk: High time Fitch upped its game on the Philippines
January 2016
Why is Fitch so reticent to upgrade the sovereign when country risk experts and other credit rating agencies say it is overdue?
Latin America: Ditching the left, right?
January 2016
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International investors will swiftly return to Latin America if they see clear evidence of economic progress.

South Africa: Zuma’s failings
January 2016
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The South African president’s recent erratic changes in the ministry of finance highlight his flailing leadership.

GCC liquidity: Islamic advantage
January 2016
Islamic banks in the GCC may have two advantages over their conventional counterparts at a time of weak liquidity: loyal retail money and the ability to tap two investor markets.

Scrapping over the scraps – a dog-eat-dog world in CEE IB
January 2016

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Investment-banking volumes in emerging Europe have fallen to their lowest levels for more than a decade. Some international banks are withdrawing capacity, while there is little sign of a pick up in the capital markets. So why are some of the universal banks still making positive noises?

US funds play catch-up in Africa
January 2016
American private equity sees sub-Saharan Africa as an opportunity in an era of slow growth, but have been slow to tap in to the region’s long-term potential.

Middle East: Network International shows up dearth of Gulf deals
January 2016
Secondary buyout trumps IPO; Gulf markets need more liquidity.

Asia: The Untouchables – Indonesia's Widjajas
January 2016
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Default? What default? Asia Pulp & Paper, Sinar Mas and the Widjaja family, once pariahs of the international financial markets, have bounced back with a vengeance. Are the memories of the banks financing them too short? Or are they backing a group that can deliver on both its repurposed business and environmental credentials?

 

LatAm capital markets: Rebound prospects look gloomy
January 2016
Brazil or Argentina need to spark revival; Latin America investment banking’s worst year since 2009.
Middle East liquidity crunch starts to bite
December 2015
Commercial Bank of Dubai pays up; Gulf Investment Corporation cancels deal.

AIIB spells out conservative approach
December 2015
New Asia lender caps lending at $100 billion; dollars, not RMB, will fund projects.

Argentina: Macri defuses Cristina’s bomb
December 2015
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Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has left a toxic legacy for newly elected president Mauricio Macri. Asset prices were buoyed by his election victory the mid-term outlook for the Argentine economy is brimming with potential, but he must get through the next six months unscathed and consolidate a weak political base.

Country risk: Vietnam is bouncing back
December 2015
Of all the frontier markets competing for inward investment, the one-party state is still one of the more attractive prospects.
Middle East: Saudi Arabia takes cautious first steps to an open market
December 2015
Saudi Arabia is six months into its programme to attract international institutional investors to its stock market. The verdict so far: an impressive willingness to listen and communicate, but slow progress in terms of getting any money in.

Saudi credit rating still too high despite S&P downgrade
December 2015
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Depressed oil prices are sending shockwaves through the Kingdom as it looks at ways to mitigate the macro-fiscal implications.

Georgia Healthcare gets London IPO away
December 2015
Pricing slashed as emerging market IPOs struggle; political in-fighting 'threatens Georgia’s reform record’.

Africa: Ethiopia takes a different path
December 2015
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The government insists that its banking sector will remain closed to external investment. But can the country’s economy thrive without better access to international credit? 

Uruguay’s debt record set for tough challenge
December 2015 Record low yields for sovereign’s recent deals; slowing economy, deteriorating fundamentals.

LatAm DCM bankers wind down dismal 2015
December 2015
Meek year-end further weakens annual total; euro deal resurgence brings some cheer.

Latin America: Lessons from Colombia
December 2015
Road-building is a classic tool to boost a flagging economy. But as Luis Fernando Andrade, president of Colombia’s national infrastructure agency, tells it, it isn’t plain sailing.

EMFX ripe for electronic trading, vows start-up R5FX
November 2015
The new trading platform for emerging-market currencies is now live with the Indian rupee, Brazilian real, Chilean peso and Colombian peso.

Poland stronger than Hungary, despite political risks
November 2015
A new government emphasizing Hungarian-style nationalist, unorthodox policies with increased public spending has raised uncertainty over Poland’s risk profile. However, the sovereign borrower is in a strong position and is less indebted than Hungary.

Country risk: Hungary, India and Thailand among EMs resilient to shocks
November 2015
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As sovereigns from Brazil and China to Malaysia and Mexico bomb, the search is on for increased safety for emerging market (EM) investors.

Country risk expert insight: Argentina faces struggle to modernize economy
November 2015
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Euromoney Country Risk experts believe drastic change is in the pipeline for Argentina — but its newly elected government has a fight on its hands to push through economic reforms.

Country risk: Angolan investors ignore risks
November 2015
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Investors snapped up Angola’s $1.5 billion Eurobond debut this month, and yet the sovereign borrower’s country-risk score has plunged, putting it among the world’s worst default risks.
Lima offers remote prospects
November 2015
Fears over emerging market corporate debt burdens took centre stage at the IMF/World Bank meeting.
Asia banking: Myanmar’s makeover
November 2015
Onward, Aung Ko, Burma, Myanmar
Bankers are always looking for a new frontier, and they think they’ve found one in Myanmar. While the country’s potential is unquestionable, those hoping to turn a quick profit are likely to be sorely disappointed.

Bangladesh: Rahman touches the ground and it bears fruit
November 2015GDP forecast up by 6.5% in 2015; reserves increase fourfold.

Iran issues $300m equivalent domestic bond
November 2015Interest rate of 26% for 165-day notes; international return inked in for 2016.

Trans-Pacific Partnership to the rescue
November 2015Latin America’s economies are suffering a rapid and severe shift in their terms of trade. The development of free trade areas may provide a way forward and global initiatives, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, could transform the region’s future.

Turkey’s banks sweat the small stuff
November 2015
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SME banking has been a top priority for Turkish lenders since the country’s regulator called time on the consumer boom in late 2013. Can the segment keep its cool in the face of rising local economic and political pressures?

Gulf banks feel the pinch
November 2015They may be well-capitalized, but their funding needs are rising, just as the buyer base falls away.

Gulf markets: the liquidity well runs dry
November 2015The drop in the oil price has combined with a general lack of liquidity to put issuers from Gulf states in an unfamiliar position. There may be no need to fear a crunch, but the region’s issuers must get used to the fact that they will have to pay up to raise capital.

Yield for Ghana bond hits double digits
November 2015Highest mark of any African Eurobond in 2015; debt sustainability questions linger.

Risk survey endorses Hungary’s investment-grade prospects
October 2015
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The sovereign has climbed another three places in the global rankings compiled by Euromoney Country Risk, and is keeping pace with Bulgaria and Romania.

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SteelyNabiullina fights Russia’s fires
October 2015
Elvira Nabiullina, Euromoney’s central bank governor of the year, is staunchly sticking to her controversial crisis-fighting plan as Russia reels from its biggest financial crisis since 1998. As sanctions and falling commodity prices threaten Putin’s oil-financed state patronage, the central bank – the last bastion of economic orthodoxy – is battling to craft a new growth model. Can Nabiullina turn crisis into opportunity?

Finance Minister of the Year: Cardenas steadies the ship
October 2015
Colombia, more than any other Latin American country, has used the favourable winds of recent years to prepare for the rainy days ahead. But has finance minister Mauricio Cárdenas done enough to ensure Colombia stays afloat if there is a prolonged emerging market downturn?

Eurobond option still on the cards for Angola
October 2015
Armando Manuel, Angola’s finance minister, says that Angola will still issue a Eurobond despite recurring delays.

ECR survey results Q3 2015 dominated by China’s jitters, Brazilian crisis and EM capital shock
October 2015
China’s risk score fell 1.5 points, to below 60 out of 100, for the first time in almost two years in Q3 2015. With Brazil in freefall and a US interest-rate hike on the cards, investor risk is rising for many – but not all – emerging markets (EMs), complicating portfolio selection.

Pakistan's central bank chief eyes balancing act
October 2015
Economic adjustment is well on track, but security and fiscal-consolidation challenges remain a drag on sustainable growth, warns State Bank of Pakistan governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra.

Thailand's Apisak tells foreign banks they can’t compete
October 2015
Limited opportunity under military junta; domestic banks have retail dominance.

Malaysia central bank: Zeti’s last stand
October 2015
Before she leaves, Malaysia’s respected central bank governor could do her country a big favour by standing up to the prime minister.

Brazil central bank: We thought 'good times would last forever'
October 2015
Commodity exports overvalued the real; manufacturing went 'down the drain'.

Brazil: Downgrade sparks fears of sell-off spiral
October 2015
IRB Brasil Re delays IPO pricing; debt markets down 52% on year.

Debt capital markets: Colombian bond reflects LatAm’s new reality
October 2015
Big premium sets pricing reference; euro market remains attractive.

Central America: Panama moves against illicit finance
October 2015
Correspondent banking relationships strained; Venezuelan currency crisis adds to headwinds.

Latin America investment banking: Fees’ big freeze
October 2015
Investment banking fees in LatAm are on the way down and international banks face a tricky choice of whether to stick or twist.

Nabiullina rages against the banking machine
October 2015
In 2013, Russia’s central bank became a mega-regulator, overseeing a slew of credit institutions, from banks, insurance agencies, investment vehicles, micro-finance houses to pawnshops. That makes Elvira Nabiullina the most powerful central banker in modern Russian history.

Emerging Europe: Tinkoff defies Russian consumer squeeze
October 2015
Bad debts spark second wave of sector losses; CEO says low-cost, credit card model key to success.

Seychelles to snub Eurobond market
October 2015
Finance minister of heavily indebted nation sees no need to access international capital markets in the coming years.

New Ecobank CEO shelves Nigeria-stake sale plans
October 2015
Ade Ayeyemi says plans to sell a stake in Ecobank’s Nigerian business have been put on hold as current market conditions are not conducive to a successful sale.

US outlines rules for Iran
October 2015
Overall clarity still lacking; US financial system firmly out of bounds.

Africa: Nigerian central bank offers relief to bank sector
October 2015
Cuts capital reserve requirement; currency still under pressure.

Tunisia optimism in spite of torrid time for tourism
October 2015
Reforms are expected to gather pace in 2016, boosting the country’s investment prospects.

Riskexperts losing faith in Malaysia
September 2015

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Further falls in the sovereign’s risk score signal the possibility of a credit rating downgrade.

 

Banking: Taiwan’s feet of clay
September 2015
The island’s biggest lenders are pushing hard into Asia, snapping up regional banks in a quest for growth and higher returns. Back at home, though, the island’s banking sector remains as moribund as ever, hobbled by too small a market and powerful unions.

China private banking debate: Managing a wealth of riches in China
September 2015
The nation’s private banking industry is blossoming, but even as it flourishes, leading players have to move fast to keep up with a changing market and an increasingly demanding and diverse client base. Euromoney gathered together a panel of private bankers, wealth managers and economists to discuss the market’s key issues in July.

Chinese investment banks: Calmer chameleons
September 2015
Asia’s growing band of big, local investment banks won’t let short-term market fluctuations affect their planned transitions from national to regional leadership

Sri Lanka: Showdown at the central bank
September 2015
Current and former governors trade blows; Mahendran and Cabraal at loggerheads.

Sovereign wealth fund: Mongolia’s Temasek fixation
September 2015
In establishing its sovereign wealth fund, Mongolia had a wide range of forebears to learn from. Singapore’s Temasek may not be the best choice.

Beware EM liquidity imbalances
September 2015
Tighter dollar liquidity will be bad news for emerging market banks and their lending boom of recent years is about to grind to a halt.

Emerging-market crisis is key test for banks
September 2015
Lenders were offered a valuable real-life stress test in late August, when investor concerns about the Chinese authorities’ bungled response to slowing growth in China following the devaluation of the yuan led to plunging Chinese and world equity prices, slumping commodity valuations and spikes in volatility across currency and securities markets.

Asia: Byambasaikhan offers Mongolia a fresh exchange of ideas
September 2015
Rich in resources, Mongolia has yet to find a way to mine them in such a way to enable the country to throw off its communist legacy. There are high hopes the new head of the state investment bank may be the man for the job.

Peru: Q&A – Bayly paints a brighter picture for BCP
September 2015
Strategic planning has helped Banco de Crédito del Peru outperform despite economic headwinds. The CEO explains how that and rigorous control of risk and costs – all the way down to how much paint is used in its branches – can keep returns on equity above 20%.