Best Managed Companies Middle East 2014

Best Managed Companies Middle East 2014

Saudi markets get chance to shine?

Navigating Africa’s disparate markets

Navigating Africa’s disparate markets

Simplifying the investment process


Emerging markets ride 2014 FX rollercoaster

Emerging markets ride 2014 FX rollercoaster

December 2014

EM currencies have taken a savage beating this year, tumbling to a decade low, thanks to falling oil prices, weaker growth, a stronger dollar and fears over reform inertia. Euromoney surveys the FX landscape for 2015.



Eurozone: Draghi’s oil trick

Eurozone: Draghi’s oil trick

December 2014 | Sponsored by ING

Despite no action at the ECB meeting on December 4, President Mario Draghi sent strong signals that QE will start next year.

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Global economy’s end-of-year verdict: ‘Try harder’

Global economy’s end-of-year verdict: ‘Try harder’

December 2014 | Sponsored by VTB Capital

There is an elevated risk of a global recession in 2015 given eurozone stagflation, setbacks in Japan, a debt-ridden China, the risk of the oil-price collapse triggering geopolitical risk and diminishing returns from G7 monetary stimulus.

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Asia

China sprouts green shoots in securitization

China sprouts green shoots in securitization

December 2014

A flurry of new deals points to an exciting new business possibility for Apac banks in 2015.


Emerging markets brace for stress test

December 2014

Emerging market fixed-income and FX markets are poised for a third year of volatility because of a slowing China, strengthening dollar, lower oil prices, the prospect of a US rate hike, and the shortage of investable high yielders, as well as the declining creditworthiness of the likes of Russia and Venezuela.

Investment banking: Ambitious locals up the ante in Asia

December 2014

The traditional players continued to fight it out for investment banking spoils in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014, but Chinese banks are on the rise and regionals are pushing for a bigger share of the pie.

Rise of RMB trading shows little sign of slowing in 2015

December 2014

Despite depreciation risk next year, amid the global currency war, market players say the battle between RMB offshore financial hubs and trading volumes will go from strength to strength.

Stock Connect dominates Asian equities at turn of year

November 2014

Stock Connect, dark liquidity, Japan's reflationary bid and Beijing's policy direction dominated the Asian equity landscape in 2014 and set the stage for 2015.

Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect enables CNH funding arbitrage

December 2014

The Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect, which was launched amid much fanfare on November 17, has triggered a jump in CNH-funded arbitrage opportunities. However, rising Stock Connect volumes and easing by the People’s Bank of China – triggering a convergence between onshore and offshore rates – will remove current funding advantages.

Myanmar: first-mover advantage?

November 2014

It is not often new countries open up to international banks. Nine lenders have recently received licences to operate in Myanmar. It gives them a ready advantage in a country that lacks some basic infrastructure.

Deutsche Börse plots expansion into emerging market FX

November 2014

Deutsche Börse's acquisition of a minority stake in R5FX, the London-based electronic trading venue specializing in emerging markets (EM) FX, is the latest in a series of strategic moves by the exchange to break into the FX market. Up to 20 banks have signed up for the March launch of a bank-to-bank liquidity pool for EM FX.

Japanese portfolio flows support weaker yen but raise default risk

November 2014

Long-awaited changes announced last week to the composition of Japan's state pension fund portfolios, combined with increasing flows into foreign – predominantly US dollar – assets from retail investors and the insurance sector, should weaken the yen, but could be storing up problems in the long term.

China: Stock Connect through train steams ahead

November 2014

The eagerly awaited Stock Connect system connecting Hong Kong to the mainland is up and running to relief all round. While traditional long-only funds and southbound flows have lagged, market players foresee a new dawn in Chinese equity trading.

HFT: Flash boys come to Asia

November 2014

High-frequency trading is not confined to Europe and north America. Some Asia-Pacific countries are further along in embracing the strategy than others.

Dark clouds still loom over India IPOs

November 2014

The feelgood factor from the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister does not seem to be translating into better fees for IPO bankers – yet.

South Korea battling for RMB spoils

October 2014

Backed by its robust trading relationship with China, the east Asian nation is the latest fledgling offshore renminbi hub. Market participants shed light on South Korea’s renminbi bid as internationalization of the Chinese currency gathers pace.

Banking: Asia-Pacific’s regulation headache

October 2014

Pity the regional Asian bank chiefs dealing with myriad local regulators as well as extra-territorial oversight.

The future of the RMB: special focus

December 2014

An in-depth guide to global currency wars; how Beijing is seeking to globalize the renminbi, through currency swaps and trade-financing facilities; the rise of the offshore bond market; and how fee-hungry banks are salivating at the prospect of the RMB’s growth.

The new normal for emerging markets

October 2014

China, the dollar and oil. All three are moving in novel directions.

Malaysia mega-merger seeks central-bank approval

October 2014

Malaysia gears up for consolidation in its financial sector as the three-way deal moves ahead.

IMF struggles for relevance

October 2014

A sin of omission: the agenda for the annual meeting in Washington DC this week fails to take sufficient account of the fears of emerging-market (EM) policymakers.

IFC plans offshore RMB duration play

October 2014

Buoyed by its Indian success, the World Bank’s private-sector arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has set its sights on further extending the offshore renminbi curve.

India: in depth

October 2014

India needs a litany of reforms to unshackle its stalled capitalist project. Euromoney speaks with the country's central bank governor Raghuram Rajan about his reformist battle and investigates the outlook for the banking system.

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Latin America

Brazil’s reality check for reviving the economy

Brazil’s reality check for reviving the economy

December 2014

Brazil has a long and painful struggle ahead to revive its economy. Denial and complacency will not help that process.


Brazil’s banks immune to struggling economy

November 2014

Strong results across the sector; banking system ‘a source of strength’.

Brazil: Bankers rueful over Rousseff

November 2014

Brazil’s banking industry exclaimed loudly that another four years of Dilma Rousseff would be a disaster for the country. Now that she has been re-elected, have the bankers changed their minds?

Colombia faces oil price test

November 2014

No short-term response to price shift; fiscal discipline key to economy.

LatAm: Rising rates will limit IPO activity

November 2014

Rising rates deter equity investors; Brazil no longer driving volumes.

Latin America: Sovereigns shape up for differentiation

October 2014

The time when international fund managers saw Latin America as a homogenous investment call is gone. The days of differentiation are here. And as many of the region’s leading countries look to make the difficult transition from developing to developed economies, their finance ministers are fully aware of the need to create, and tell, their individual investment cases.

IIF warns that Argentina faces a tough 2015

October 2014

The short- and medium-term outlooks for Argentina are increasingly diverging, says the Institute of International Finance.

Colombia finds the price of peace

October 2014

Wealth tax proposed; Finance minister sensitive to FDI fears

Latin America: Of brothers and cousins

October 2014

The relative harmony of the Pacific Alliance means that Argentina and Brazil must now start to listen to their little brothers in Mercosur.

Brazilian real troubles far from over

October 2014

The decline of the Brazilian real to a nine-year low this week seemed to mark a nadir for a currency buffeted by economic and political concerns. Analysts say, though, that things could get worse before they get better.

Mexico eyes sovereign sukuk

October 2014

Latin America’s first such deal; Pemex plans to follow.

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Central and Eastern Europe

Romania’s embattled finance minister faces budget test

Romania’s embattled finance minister faces budget test

December 2014

Euromoney meets Ioana Petrescu in Bucharest as she wrestles with the challenge of kick-starting an IMF-bound sputtering economy in the teeth of political opposition.


Warsaw Stock Exchange: No place like home

December 2014

The WSE should pursue local opportunities, rather than chasing new listings from foreign firms.

Moscow Exchange: All revved up with no place to go

November 2014

Moscow’s revamped stock exchange has everything it takes to be a global player, with the exception of supply and demand. Has Russia’s isolation put a dampener on its ambitious domestic capital markets development programme?

Why Erdogan’s attack on Bank Asya matters

November 2014

Three years ago, the leader of one of the world’s biggest countries almost called for a run on one of its biggest banks.

The battle for Bank Asya

November 2014

Turkey’s president has tried to kick of one of the country’s largest banks into touch, through public attacks and behind-the-scenes pressure. Despite becoming a political football, Bank Asya is still in the game. Can Turkey’s reputation in the west as a place to do business survive Erdogan’s continued, politically-motivated vendetta?

Emerging Europe: Warsaw will go organic, says new CEO

November 2014

Merger with Vienna ‘too complex’; regional listings in the spotlight.

Romania risk falls after surprise election result

November 2014

Romania’s country-risk score improved slightly in the immediate aftermath of the Klaus Iohannis’s surprise election victory, as participating economists cautiously signalled their optimism over the likely policy direction the country might now take.

Russia’s risk score plummets to its lowest since 1998 default

November 2014

As sanctions and falling oil prices force the rouble’s slide, country risk experts are questioning the ability of privately owned and/or state-backed banks and corporates to obtain credit and repay their debts amid capital flight and an economy in decline.

Russian bank risks jump as Europe's halves

November 2014

The latest results of a systemic risk index reveal elevated risks in Russia, Portugal and France but a generally marked improvement across the rest of Europe.

Russia central bank attempts rouble crisis circuit-breaker

November 2014

Analysts support the Central Bank of Russia’s (CBR) response to the collapse of the rouble, arguing it will shift market expectations and could stabilize the currency in the medium-term. In an interview with Euromoney before the move, a CBR official discusses the opportunities and challenges in the regime shift.

Ukraine bonds: Keep calm and carry on paying

November 2014

When Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz paid $1.6 billion to redeem a bond maturing on October 1, one Twitter commentator accused the country’s policymakers of “defaulting on its citizens”.

Turkey looks to diversify infrastructure debt

October 2014

The country’s banks will not be able to shoulder the debt burden of its planned infrastructure programme. But palatable alternatives that don’t involve government guarantees aren’t yet ready, so for the foreseeable future, debt refinancing of projects is confined to after construction.

Ukraine's banks spot an opportunity

October 2014

Politicians have promised that reform is on the way. International investors are apparently ready to step in if the conflict calms. But will it be in time to rescue an economy bedevilled by fighting, corruption and currency shortages? Banks are struggling to survive, hamstrung by lack of funding and capital. On the eve of parliamentary elections, Euromoney visited Kiev to canvass the views of policymakers, bankers and international sponsors. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

CEE exchange consolidation: Fair exchange

October 2014

Stock exchange consolidation is back in focus in emerging Europe after the appointment of a new head for the Warsaw bourse. Further tie-ups across the region could yet prove politically problematic.

Kazakhstan: Sovereign sells first Eurobond for 14 years

October 2014

Investor demand tops $11 billion; Oil price, rouble falls raise devaluation fears.

Bank Asya fights back against Erdogan attack

October 2014

The chief executive of the leading Turkish Islamic bank claims it is the victim of a politically driven campaign by the country’s president, in an exclusive interview with Euromoney.

More central and eastern europe stories


Middle East and Africa

Africa: Regional dreams spur banks and their clients

Africa: Regional dreams spur banks and their clients

January 2015

Many of South Africa’s leading companies see a once-in-a-generation chance to build businesses across the continent. Banks in South Africa spy an opportunity too, by growing around the region alongside their clients. Can they make the most of it?


Libya: Goldman must open its LIA books

December 2014

Judge rules profits must be explained; 28 people to have their email searched.

Angolan SWF chairman calls for greater support as oil price falls

December 2014

The Angolan government could provide greater financial support to its fledgling $5 billion sovereign wealth fund (SWF), according to its chairman, amid rising concerns over the impact falling oil prices will have on the country's economy.

Eskom woes to be confronted by task force

December 2014

South Africa’s irregular and failing electricity supply has become the target of a special task force as Eskom struggles to deliver enough electricity to power the economy.

Best Managed Companies in the Middle East 2014: Saudi markets get chance to shine?

November 2014

The opening up of the Saudi Stock Exchange to foreign investors could be a watershed moment for the country’s capital markets. Bankers predict a rush of deals to soak up demand. But what will foreign investors find in the Middle East’s biggest market? And can structural issues over settlement be solved?

Best Managed Companies in the Middle East 2014: Results index

November 2014

Bank analysts and equity investors give their opinions on which companies they think are the best by the individual company sectors.

Inside Qatar’s investment diaspora

November 2014

Asset-hungry and cash rich, Qatar keeps grabbing the headlines. But there are questions over which branch of Qatar’s wealth actually owns its trophy assets, while it is becoming increasingly hard to fathom whether the authorities are coordinating these investments.

Five Qatari investment institutions that aren’t the QIA

November 2014

A look at Qatar Foundation Endowment, QPI, Qatar Sports Investment, Qatar Luxury Group and Hassad Food.

Navigating Africa’s disparate markets

November 2014

Illiquid markets, limited exchanges and sometimes vague institutional information make Africa’s securities landscape difficult to navigate. Firms such as Imara are in a good place to act as guides.

Case studies of SSA stock markets

November 2014

African exchanges can be small, illiquid and difficult to navigate. Some regulators are making efforts to resolve these issues, while others struggle to keep up with investors' demands.

Gulf investing no longer a one-way street

November 2014

Growing investor comfort in region; IFA culture developing.

Teng adds heft to Abu Dhabi’s central ambitions

November 2014

Second big hire this year; ramps up competition with Dubai.

Angola sets sights on capital-markets reform

November 2014

The development of Angola's capital markets has been long promised but recent indications from the country's capital-markets commission suggests secondary public-debt trading could begin as early as next month. Nevertheless, it's unclear when the stock exchange will open its doors.

Lessons from the National Commercial Bank IPO

November 2014

The overwhelming retail demand for the Saudi bank’s $6 billion listing raises questions about how the country’s equity market will respond to its opening up to foreign investors.

Essien’s Ecobank charm offensive

October 2014

Albert Essien has brought much-needed calm to a bank that, just a few months ago, was in crisis. Ecobank’s African network remains intact. It now has two powerful, strategic shareholders. But can the bank avoid repeating the mistakes of the past?

How Ecobank washed its dirty linen in public

October 2014

Africa: Banks and telcos mobilise for money

October 2014

There’s no doubt mobile money is Africa’s future, but who is best equipped to benefit most: the telcos with their networks, or the banks with their products and service? And why are they fighting when they could be cooperating?

Real estate: A curious case for Qatar

October 2014

The QIA has found itself on both sides of a property spat. But when in-fighting turns into a court case, only the lawyers will end up winning.

Equity markets: Zain Bahrain gets disconnected

October 2014

Bahrain stuck in trading trough; Gulf markets are polarizing.

Saudi Stock Exchange: Ambitious Al-Ghamdi manages expectations

November 2014

What’s in a name? Adel Saleh Al-Ghamdi is the chief executive of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). The brackets are important. They are a sign of the increasing attention he and his institution are paying to the world outside Saudi Arabia.

Carlyle picks up stake in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank

November 2014

Executives from Diamond Bank and Carlyle reveal the rationale for the latter's investment in the lender, citing the long-term investment horizon despite the oil-driven volatility in Nigeria’s economy.

More middle east and africa stories


Euromoney Country Risk

Saudi risk score plummets as oil shock intensifies

Saudi risk score plummets as oil shock intensifies

December 2014

The sovereign’s risk score has fallen in recent days as lower oil prices add to the Kingdom’s existing economic, political and structural weaknesses.


Euromoney’s risk survey pinpoints mispriced oil-exporter credits

December 2014

Russia’s and Venezuela’s plight was predicted by Euromoney’s country risk survey well before the market priced in their deteriorating creditworthiness. Other, similarly ranked oil-producing sovereigns could endure a similar fate.

Sliding oil price heightens risks for energy-exporting nations

December 2014

Economists have been downgrading oil exporters’ risk scores in recent weeks, but there might be worse to come if spot prices and petro-currencies continue to fall.

Heightened French risk still imperilling the eurozone

November 2014

France’s creditworthiness has continually worsened during the six years since the global financial crisis. The question is whether the rising risk trend will continue into 2015 and will that begin to affect its borrowing costs, which have recently hit record lows.

Romania risk falls after surprise election result

November 2014

Romania’s country-risk score improved slightly in the immediate aftermath of the Klaus Iohannis’s surprise election victory, as participating economists cautiously signalled their optimism over the likely policy direction the country might now take.

More euromoney country risk stories