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April 1996

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LATEST ARTICLES

  • The opening of zloty-linked and zloty-denominated international bond markets suggests that Poland might replace the Czech Republic as the standard-bearer for eastern and central Europe in the capital markets.
  • The David and Goliath story is being re-enacted in the Spanish banking world with Banco Popular - the smallest but most profitable of the big five banks - setting its sights on a much larger takeover candidate, which the market believes could be the stumbling giant Banco Central Hispano (BCH).
  • The first thing the new director general of finance did when he arrived at the European Investment Bank almost a year ago was to ask his four division chiefs about their strategic approach to markets.
  • One of the UK's rudest magazines,Viz, has recruited the services of ex-Barings Securities boss, Peter Norris. The blue-blooded banker has moved to a magazine whose comic strip characters include Sid the Sexist, the Fat Slags and Biffer Bacon, the last of whom spends most of his time doing bodily harm to his parents.
  • Issuer: GPA Amount: $4.05 billion Launched: March 11 Lead manager: Morgan Stanley
  • There are still offshore banking centres that cater for the sleazier end of the market, but most of these are new. The others would have us believe they've grown respectable in their old age. Jules Stewart reports.
  • The French government has found a novel way of paying off its social security debt - a bond issue that will be paid for out of an earmarked tax. It's not exactly state-backed but there is an implicit guarantee. It may prove popular when investors get a clearer idea of the details. Daniel Evans reports.
  • GE Capital Services earns 37% of General Electric's profits, so it's anything but strategically insignificant. Right now its generals are engaged in a big push in Europe - it's taken over 34 businesses in two years. The strategy is to revive run-down assets by reshaping them with the company's "non-bank bank" formula. But purchases of traditional banks in eastern Europe are unnerving analysts. Can GECS be as successful with these as with British and French acquisitions? Brian Caplen reports.
  • Having arrived from Merrill Lynch four years ago to join a "European bank", she was said to be upset by her feeling of déjà vu.
  • The banking sector has been at the leading edge of economic reforms throughout the economies of central Europe. For most of the more developed markets, striving to join the European Union has given them a focus to get their banking sectors in order, and fast. The majority of countries in the region have created sound legislative frameworks based on international banking principles and double-tier banking systems around the core of a broadly independent central bank. However, the hard work is by no means over. The difficult task has been to make sure that the banks that have been created are able to survive and operate according to commercial principles and, ultimately, to stand on their own feet.
  • Economic policy: a casualty of party politics? The ideological, personal and political battles between Turkey's new government coalition partners could damage economic management. Metin Munir reports.
  • New supply forces in the capital market The second-tier and other lesser issuers are driving the market. Albert Smith reports.
  • It's a jungle out here, so truly I may just as well be in the office, but Ken signals me to find a few days and come out to join him, he is here in Zimbabwe on one of the overseas fact-finding visits which he sets up whenever he runs low on duty free cheroots, and now it seems he needs advice, or rather he has more advice than he requires but he wants mine.
  • Mortgages issued in 1994 and 1995 are showing higher rates of default than anyone had previously suspected.
  • Julian Johnson, downing a pint of beer as part of his training, says going to the magnetic North Pole will make a change from sitting in a windowless basement trading US government bonds. The manager of the London office of Aubrey G Lanston, a subsidiary of Industrial Bank of Japan, says the six-week trek, beginning in April, will be aided by two skidoo vehicles, three airborne food drops, and the expertise of the team leader, David Hempleman Adams, one of the UK's foremost experts on Arctic expeditions.
  • How can investors square their desire to invest in the newest emerging markets with the need to follow the legal requirements for prudential custody arrangements? By Christopher Stoakes.
  • I've said it before in this column: the 1999 date for European monetary union will be postponed. I'm saying it again because the chorus of Europe's politicians proclaiming that EMU will happen on time is deafening. But I think postponement will happen, by common agreement of the 15 member states, probably before the end of this year.
  • Jean-Claude Komarovsky, to get Black Knight's major shareholder off his back, goes to the fountainhead of retail distribution - Mrs Watanabe's playschool in deepest Japan.
  • The senior executives who read Euromoney are a loyal and conservative group. This magazine's annual business travel poll shows a strong consistency in the executives' decisions on how to travel when they are away on business.
  • Telecoms deregulation has hit the land-of-the-free local call. Danielle Robinson reports on the rich pickings for bankers from the freeing-up of US telephone and broadcasting services as the players fight for a share of integrated markets.
  • Hans-Peter Bauer: head of global fixed income and derivatives, UBS, London. Tinny Hasendonckx: head of Euromarket trading- Kredietbank Brussels. Thomas Keller: head of asset/liability management-L-Bank, Germany.
  • For diversity and opportunity look to the markets of central and eastern Europe Showing themselves to be more resilent and different this year, markets in central and eastern Europe are offering foreign investors a wide variety of investment options. Krystyna Krzyzak reports.
  • ...and sensible Germans
  • No-one believes that investment bank research is fully independent. As competition and costs escalate, the pressure on analysts to hawk deals and withhold negative views is intensifying. While some analysts get rich in the new environment, many have quit, and investors have turned to their own and third-party research. Michelle Celarier reports.
  • Why Achilles heel? Because the Bonn government - once the single-minded champion of European economic union - is paralyzed by problems in its own backyard. It has pumped billions of Deutschmarks and man-years of management into its five new Länder, but they show little sign of surviving without life-support. And Germany's slide into recession, in the west and the east, could jeopardize an early move to European economic and monetary union. David Shirreff reports.
  • The Bank of China aims to be a major international player by the year 2010. But it faces many challenges, not least of which is the transformation of a large proportion of its international profit - from Hong Kong - into domestic profit in less than 500 days. Sophie Roell reports on the bank's efforts to expand its areas of expertise, introduce tighter controls and achieve real independence.
  • Chairman John Reed's successor could be any one of half a dozen managers running the new streamlined Citicorp - Reed is giving nothing away about his favoured choice. But this group is fast changing the culture of the "largest small bank in the world" as it retools its approach to branded products and global coverage. Peter Lee reports.
  • An island powered for success The combination of American know-how and Asian can-do has turned Taiwan into one of the world's leading producers of computer-related electronics. And, despite the Beijing factor, medium- and long-term prospects are excellent. But the island needs to raise investment in R&D to stay ahead of the competition, as Nicholas Bradbury reports.
  • Asset swaps have grown rapidly in recent years mainly because of banks' excess liquidity and their need for floating-rate assets. But what happens when interest rates rise and banks start to increase lending again? That would either give the asset-swap market a big boost, or kill it - depending on who you ask. Rupert Gordon-Walker reports.