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April 2002

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LATEST ARTICLES

  • Credit Fund Management
  • UniCredito Italiano is expanding fast in the EU accession candidate countries of central and eastern Europe, where it seeks local banks with good management.
  • The usually understated tensions between finance ministries and independent central banks have taken on a more vociferous tone in Poland, where finance minister Marek Belka is insistent that the National Bank of Poland is being tardy in cutting interest rates, thus perpetuating a period of economic stagnation.
  • India
  • Recent post-Enron SEC statements confirm that public companies in the US will soon have to undergo far greater scrutiny than ever before.
  • The US is in a flap about the transparency of company accounts. Maybe it should look at Germany, where far bigger liberties are taken with figures. CEOs of German corporates sometimes proudly draw analysts' attention to their methods of bumping up numbers.
  • Novelty names for special purpose vehicles in structured finance have all but disappeared thanks to Enron.
  • Russia
  • The uncertainty that has permeated the Pfandbrief market in the past two years persists. Investors are getting more choosy about issues, competition is intensifying in the underlying lending businesses and new regulations are adding their own challenges, some of which offer opportunities for diversification as well as restrictions.
  • There's a game played by pretty well every banker who frequents development bank meetings. It could be called "What's the Mood?" Delegates look back on the chaos of the IMF annual meetings in September 1999, when Ecuador defaulted, or the unleavened pessimism of the IMF meetings a year earlier, held in the shadow of the disastrous Russian crisis. This year's Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) meetings can be summed up by the word "malaise".
  • Now hardly seems the time for Americans to be making pronouncements on European corporate governance. Yet Peter Clapman, chief counsel at TIAA-Cref, the US teachers' pension fund, has done just that.
  • Governor of the Bank of Greece
  • Research teams are ruined if they lose their reputation. Read what some of the top analysts say about how they maintain independence from sales teams.
  • Russia took off on high oil prices and the export advantages of a weak rouble. Consumers latched on and the government began institutional reform designed to sustain and broaden growth sectors. So far, so good. But reform – particularly the crucial development of banking and capital markets – is incomplete and a capital-starved economy is hitting capacity ceilings.
  • China's securities markets seem to be on the verge of opening up to foreign houses working in joint ventures with local partners. The foreigners are divided on whether they should go for market share by taking on big partners or seek out smaller firms that bring the licences they need but are likely to have fewer skeletons in the cupboard.
  • Asian Development Bank presidents have always been Japanese, appointed unchallenged by Japan’s finance ministry. Recently they have hardly shone as leaders. Tadao Chino seems to have broken with that pattern, quietly building consensus within the bank and focusing on direct poverty alleviation rather than grand infrastructure projects.
  • The email to Euromoney from Bank of Indonesia said simply that the governor wouldn't now be attending the Borrowers and Issuers Conference in Singapore so an interview wasn't possible.
  • Issuer: General Electric Capital CorpAmount: $11 billionLaunched: March 15 2002Lead managers: Citigroup/SSB, JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers
  • So, Deutsche Bank is buying Merrill Lynch. No, hang on, it's merging with UBS. Actually, Lloyds TSB wants to buy Deutsche. And if none of that works, Deutsche wants to buy PaineWebber from UBS.
  • Online Foreign Exchange
  • Investment banking
  • Research
  • I have just got back from a visit to Korea. It's booming. National output rose 3% in real terms last year. Economic growth is accelerating. It grew at an annual rate of 3.7% in the past quarter and I reckon it's got further to go. Something near 6% this year looks likely.
  • Even after the dot com bubble burst, US investors continued to snap up the IPOs of another group of companies characterized by non-existent profits and total dependence on unproven new technology. Now many investors are regretting their enthusiasm for healthcare and biotech stocks.
  • Outsourcing is still a utopian dream for many investment houses. The idea that a fund manager can offload all of its back-office responsibilities and concentrate on investment performance alone remains an enticing aim, particularly in tough markets. However, so far only a few full outsourcing deals are actually being undertaken, with varying success, while one or two of the biggest custodians have yet to get their products off the ground. This stuttering start has left the investment community uncertain of its next step. If outsourcing really is investment nirvana, fund managers will still want to pursue it. However, the pain endured by those already on the path has made them wary. Will faith help to silence the doubters?
  • Interviews with the front-runners in this year's Euromoney credit poll indicate a market in flux and efforts on the part of credit research teams to adapt to this. At a time when equity activity is subdued, the credit market stands out as lively but also highly volatile throughout the rating spectrum. This means that the top firms are doing their best to find new ways of presenting research to their varied customer base. Timeliness, focus and independence in their reports are crucial but they must produce this with staffing levels that are generally substantially lower than those of their equity colleagues.
  • Deutsche snaps at Merrill's high-yield heels
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