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April 2010

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  • Salamé’s stability strategy underpins Lebanon’s hopes

    Through crisis after crisis, Riad Salamé has managed Lebanon’s finances. A new government with big plans will benefit from his prudent policies and his continued firm hand on the tiller. But even the veteran central bank governor is excited by what’s happening in his country. Clive Horwood reports from Beirut.
  • Lebanon debate: Lebanon aims to build on new era of stability

    Inward investment is rising, government debt ratios are falling, and a government of national unity has ambitious plans to revitalize Lebanon’s economy. Bankers and politicians alike want to capitalize on what could be an unprecedented opportunity to transform Lebanon’s fortunes.
  • Indonesia’s central question

    Touted as the next Bric country, Indonesia has avoided the worst of the financial crisis and its economy is powering ahead – but is that despite or because of a vacancy at the head of the country’s central bank? Eric Ellis investigates.
  • Al-Maraj: Bahrain shows resilience to region’s jitters

    Central bank governor, Rasheed Al-Maraj, has successfully navigated his country’s banking industry through the financial crisis. But headwinds persist, not least the potential for further asset-quality deterioration. He speaks to Sudip Roy about Bahrain’s financial prospects.
  • Taiwan’s struggling banks look to China

    Taiwan’s banks are among Asia’s most unprofitable. They have for years searched for ways to grow. Improved relations with China offer the promise of entry into a hugely profitable new market, but it won’t be easy. Lawrence White reports.
  • Islamic finance: Hub or hubris?

    Shariah banking is becoming big business in Southeast Asia, with Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta battling for the title of regional Islamic finance centre. But even the most optimistic bankers fear further expansion could be stymied by arcane regulation and lack of cross-border consensus. Eric Ellis reports.
  • Cash management: After the goldrush

    Supply-chain finance has been the big hit of the crisis for transaction banks. The product was pushed over the past decade without any big success and has now taken off as working capital has become crucial to companies’ survival and buyers have recognized the fragility of their supply chains. Can market growth be sustained? Laurence Neville reports.
  • Beijing fears threaten Taiwan insurance takeover

    The proposed sale of Taiwan’s second-largest life insurer to two firms with reported links to the mainland is causing consternation in Taipei. Is this cross-strait paranoia or are locals right to be worried? Elliot Wilson investigates.
  • Asia: Debt markets race for the top again

    The competition for debt capital market share in Asia is fiercer than for years. Hungry new franchises are using their balance sheets and aggressive pricing promises to win deals. The region’s top equity houses are bulking up their debt offerings and traditional powerhouses are back in force. Lawrence White reports.
  • Covered bonds: The mortgage conundrum

    Covered bonds have always been viewed as a funding tool to supplement the securitization market, but while RMBS new issuance remains patchy there are signs that the market is gaining traction and going global. Could this be at a tipping point? Hamish Risk reports.
  • Banking: ANZ shoots straight for Asia

    At a time when others have retrenched and reshaped, ANZ stands out for the brassiness of its ambition. Can it match its words with delivery?
  • Custody: The elephant in the room

    The financial crisis has drastically reduced the revenue streams upon which many custodians have based their businesses. Unless they can be replaced, custody will become far more expensive for all concerned. By Louise Bowman.
  • The case against State Street

    Over the past two years the US custodian has lost money and reputation. The search is on for new fee revenue to support the industry colossus that the bank has become.
  • Fixed income: Boom over for trading boutiques

    Salaries at banks too high to compete; Two mid-sized brokers suffer scandals
  • Nixon takes RBC into the big league

    Royal Bank of Canada had a great crisis, and it’s thriving through the recovery as well. It has established its position as one of the biggest, as well as best-run, banks in the world. But its new prominence brings added pressure and responsibility to RBC’s long-serving chief executive, Gordon Nixon. He spoke to Clive Horwood.