September 2017

September 2017

Can finance save the world’s vulnerable nations?

There are so many challenges related to climate change, so many disparate actors required for their remedy and so much money required to do it, that it is tempting to see the whole situation as unfixable. Perhaps that is why some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are not willing to talk about it. There is one positive counterbalance: all the ingredients needed to meet climate finance goals are available. But getting the money where it needs to go, with private capital alongside, will require a level of global coordination rarely seen.

Top Stories

Making sense of Belt and Road – What it means for banks

Making sense of Belt and Road – What it means for banks

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is so vast and ambitious it can be difficult to understand how it will all work in practice – what makes a BRI undertaking, how will they be funded, will they be trophy projects or on commercial terms, how are they originated? – so Euromoney spoke to 16 institutions all looking at BRI from their own different perspectives.

Why finance, not just aid, is the key to dealing with humanitarian crises

In the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon, life for the many of the 5 million Syrians displaced by civil war somehow goes on. A whole new financial ecosystem is needed to support the amazing resilience and initiative of many of these refugees, who have little prospect of going home. It presents a new challenge for NGOs and they need the help of investors, financial institutions and the private sector. Euromoney visited camps in Jordan and urban areas in Lebanon to talk to aid workers, government and non-government officials and the refugees themselves to find out what role the banking system can play in alleviating the greatest humanitarian challenge of this century.

Banking: Throwing the bail-in out with the bath water

A textbook case, a long-inevitable state bailout and a brazen political fudge: Europe’s BRRD has had something of a rough ride this summer. As the region’s banks brace themselves for the capital-raising marathon that is MREL, are the new resolution regulations actually doing more harm than good?

V20

Purisima sets out his vision  for the V20 and the Philippines

Purisima sets out his vision for the V20 and the Philippines

Cesar Purisima was secretary of finance of the Philippines when Typhoon Haiyan devastated much of the country. It was a lesson he hadn’t forgotten when he became the founding chair of the V20, a vehicle for the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations to speak collectively.

Climate change finance: a modest proposal

Climate change finance for the V20 and other vulnerable states will need innovative thinking. It turns out plenty has already taken place, including a detailed proposal to bring funding to those who can’t raise it independently.

Climate change: Mixed messages on the Maldives waterfront

No nation is more at risk from rising seas than the Maldives. Yet the government seems more interested in tourism than sustainability, and access to international funds is difficult. Has the climate change debate lost relevance in the country that inspired the creation of the V20?

Climate change: Ahead of the curve and at the back of the line

Costa Rica’s ambitious commitment to reducing carbon emissions places it at the forefront of the fight against climate change. But its politicians worry that, with financial aid being focused elsewhere, it could effectively be punished for its early adopter status.

Can fintech help solve the refugee crisis?

Fintech and digital financial services are rushing in to help refugees and migrants access and transfer money, but their innovation isn’t just changing how humanitarian aid agencies operate – it’s also offering solutions for broader financial inclusion challenges.

Life at the sharp end of climate change

Pacific island states like Kiribati, the Cook Islands and Palau are among the most exposed in the world to climate change. It is not just rising sea levels that threaten to obliterate them, but also more extreme storms and tides, the acidification of the seas that provide their livelihood, and drought. Worse, their relative obscurity makes it hard for them to state their case, they lack the institutional capacity to approach multilateral funding sources and many of them are flat broke anyway. What can they do?

Fintech

Fintech: Where necessity is the mother of invention

Fintech: Where necessity is the mother of invention

Cutting-edge technologies are being harnessed to bring affordable financial services to hundreds of millions of people in emerging markets. They offer a glimpse into how financial services in the rest of the world may develop.

Capital markets

Saving the world, one bond at a time

Saving the world, one bond at a time

It is rare for financial market professionals to feel they are helping to save the world, but a new capital markets deal from the World Bank to help the poorest countries cope with pandemics might be doing just that

Capital markets: How to build a social bond market

As an ecosystem to support and build the social bond brand starts to emerge, could the market outstrip its green cousin? There is a good chance, given the breadth of problems and the financing needs behind them. But some big challenges lie ahead.

Hyperglobalization: You reap what you sow

Insanity can be defined as repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. The elites spawned by unfettered global capitalism and a market-driven financial system are still to heed the lessons from the global financial crisis and the rise of populist nationalism.

Middle East & Africa

Qatari finance finds its new normal

Qatari finance finds its new normal

Banks in Qatar have been hit hard by its powerful neighbours’ unexpected blockade, but finance, just like other sectors of the Qatari economy, is finding ways to cope with this sudden realignment of regional alliances.

Oil has Oman over a barrel

Low oil prices have put Oman’s government under pressure, while regional political turmoil could make life even more uncomfortable. A new economic model is called for, but can the leaders in Muscat find one quickly enough?

Egypt's El-Garhy seeks stability in reform

Amr El-Garhy is Egypt’s ninth finance minister in a little over six years – and after a revolution, a coup d’état and last year’s surprise currency flotation, the Egyptian economy is in desperate need of stability. El-Garhy talks to Euromoney about the challenges facing him and the country.

Iraq’s next battle: corruption

Iraq’s former industry minister, Mohammed Alderajy, is brutally honest about the country’s culture of corruption and resistance to reform. The banking sector is far from immune. He says a new attitude is needed if Iraq is to improve its prospects for reconstruction.

Banking

Then and now... What today's bank chiefs learned from the GFC

Then and now... What today's bank chiefs learned from the GFC

A decade after the great panic of August 2007, a harbinger of the global financial crisis that followed, Euromoney brings together chief executives of three firms almost brought down by the credit crunch. We ask them to share their recollections of that time, discuss key lessons learned and debate the likelihood of a new crisis, the banking industry’s ability to withstand it and how to improve regulation.

Low rates hobble Germany’s public banks

Germany’s public-sector banks are not meant to be profitable – they have a social function – but even though stresses will continue, savings banks have found ways to work with the Landesbanks.

Sovereign debt

Markets: The rise of invisible debt

Markets: The rise of invisible debt

It is not just corporations and states that have built up record debt levels: the indebtedness of the booming sub-sovereign market – especially among state-owned enterprises – can be difficult to see until something goes wrong. Should investors be spooked?

Latin America

Investment: Argentina’s delicate balancing act

Investment: Argentina’s delicate balancing act

President Mauricio Macri’s economic inheritance was toxic; his policy of gradual fiscal realignment looks like it will lead to success in this year’s crucial mid-term elections, but the country desperately needs investment to maintain the transition.

Mexican M&A shrugs off the Trump slump

The surprise victory of Donald Trump in last year’s US election stopped Mexican M&A in its tracks, but as the stock market and the peso started recover in 2017, so too did Mexican corporate appetite for acquisitions, not least in the US.

Real estate

Real estate: Can the high street survive this low?

Real estate: Can the high street survive this low?

Investment in logistics assets is on the up, while interest in retail properties seems to be on the slide, dragged down by the sense that they are the past, not the future. But bricks and mortar may yet have some bounce in it.

Real estate: Brookfield bets on bricks and mortar

As jitters about the future of high-street retail in the US and beyond prompt property investors to pare their exposure to the sector, Brookfield Property Group, one of the world’s largest, is busy ramping up.

Belt and Road Initiative

New Silk Road Finance Awards 2017: Results index

New Silk Road Finance Awards 2017: Results index

Through the internationalization of the renminbi, capital markets activity, mergers and acquisitions and the funding of some remarkable projects, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has taken root in financial markets. These are the banks leading the way.

Belt and Road: China in CEE – On the right track?

Chinese policymakers and firms are showing an increasing interest in central and eastern Europe – but will Beijing’s ambitious plans for infrastructure development put China on a collision course with the EU?

Asia Pacific

Taiwan’s capital markets malaise

Taiwan’s capital markets malaise

A falling number of corporates are choosing to list on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Given the dire after-market performance of Aslan Pharmaceuticals, it is not hard to see why.

Private banking

Emerging Europe

Transaction services

Comment

Hedging against the unwind of QE in Europe

Amid rising uncertainty over when the ECB will end quantitative easing and the likely extent of rate rises in the eurozone, the realization dawns that some investors could suffer devastating losses.

Finance can be a force for good

It’s right to adopt a stance of scepticism over banks’ commitments to environmental, social and governance standards, but it’s people, not corporations, who pilot changes in course, and Euromoney is in a privileged position to witness such changes first-hand.

Columns