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December 2012

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  • Published in conjunction with Bradesco and Deutsche Bank
  • For some reason, the phrase “Denial is not a river in Egypt” resounds in my mind.
  • The state has been welcoming to western financial institutions reconsidering their Gulf domiciles. But the structure of investment style and regulation in the emirate is a limiting factor on foreign players for now.
  • Memo to all risk management teams: when a trader that has been working at the bank for eight years asks you to explain what an asset is, call the police. Understood?
  • World's oldest bank is newest entrant into top tier of government bond underwriting
  • Some of us have been there before, but all of us have derived a certain childish pleasure from people mistakenly pressing ‘reply all’ to an email, or sending one to everybody asking the most banal of questions. So spare a thought for the hapless Barclays employee who, we presume mistakenly, sent an email recently to the bank’s entire global address book and copied in Sir David Walker, the new chairman, asking about how to book a courier.
  • It seems the UK is home to the worst snitches when it comes to reporting financial crimes.
  • "If you look at the behaviour of many banks even last year, they were in denial over the rising cost of funding. They were still doing loss-making loans in the hope of generating a return by cross-selling other services"
  • "I see UBS is targeting a 15% return on equity. I’m not sure that’s so ambitious: 15% of fuck all surely can’t be that hard"
  • Angola has all the characteristics of a 21st-century petro-state: an extravagant property market, a corporate sector dominated by government-related entities and, now, a sovereign wealth fund. But can the country afford to embrace Arab Gulf-style state capitalism?
  • In Asia Pacific, Citi’s corporate and investment bank is starting to punch its weight as a broad restructuring, a shift in strategy and much soul-searching begin to bear fruit. Can it establish itself at the top of the investment banking pile?
  • Regulators want banks to shrink their investment banking activity and, by introducing rules that make much of it uneconomic, have got shareholders onside. Banks now need to get the business mix of their corporate and investment banking arms right, and get the size of these divisions right. Maybe then they can work out where to invest and even grow. Outside the top tier of investment banks, there’s plenty of reinvention going on.
  • These photos show the New York office of Goldman Sachs and Citi’s headquarters at 388 Greenwich Street shortly before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Goldman often brags about its superior risk management – on this evidence, it puts its sandbags where its mouth (and door) is. We can only assume that Citi’s token effort signals a more gung-ho approach under newly appointed chief executive Michael Corbat.
  • Can Credit Suisse’s newly promoted CEO of Brazil, José Olympio Pereira, maintain his own and his bank’s high standing in equity capital markets? Euromoney interviews Olympio to find out.
  • Long-suffering shareholders of UBS can take comfort that JPMorgan’s bank-stock analyst Kian Abouhossein feels their pain. Abouhossein, who is consistently at or near the top of industry rankings of bank analysts, has been an owner of UBS shares while he has touted UBS as his number-one bank-stock pick in recent years and produced price forecasts well above the prevailing market value.
  • In the past 12 months two global banks have pulled out of equity trading and two European ones have tied up with an independent brokerage to save their ECM businesses. Is the market now poised for fundamental restructuring?
  • Not content with the blossoming pan-Andean financial market, Colombian banks and corporates are looking north to central America for opportunities for growth and as a means to forge a path to the lucrative markets of Mexico and the US.
  • Italy is profoundly caught up in the eurozone crisis, but unlike its peripheral peers, which remain hostage to the international bond markets, the country is able partly to fund its colossal public debt by drawing on formidable and passionate support at home. Could its eurozone peers do the same?
  • While rivals shut branches to cut costs, new entrant Metro Bank plans to open 200 new offices in London alone. Veteran Vernon Hill is taking retail service back to its roots with dog bowls, coin counters and Metro man toys.
  • The post-Lehman consensus on the framework is under strain, as the US postpones the January 2013 start date, triggering the ire of EU banks. Competing regulatory agendas in Europe only complicate the process further. As hopes dwindle for a global level playing field, Basle Committee chairman Stefan Ingves touts the virtues of the torturous reform drive.
  • The decision by UBS to perform elective surgery on its own investment bank can be partly attributed to pressure from bank-stock analysts. It might be premature to hail the dawning of a new age of the analysts, but a group who had become best known for astonishingly inaccurate stock forecasts and fawning attitudes to bank CEOs has at least begun to redeem itself.
  • Brady Dougan is meant to be an excellent manager and people enjoy working for him.
  • Creates challenge to other banks; Capital-lite bank suited to low growth
  • Potential reform of money market sector is pitting established regulatory bodies against newcomers, with messy results.
  • Intensified property speculation in Dubai is one of the more worrying signs of excessive risk-taking in emerging markets.
  • Hedge funds and private equity grab opportunities; Dromeus launches Greek recovery fund
  • Stifel Financial buys KBW; M&A muted until banks work out strategy
  • Knowledge gives locals the edge; Deal is too small for internationals
  • New low-yield record created; Transaction ‘changes course of bond history’
  • Analysts, investors agree move overdue; Moody’s tipped to follow