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January 2000

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  • Investors in euro corporate debt have had a rollercoaster ride. They've gone from europhoria to nursing burnt fingers, and to drawing the lessons for 2000. As if buying endless new credits wasn't complex enough, they are simultaneously having to understand and predict the course of Europe's M&A boom. How do you cope in a market that's fast-growing, unbalanced and full of nasty surprises? Marcus Walker profiles four of the top asset managers to find out
  • Edited: Peter Lee
  • There's nothing wrong with the Austrian capital market, but volumes are down, more for reasons of fashion than fundamental value. The big banks aren't relying on a resurgence soon, and have set their sights on a wider regional market. David Shirreff reports
  • Lawyers invest for EU expansionLaw firms move now to win future business in central and eastern Europe. By Nigel Page
  • Poland has rebuilt its pension system from the ground up. Twenty-one funds had the chance to tap a massive new market but three have emerged as clear leaders. Those outside this group will find it almost impossible to make up ground, while the mainly foreign winners are showing remarkable prospective share ratings. Ian Dawson reports
  • Edited: Peter Lee
  • Author: David Roche
  • Edited: Antony Currie
  • Author: Gill Baker
  • The Euroyen market, which slipped into somnolence in the 1990s, turned out to be the best performing in the world by the end of 1999. A rising yen, Japanese economic recovery and the beginnings of state-sponsored financial reform triggered a series of new issues, first from supranationals, then from corporates. Rebecca Bream reports
  • It didn't take long for France to notice the success of Germany's market in euro Pfandbriefe. In June, lawmakers in Paris copied and fine-tuned the German formula that investors love. But unlike Germany's Hypotheken and Landesbanks, the French issuers of obligations foncières don't rely on interest-rate punts to make a profit. French Pfandbriefe work how the German original was supposed to. Marcus Walker reports
  • Author: John Norton
  • Author: Metin Munir
  • It may have more illustrious neighbours, but giant, oil-rich Kazakhstan is largely self-sufficient in food, has a functioning domestic capital market and modern pension system and is run on democratic lines. It also has access to the international capital markets and has just repaid a maturing Eurobond. Ted Kim reports
  • This year's poll of polls reveals a shuffling of the pack among the leading firms in the capital raising, trading, advisory and risk management worlds. A synthesis of all polls run by Euromoney in 1999 evaluates those firms which have real strength across the board.
  • Promises of banking restructuring have turned out to be sham. Meanwhile the Russian economy looks to be on hold until the war in Chechnya is resolved and a new president is installed. But there are some signs of recovery, reports Ben Aris
  • Edited: Peter Lee
  • Was he the wrong man for the job or was the task too tough? Eight months after the departure of Richard Broadbent as head of global corporate finance, Schroders is no nearer to finding its direction. With his abrasive style, Broadbent caused shockwaves at an old city firm run by consensus. But he also produced results especially in Europe. Ironically, he came unstuck when he took his individualistic approach to the US and lost a fight with long-standing American managers. The fall out from his departure is still continuing. Nick Kochan reports
  • Chairman, CWB Systems Services
  • New forms of corporate restructuring are appearing in Dutch business. Leading pensions funds are agitating for shareholder value and companies are responding by listing subsidiaries. But some Dutch companies want to retain control of non-core divisions and exposure to their growth prospects, while at the same time benefiting from favourable stock market ratings for these businesses. So they are listing minority stakes in large divisions through so-called equity carve-outs, rather than pursuing full-blown spin-offs: a poor compromise or smart corporate finance? Steven Wilson and Leo van de Voort report.
  • When Citibank and the Travelers Group merged, the hype was about cross-selling retail products. Citi's distribution network and Travelers' products would be a potent combination, claimed Sandy Weill and John Reed. The investment banking brew had less to offer and was expected to be more troublesome. But so far it isn't working out like that. The investment bank is the success story. Meanwhile, cross-selling isn't working. Antony Currie reports
  • Author: John Norton