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January 2007

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  • Vincenzo Pelosi explains why pension funds are catching the swaps bug.
  • Chesapeake is first US energy issuer to target euro investors this decade.
  • What’s bad news for the hard-pressed bean counters at financial institutions across Europe trying to curb the exorbitant expenses claims of their equity capital market teams promises to be good news for AirAstana, the leading Kazakh airline that’s one of the candidates for a stock market listing in 2007.
  • In October the Province of Buenos Aires issued its first international bond since the sovereign’s default in December 2001. The placement’s success demonstrates how far Argentina has since come. Hernan Lorenzino, the province’s under-secretary of finance, tells Chloe Hayward about this bond issue and its impact for Argentina.
  • Another record year for financial institutions suggests no end to the boom in financial markets. But a correction in the global imbalances that have so far sustained the boom threatens economic growth and could have painful consequences for global capital markets. Are we on the cusp of a downturn?
  • Uncertainty and opportunity as the central Asian republic prepares a currency float.
  • In spite of all the takeover talk among major global exchanges, and the heavy consolidation in eastern Europe’s banking sector, not everyone believes that acquisitions are the only way to expand business in the region. Florian Neuhof talks to Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse, who outlines his vision of cooperation with the developing regional exchanges.
  • Dresdner Bank’s EUR medium-risk portfolio is one of six risk profiles the bank runs for high-net-worth investors looking for a balanced portfolio and accepting exposure to global markets.
  • The expulsion of Citigroup Private Bank from Japan in 2004 was merely the most dramatic of a string of failures among foreign firms that have too often misread the attitudes of investors and regulators. Now, as Japan’s economic recovery creates new millionaires and wealthy baby boomers prepare to retire, several foreign firms are trying again to crack this difficult but lucrative market. Lawrence White went to Tokyo to ask their CEOs what it takes to succeed in private banking in Japan.
  • London-based exchange launches derivatives on LSE-listed Russian stocks.
  • Corporate treasury bears the brunt of regulatory and technological change, and those changes are accelerating. At the same time, demands for performance increase, and it’s the banks who have to deliver.
  • "We’ve reduced equity market exposure by 10% – from Asia, Europe and the UK – but still view equities as the best asset class."
  • Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch’s US dollar, low-risk portfolio caters to high-net-worth clients who want to preserve their money over the long term but are also looking for performance.
  • Roger James reports on why the market might finally be ready for takeoff.
  • Volume and profits in the FX market have grown more consistently than in any other part of the financial markets. New entrants and existing users still cannot resist the promise of diversification and excess return.
  • Another record year for financial institutions suggests no end to the boom in global financial markets. But they may be ignoring underlying economic conditions that threaten global growth and might cause a severe correction in the global capital markets, says Clive Horwood.
  • It is traditional around year-end for awards to be received for deeds performed during the previous 12 months. We hereby announce Euromoney magazine’s inaugural awards for high-quality press relations. We did not ask for submissions as we are constantly bombarded with incidents from which to choose.
  • The wonderful world of financial PR
  • Corporates need to recognize that they need to care about their CDS investors and that the old attitude of concentrating on the requirements of bondholders alone will no longer wash.
  • Has anyone seen this man?
  • “I’m afraid he says he is unable to speak with you at the moment.”
  • The best agency players make attractive acquisition targets.
  • It could be that the bank is simply too large, and only disposals can change the culture. But the recent changes are, to date at least, a missed opportunity.
  • One market segment – banks – has been noticeably absent from the glut of Russian companies rushing to undertake IPOs in recent years. Is there now a danger that, after the long wait for exposure to Russia’s banking sector, investors will be overburdened with supply? Kathryn Wells reports.
  • Rising intra-regional trade and investment are helping to underpin the economic fortunes of the states that formerly constituted Yugoslavia. Guy Norton takes a look at three examples of a stock exchange, a fund manager and private equity.
  • Southeastern Europe is experiencing a retail lending boom. Although this credit expansion is helping the region’s economies to grow, there is concern that it is putting pressure on banking systems. Sudip Roy explores the dimensions of that risk and weighs up what the authorities are doing to mitigate it.
  • Car parks that rival Monaco for the quality of the marques, apartment prices that rival those in New York, but a stock exchange capitalization of only $50 billion. That’s Almaty. Kazakhstan’s government hopes to develop its capital markets and create a financial centre there for all central Asia. The buildings are going up. Will there be enough tenants to fill them? Chloe Hayward reports from Almaty.
  • Alongside the announcement that it was raising its key interest rates by 25 basis points last month, the European Central Bank released the latest set of growth and inflation forecasts prepared jointly by the staff of the ECB and the euro area national central banks. ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet is always at pains to emphasize that these “projections” – which are shown as ranges, rather than point estimates, to reflect the uncertainties associated with past forecasting errors – are published on the responsibility of the staff and are not formally endorsed by the ECB’s executive board or its governing council.
  • January is the month to purge the excesses of Christmas and New Year from the system. Detoxing won’t be so easy for the markets.
  • The influence of investors in credit default swaps has conspicuously failed to match the growth of the market itself. But a recent restructuring could be the watershed moment that changes the credit markets for ever. Has the ground shifted beneath corporate issuers’ feet without them even noticing? Louise Bowman reports.