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July 2007

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  • Its pivotal role in the most important transactions of a hectic year in M&A makes Goldman Sachs the outstanding player in the most competitive market of all.
  • In the July 2007 edition of Euromoney, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis gave a rare in-depth interview. Lewis said: "We are not believers in the build it and they will come mantra. We need to look our shareholders in the eye". "In time, we want to be one of the top five investment banks in the world". More than 18 months ago Euromoney said: "Bank of America is at a tipping point. Ken Lewis is about to face his biggest challenge yet." Little did we know how great the challenge would be. Re-read the story here
  • John Mack has the job he always wanted. One of Wall Street’s leading firms has the leader it desperately needed. Morgan Stanley is now the investment bank with momentum. Mack and his senior management tell Clive Horwood how they revived the firm’s fortunes.
  • Find out which institutions have excelled this year in providing high-quality products and services across all areas of commercial and investment banking.
  • Brazil’s Bradesco has raised $500 million in a securitization structured by ABN Amro. The notes were issued in two tranches of $250 million, with the 2007-1 series receiving triple-A ratings and the 2007-2 series rated at A– and Baa1 by S&P and Moody’s respectively. The notes are due in May 2014.
  • Lorenzo Isla has been appointed head of the structured credit business at BBVA. Based in Spain, Isla will build out a business that will structure, invest in and distribute structured credit risk. Isla worked for Barclays Capital for the past three years where he was head of the structured credit research team. He starts at the end of August and will work from Barcelona and Madrid.
  • S&P this June launched the new S&P Pan Asia Shariah Index, a new addition to its Global Shariah Index Series.
  • The UK’s Prudential and Bank Aljazira, Saudi Arabia’s smallest bank, have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote takaful or Islamic insurance in the kingdom.
  • The launch of faster, higher-capacity systems by exchanges will make life harder for ATSs.
  • Latin America’s largest issuers have for a while been competing on pretty much a level playing field with their competitors in fully developed countries. That’s important for Brazilian miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, which in the wake of its acquisition of Canada’s Inco is now one of the world’s four largest mining companies, alongside BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Anglo American.
  • June marks the beginning of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, and every year there’s a chance that any given island will suffer devastating losses to infrastructure, property and life.
  • Move helps normalize relations with international financial community.
  • In a move that demonstrates the broadening appeal of Russian assets, HSBC Investments has launched the first pure Russian equity fund for Japanese investors, raising more than $150 million since launching a marketing campaign at the end of March.
  • Foreign bank interest in Turkey’s fast-growing banking market shows no sign of slowing down, with ING of the Netherlands the latest new entrant into the country’s increasingly cosmopolitan financial services sector. In June, ING signed a contract with the Armed Forces Pension Fund (Oyak), to acquire its subsidiary, Oyak Bank.
  • Ask any foreign partner involved in a Sino-foreign public-private partnership (PPP) deal and they will tell you that they are far from straightforward to complete. So plans to establish, fund and build China’s first fully digital world-class hospital are not going to be easy.
  • Oil firms Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips have pulled out of Venezuela following president Hugo Chávez’s latest round of nationalizations, in which he proposed huge increases in state participation in projects run by the two US companies and four others.
  • Banking analysts are starting to ring alarm bells about Brazil – in recent months there has been a rapid increase in consumer lending by local banks, but this came hand in hand with a large increase in the non-performing loan market.
  • Telefónica has successfully closed the largest multi-tranche Czech koruna bond issue by a foreign corporate. The main purpose of the transaction was to extend the company’s investor base to Czech investors – a move the Spanish telephone company has been interested in since its arrival in the Czech Republic after it acquired a majority stake in the country’s main telecom operator, Cesky Telecom, in mid-2005.
  • Corporate treasurers are keeping a close eye on the new regulations that will impact on cash management. The Payment Services Directive is due this autumn – another step forward – yet the timetable for Sepa is still vague. Even identifying the benefits of the changes is a matter of hot debate. Julian Marshall reports.
  • As covered bond markets continue to thrive worldwide, it appears that the demands of ratings agencies might be becoming a stumbling block.
  • The launch of further FX indices by Citi and Axa underlines the acceptance of FX as an asset class, which has attractions across the entire investment spectrum.
  • New head of European flow credit trading; new head of European investment-grade trading.
  • The third draft of Italy’s covered bond legislation has been published.
  • ANZ combined a number of features on its latest tier-1 deal that allowed it to cut the premium an issuer normally pays to access institutional investors without a coupon step-up at the call date. The £450 million ($898 million) tier-1 perpetual paper was ANZ’s first sterling capital security.
  • Sub-prime-induced volatility was cited as the reason for the withdrawal of a five-year and 10-year euro-denominated transaction by Arcelor. The lead managers – Calyon, Citi, Commerzbank and RBS – sent out a terse statement saying that the borrower would return when stability returned.
  • Head appointed of a new strategic solutions group.
  • Great-West Lifeco (GWL) has priced the first Canadian dollar-denominated, tax-deductible hybrid capital transaction.
  • As the managers of the two Bear Stearns high-grade hedge funds that have attracted such unwelcome publicity over the past month squirm in the spotlight, they must be wondering where they went wrong.
  • When it’s Euromoney’s awards season, our journalists get to feel what it must be like to be the client of an investment bank for a few weeks at least, as the world’s leading firms wheel out their big guns, and big pitches, to secure one of our prestigious awards.