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June 2003

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  • Juan Ramón Quintás, Chairman of the Spanish Savings Banks Confederation (CECA), talks to Euromoney's Jules Stewart about the effects of the new finance law on the cajas
  • Source: is Europe's leading financial commentary service
  • The Russian government's long-term energy strategy to 2020 was sent to the Cabinet for discussion last month and should be approved before the summer holidays. The development of the energy sector remains a priority for the Kremlin, accounting for half the economy and just over three-quarters of stock market capitalization.
  • US banks are starting to make big investments in Russia again, and it could be a sign of a looming economic crash for the former superpower. That's the verdict that consultant Ray Soifer is drawing from the most recent set of figures from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
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  • Searching through emerging-market currencies for investment opportunities is a tricky job - a delicate combination of subjective judgement and fundamental analysis. Luckily, plenty of currency pundits were on hand at Euromoney's forex forum last month to help investors and corporate hedgers choose a strategy.
  • Some bestsellers are expected. Number one on's list of the top-selling books in Latin America is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Some are more of a surprise. At number five you'll find an anthology of dry economic prose entitled After the Washington Consensus: Restarting Growth and Reform in Latin America.
  • When Kevin Gould was head of European fixed income at TD Securities, he would look around for daily market-wide data on credit prices. None existed. So he and a few colleagues left the bank to set up a company to produce it.
  • Kazakhstan's attraction as a return-generating safe haven among emerging markets has been boosted by upgraded long-term currency ratings. These reflect bright prospects for the Kazakh economy and recognise the well-managed banking sector.
  • Japan's small band of government guaranteed borrowers are planning to increase international debt issuance if the price is right.
  • Adam Lerrick has promised the retail investors who sign up for his scheme that he will get them their money back: that although their coupons might drop and their maturities might be pushed back, the face value of their bonds will be preserved.
  • Hybrid capital in all forms is attractive to yield-hungry investors right now, offering sellers good terms even while the straight equity market is closed. But the leading issuers - financial institutions - are concerned about lack of regulatory and accounting clarity.
  • Euromoney's Jules Stewart talks to Jorge Jardim Gonçalves, chairman and chief executive of Banco Comercial Português, Portugal's largest bank, about how he intends to move it forward following recapitalization.
  • Spain's savings banks have built a solid market share and reputation. And the new finance law looks set to strengthen their position yet further.
  • Kenichiro Shiozawa, the director of the capital markets division of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, tells Euromoney's Charles Olivier that JBIC paper is undervalued but that when conditions improve a euro issue will be considered.
  • At the start of the year the prospect of a rapidly appreciating rouble and higher than expected inflation were seen as the biggest dangers facing Russia's economy. Both have come to pass but the economy continues to roar ahead regardless. The combination of cheap money from abroad and rising productivity has offset these dangers and is driving Russia's impressive growth.
  • Chairman, Transparency International
  • Bank Atlas - Top 200
  • Jordan has survived the traumas of the US-led military action in the region more effectively than seemed likely, mainly because state finances have been tightened up, the stock exchange modernized and privatization advanced. However western foreign investors still remain nervous.
  • Primary debt capital markets picked up so significantly in May that some bankers felt able to forecast a bumper crop of issuance for the year. But with macro events so unpredictable they weren't betting their all on that outcome.
  • Euromoney's Chris Cockerill speaks to Suchart Jaovisidha, Thailand's new finance minister, about non-performing loans, competition from China, the impact of Sars on tourism earnings and the plan for a pan-Asian investment fund, the Asia Bond Fund
  • European and US borrowers have raised more than $20 billion in the domestic Japanese bond market so far in 2003. Issuance is expected to rise further this year as demand increases.
  • An inflation rate of only 2%, a stable currency and reserves at $3.5 billion demonstrate the stress Jordan has put on having a tight and rigorously enforced monetary policy.
  • At its latest committee meeting, the Federal Reserve stressed the perils of deflation. Fed chairman Alan Greenspan made it clear that if there's a whiff of it the Fed will act. In sharp contrast, European Central Bank president Wim Duisenberg slumbers on, occasionally mumbling about the dangers of inflation.
  • The thousands of retail investors in Europe holding Argentine debt would be virtually powerless as individuals in negotiations on restructuring. Pooled, though, their holdings could command a veto. Enter Angel Gurria and Adam Lerrick who, for a fee, hope to arrange this.
  • Three powerful and transforming currents swirling through wholesale financial services - banks' increased appetite for proprietary trading, the growth of hedge funds and the trend to outsourcing - flowed together at a compelling presentation by Deutsche Bank at Euromoney's annual forex forum at the London Hilton last month.
  • Source: is Europe's leading financial commentary service
  • Source: is Europe's leading financial commentary service
  • Investors are reluctant to buy European high-yield bonds. Rob Mannix reports on how lawyers might just change that
  • As an environment of global deflation persists, money looking for yield continues to flow into emerging-market bond funds. Funds that have never invested in central and eastern European debt are now queuing up to do so. One banker in Poland says even Australian investors now hold Polish debt.