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March 1996

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  • Socialists now rule in Portugal, but they are as eager as their predecessors to work towards European monetary union. David Sutton reports.
  • London's future as a financial centre is not threatened by the Labour Party, European economic and monetary union or the pusillanimity of the London Stock Exchange board. But it will certainly be affected by all these things.
  • Latin America's banks are going through a period of turmoil. Mexico's currency crisis and the end of hyper-inflation have badly damaged man of them. But for the best-run banks - and some foreign institutions - the upheaval is also producing some exciting opportunities. David Pilling reports.
  • Some say IDB number two Nancy Birdsall has split Latin America's own development bank from top to bottom, driving through World Bank-style reforms and wiping clean the corporate memory. But after nearly three years, she seems to have won the war, if not the hearts and minds of the organization. Steven Irvine reports.
  • The German capital markets are changing. Monetary union in Europe by 1999 is fading, money-market rates have fallen and internationalization is the buzzword. The bond market has been motoring - until the recent downturn. Does this signal a change in longer-term investor sentiment? Philip Moore reports.
  • With his fluent MBA-speak and breezy openness Martin Taylor, chief executive of Barclays, has charmed shareholders and colleagues alike. But is their rapturous applause of his every move overdone? Is Taylor a genius or just brilliant at public relations? Brian Caplen analyzes the man and his strategy.
  • Think funding, think America. That's what many borrowers are doing as US interest rates sit at historical lows and investors roll out the welcome mat. And you don't have to be triple-A rated to join the bandwagon, as Norman Peagam explains.
  • A special report prepared by Bank Sarasin & Co.
  • Vietnam up to its old tricks?, Big Push by foreign banks, Varying fortunes of China chips, Building on a healthy trade.
  • This is the big one, it rocks the country, it rocks the Beltway, it rocks the bond market and it sure as fate rocks all those lardass VPs in head office, so on no account let word of it leak out on those canasta afternoons of yours, consider it classified Shred Before Reading.
  • The beacon of European integration can never be turned off by a nation with Germany's history, as Herr Kohl has made clear in recent comments. But there is a dimmer switch - delaying the start of European economic and monetary union (Emu).
  • A special report prepared by Santander Investment.
  • The structure of Spanish legislation is comparable to that of leading worldwide economies. This is partly due to the demands of the European Union of which Spain is a member, but also due to the desire of the Spanish government to internationalize its financial markets. Liberalization in Spain in the last 10 years has been widespread and rapid.
  • Economists now predict an upturn in the world economy. Country scores in Euromoney's country risk ranking, based on our poll of economists and political analysts, plus market data and World Bank debt figures, have jumped by an average of 2.75 percentage points. Research and commentary by Charles Piggott.
  • French banks have given up their global ambitions with mere survival occupying their minds. The task of slimming down and restructuring is made more difficult by French aversions to job losses and hostile takeovers. But, like it or not, brash Anglo-American ideas about markets and management are being taken on board, reports Jonathan Ford.
  • Want to lend to Fiat but your country limit for Italy is full? Want to take exposure to Brazil without also incurring US interest-rate risk? Want six-month exposure to the Philippines but there are no securities under two years in the market? The bold, new world of credit derivatives allows you to do all this and lots more. Mark Parsley reports.
  • A special report prepared by SBC Warburg, a division of Swiss Bank Corporation.
  • The Forrest Gump phenomenon, Hanson provokes bondholders, Borrowers' market, Return of the Asian issuers.
  • A special report prepared by Benito & Monjardin SVB.
  • A special report prepared by Credit Suisse Financial Products.
  • Jean-Claude Komarovsky masterminds a bid for the widest mandate ever contemplated in the history of the Universe, and visits a squirrel farm near Woking.
  • Nordic bonds led the world in performance last year, as investors applauded economic recovery and fiscal restraint. Although the upside now appears limited, they still provide a yield pick-up over German bonds. Norman Peagam reports.
  • The abolition of exchange controls and the start of privatization should do wonders for the illiquid Johannesburg Stock Exchange, but fuller representation of black businesses on the equity market is a vital change that's not so easily accomplished. Mark Ashurst reports from Johannesburg.
  • "You want to make sure your leads are awake, sweating at night, and we knew they would be." This was how Mark Cutis, treasurer of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) justified picking a decidedly odd couple of banks to launch its benchmark foray into five-year Deutschmarks, its first benchmark for two years. By Steve Irvine.
  • Go Johnny go go go, Not Liars' poker, I mandate you in the name of the law, Japan's bulletproof bankers wear blazers, MTN stars ain't cheap, Chase's Indiana Lynch.
  • A special report prepared by Chemical Bank and The Chase Manhattan Bank NA.
  • At a parliamentary inquiry on February 28, Michael Lawrence, former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, told how the board fired him eight weeks earlier "without warning". Was he so terrible to deal with, or did some board members see him as a threat to their continued enjoyment of privileged advantage? Stephanie Cooke reports.
  • A special report prepared by Bank J.Vontobel & Co. Ltd.
  • A new system for holding and transferring collateral for derivatives overcomes the potential risk of third-party claimants. By Christopher Stoakes.
  • There's a good chance the next UK government will be left-of-centre Labour, whose previous terms of office have usually ended in inflation and currency crisis. Soft-spoken Labour politicians can't allay fears - among foreign investors and City practitioners - that a change of government will trigger a market correction and more controls on the financial sector. The reason for the fears: new-look Labour's overtures to private capital are vague and non-committal. Even Labour supporters are saying it's time to put flesh on the bones. By David Shirreff