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March 2000

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  • Bond Trading
  • Becoming the world's first stockmarket to fall victim to globalization might not seem like much of an honour. But Argentina may find in years to come that the rapid decline of its bolsa proved a blessing in disguise. Now is the time for the government to heed the sentiments of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and shed no tears for its dying stockmarket. It will do better to embrace the new reality and plug the country into what finance secretary Daniel Marx calls "the global pool of liquidity".
  • How could Jan Kalff keep from grinning? Announcing annual results for the last time before his retirement in May, the chairman of ABN Amro boasted that 1999 was the tenth consecutive year of profit growth for the bank, with an overall rise of 40.6%, the highest since the merger of the two Dutch banks in 1990. Kalff exuded pride as he discussed the future of the bank. "What we do is different from what other banks do. We are interested in a relationship business," says Kalff.
  • Online offerings present new challenges to financial lawyers, not least issues of security, jurisdiction and accuracy.
  • If only LTCM had been quoted on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, UBS could have shorted the stock and properly hedged its $800 million long position. Well, here, only a couple of years late, is the answer to Mathis Cabiallavetta's nightmare.
  • Fund manager Nicola Horlick proved in her high profile fight with Deutsche Bank that she is adept at employing the media to her advantage. And once journalists have your number in their contacts book they keep ringing back.
  • Indian M&A
  • Chilean Finance Minister
  • Sex and scandal: it's just life as usual in Paul Kilduff's new financial thriller, The Dealer. Kilduff's second novel is set in the City, amid a multi-billion-pound takeover of a bank that unearths a handful of characters related through a web of corruption.
  • Deutsche Bank's Mary Cirillo and Citigroup's Heidi Miller are good friends. They're also two of the most senior women in banking in the US. At least they used to be. For on the last Wednesday in February both of them resigned, and both are looking at e-commerce for their next step. It's a big change for both. And their departures are indicative of what DLJ analyst Joan Solatar calls "one of the industry's biggest challenges - the loss of intellectual capital to dot coms and venture capital firms".
  • Brokers in Buenos Aires are in despair. Delistings by foreign companies of their Argentine subsidiaries have cut the market in half and trading has dwindled to a fraction. Despite this, a badly needed restructuring of the bolsa is being held up by conservatives who fear increased competition. While they argue, Argentine investors are clicking their mice and buying US mutual funds. Local companies are voting with their feet and listing on Nasdaq. By the time the traditionalists come to their senses the market could be dead.
  • Derivatives exchanges
  • Online Equity Trading
  • It’s July 2000 and the world economy is in crisis. Who will save it? The US cavalry of course. Sixty grown men and women, some of them high rankers in the US government or civil service, spent a full Saturday in a New York mansion, wrestling with a hypothetical global meltdown, sending frantic messages from room to room, while the snow fell outside.
  • Everybody wants a slice of the $1 trillion European M&A market. The secret of earning big bucks (or rather, euros) is to arrange the handful of mega deals. We profile the dealmakers who've done it, and those who hope to. Top investment bankers from 10 firms talk about industries or countries in which they have a particular strength. Also, the advisers on the struggle for NatWest Bank explain their tactics. And we reconstruct the key moments in the biggest European deal of all: Vodafone's takeover of Mannesmann (Article: "The bid that couldn't fail"). Marcus Walker, Luciano Mondellini, Phillip Moore and Nick Kochan report
  • Asian Brokers
  • Why did Deutsche Bank gut Bankers Trust’s richest business – US bonds – and hire a new team from Merrill Lynch? Surely that’s no way to establish a new presence in North America. But such criticism ignores the tribalism that rules these amalgamated global banks, and maybe it was the quickest way to forge team loyalty.
  • It's clear why Vodafone conquered Mannesmann. Vodafone won because it paid to win, using its powerful stock. Its shareholders supported its share price and thereby its bid because they believed its story: that big is best in the globalizing telecoms game. And they feared failure might burst the telecoms bubble. What's less understood is how Mannesmann lost. It gave away the early momentum through bungling, suffered splits in its defence advisory team, and came within an inch of winning the hand of a French rescuer, only to hesitate. Klaus Esser made Mannesmann a top company, but his risk-taking triggered this contest and shaped its outcome. We also reveal the battle that raged beneath the surface between Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley during the biggest hostile takeover of all time.
  • The last six months have seen a marked turnaround for the world economy. A year ago the larger emerging-market countries were falling in the rankings as investors lost confidence in Brazil, Russia and other crisis-ridden giants. This year favourable commodity prices, better risk management and buoyant developed country economies point to better times ahead. There are some big winners in the latest Euromoney country risk ranking. Research by Andrew Newby.