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March 2011

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  • International investor interest in Latin America has intensified scrutiny of the corporate governance and investor relations of companies in the region. Big companies such as Vale, Petrobras and bank BBVA have responded remarkably well to this scrutiny. Rob Dwyer reports.
  • Over the past year, Euromoney has written often of the generational shifts in the economic and financial balance of power between the old world and the new. Many of the world’s biggest banks are pinning their hopes for growth on such shifts, and express nothing but excitement at their prospect.
  • Banks tap emerging markets growth The rapid expansion of trade within emerging markets is a big opportunity. But Basle III requirements represent a huge risk to trade finance.
  • Euromoney Country Risk
  • Is the Brazilian real overvalued? Is there a credit bubble? Is Brazil headed for a correction?
  • BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie were selected in late February by the Mongolian government to run the IPO of the country’s Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi mining assets, according to sources familiar with the deal. The IPO, which is expected to raise more than $2 billion, is viewed as a potential landmark for Mongolia. Consequently, the world’s top investment banks have been pitching furiously in Ulaan Baatar since January this year. Officials at the banks named told Euromoney that they did not wish to comment on the deal, presumably for fear of offending their rumoured client. However, three independent sources have confirmed the four firms as being mandated.
  • Foreign buying of ETFs affecting valuations; Lack of liquidity creating dangerous pressure
  • Goldman Sachs’s Gary Cohn thinks hedge funds, not banks, are likely to cause the next financial crisis. He needs to take a long hard stare in the looking glass.
  • Brazil highly attractive to developed market investors; South-south trend overstated
  • So far Santander Mexico and BBVA Bancomer are the only Mexican banks to issue international bonds. They came to the market at the end of January to each sell Ps5 billion ($413.5 million) of three-year bonds (both deals were self-led, jointly with Banamex) and both priced at 20 basis points over TIIE.
  • Oil E&P company’s international bond a first; Other African corporates should follow
  • Loans grow in appeal for both banks and munis; State infrastructure banks offer viable alternative
  • The bank finds that it can’t have its cake and eat it.
  • IPO suffers from high pricing; Debt restructuring completed after five years
  • Strong demand from conventional investors; regulatory support, hunger for yield, a simple structure and clever timing.
  • From Punch Taverns to a string of commercial real estate-backed deals, borrowers and bondholders in distressed European securitizations are squaring up for a bitter fight. The chaotic process by which these structures threaten to unravel will be a lasting legacy of the ABS binge. Louise Bowman reports.
  • Must be backed by trade flows; Only option purchases permitted
  • New Eurobond set to test market sentiment; State sales planned to boost local stock market
  • Euromoney Country Risk
    It began with the confiscation of a vegetable stall in Sidibouzid, Tunisia. Now it has spread throughout the Middle East. A region where political change had seemed unthinkable is approaching a defining moment. Andrew Mortimer reports.
  • The country’s leaders and financiers are looking to build a unique gateway into Latin America.
  • The expected big bust in US commercial real estate never happened, and investors are starting to move in. That’s good news for US banks that have portfolios under water. But are the loan owners and investors being overly confident? Helen Avery reports.
  • To cricket aficionados, great writers such as EW Swanton and CLR James are as integral a part of the game’s rich tapestry as any player. Now a new name can be added to the list of cricket writers: Anshu Jain, Deutsche Bank’s corporate and investment bank chief.
  • At least three SOEs expected to list; Debate over currency unresolved
  • The return of Bill Winters to the financial markets was something of a damp squib, at least to those who had come to view him as the once and future king of investment banking.
  • Issuers/investors baulk at valuation levels; Russia outperforms on the fund inflow front
  • Nigeria’s finance minister, Olusegun Aganga, says he has nothing to hide about the pre-election depletion of the country’s Excess Crude Account. But, as he explains to Dominic O’Neill, with a new sovereign wealth fund the government will save more, protecting the economy from shocks and encouraging private and foreign investment in key infrastructure projects.
  • Euromoney: "So will they just pick the four banks that pitch the best?"
  • In an attempt to establish an equity investment culture in Kazakhstan, the authorities in Astana have announced plans to launch a series of initial public offerings in state-controlled companies, in the hope of attracting widespread interest from ordinary local citizens.
  • To Berlin, where film star Kevin Spacey was ruminating on life as a senior bank executive in his new movie Margin Call, which was screened at the city’s film festival in mid-February. Spacey muses that he found it "fascinating to try to humanize" bankers, people who – in his words – "in a lot of cases are just regular people who have regular jobs". According to the New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, the actor researched the role at Citigroup’s Lower Manhattan offices last June, asking employees: "Is it possible to be good at what you do without liking the company you work for?" Presumably not too many people rushed to answer that one. He also wanted to know: "If you knew a security was worthless and wanted to sell it, how would you grapple with the moral implications of doing so?" That must have produced a few furrowed brows as well. The film (which focuses on MBS traders) is directed by JC Chandor, whose father used to work at Merrill Lynch and might have provided some illuminating insights. "The film to me is a tragedy," he says, because these people are "realizing that they have wasted a little bit of their lives, or a lot of their lives." But it can’t be too realistic a portrayal of the sub-prime meltdown: the chief risk officer is... Demi Moore.
  • Conditions for expanding the EU’s EFSF are set to be agreed by the end of the month. Even if only some of the Franco-German proposals are implemented, the euro will be greatly strengthened.