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November 1996

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  • The sale of ABN Amro's merchant banking subsidiary, MeesPierson, has long been expected in the Netherlands. Selling it to the Dutch-Belgian group, Fortis Investments, has raised a few eyebrows, but is it part of a wider strategy that Dutch financial institutions are following to position themselves for the coming of the euro? Antony Currie reports.
  • Japan's bacteria-free banking; Dresdner swoops to conquer; Y2K cost; Josef Ackermann; Boris Yeltsin; Winter dancer; Cavallo controversy
  • Throughout Asia, borrowers are exploring new ways of financing the region's huge infrastructure needs. But fierce competition is keeping margins down for the banks on the bandwagon. Norman Peagam reports
  • Government dominance of Israel's capital markets leaves state funding heavily exposed to outflows like the recent mass redemption of savings in provident funds. It has also hampered the development of corporate bonds. Funding locally through the stock exchange is problematic since concentration of ownership has rendered equities illiquid. Charles Piggott reports on proposals to reform the system
  • A single European currency looks increasingly likely to be instituted on schedule on January 1 1999. With this in mind government bond strategists are trying to predict the likely shape of the euro market. A few patterns, such as the transition towards a credit-driven market, are emerging. But much still hinges on decisions yet to be taken. Philip Eade reports
  • In the long term there will probably be room in the Danish banking market only for Den Danske Bank and Unibank. But before then they will have to adjust to the EU's single-currency system, which Denmark is unlikely to join at the outset, and to competition from consolidated banks in neighbouring states. Jules Stewart reports on their prospects
  • Much has been said about convergence between the insurance and capital markets. But what legal issues are involved? By Christopher Stoakes
  • Japanese bond issuance sharply increased in the first nine months of this year as borrowers rushed to raise funds before interest rates rose. But the revival might fade next year. Charles Olivier reports from Tokyo on changing attitudes to capital-raising
  • Cheaper to issue and less stringent than their American cousins, global depositary receipts are gaining popularity. New programmes have been developed by several emerging markets. For investors the advantage is a clean trade and the removal of forex risk. "It's dollar, boom, done," says one. Graham Field reports
  • Big Bang: Ten years on; Turkey: No way to run a market
  • Latin America; Cuba; Kazakhstan; Asia
  • by David Roche
  • Gazprom overcomes investors' doubts
  • Syndicated loans; Australia; Asset-backed Eurobonds; MTNs; Germany
  • Olivetti strongman Carlo De Benedetti is clinging to power at the company he has dominated for 17 years. Stripped of all executive titles and controlling only a 15% stake, he remains very much in charge. UK and American fund managers who thought the Italian corporate was a turnround stock with new go-ahead management have been rudely shocked. The share price has halved as bad news has heaped up. They now realize that De Benedetti doesn't care how low the stock goes as long as he wins the fight against them. As they slug it out, foreign investment in Italy suffers. Peter Lee reports
  • Robert Mohamed; Robert Gray; Joan Beck;
  • Foreigners love the Turkish stock market because it behaves like none other on earth ­ driven by forces only a few can understand, involving politics, hidden assets and the so-called "chatterers". It's been referred to as one big inside trade. But there are serious attempts to clean it up. And Global Securities, the market leader, is under pressure to change its act. David Shirreff reports