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September 2015

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  • August’s stock market gyrations caused particular alarm for Ray Soifer, a consultant based in Green Valley, Arizona, perhaps best known for his Harvard MBA index.
  • Officials from the UK’s financial conduct authority (FCA) visited Barclays’ offices 186 times during 2014, according to a freedom of information request submitted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper. They visited HSBC 85 times, RBS 65 times and Lloyds 58 times.
  • Euromoney staff may have committed some humiliating faux pas around the world over the years, but we like to think we broke new ground by accidentally climbing out a window in the middle of a business lunch in Iran.
  • Since taking over the reins at Standard Chartered, Bill Winters has wasted little time in ripping up the old playbook of his predecessor, Peter Sands.
  • In all the debate about the future of green bonds, the voice of investors has rarely been heard. But the results of a Euromoney survey show they have a clear message for issuers and the banks that lead manage their deals: they want better impact reporting, more corporate bonds, and they don’t want bonds to price through the curve. Give them that, and a sustainable, credible, sizeable and demand-driven market is there for the taking.
  • The fall in the oil price and the de-dollarization of the economy has done even more to highlight Angola’s over-dependence on oil. As a result, the diversification of the economy is higher-up on the government’s agenda than ever before.
  • The international community has lauded Angola for its quick-thinking and tough decision-making following the sharp fall in the oil price. In February, Angola cut AKz1.8 trillion ($14.3 billion) from its AKz7.2 trillion budget – months before Nigeria, the region’s largest economy and oil producer, made any changes to its own economic outlook.
  • The country’s radical programme has put pressure on the banking sector, which in its short existence has relied heavily on the business brought in by foreign exchange. How can banks stay afloat with a lack of dollars in the system?
  • Top emerging market officials reveal the ambitions of the new Sino-led development institutions. But emerging markets ignore the opportunity costs of state-led project financing at their peril.
  • Emerging markets are working for a multipolar monetary world. Beijing is spearheading the push to establish rivals to the World Bank to globalize the renminbi, establish markets for its excess capacity and plug the infrastructure deficit. But, for now, a post-Bretton Woods era is fantasy.
  • Bad debts, low valuations and a lack of appetite for expansion among strategic players have kept a lid on banking sector M&A in emerging Europe since the financial crisis. Now the recovery of key regional banks and the emergence of new investors is driving a resurgence in activity. But will it last?
  • This year’s presidential election in Argentina is likely to be the first to be decided in a second and final round of voting since the constitution was changed in the 1990s. The outcome for the country – and its economy – will be as important as it will likely be close. Euromoney talks to economic advisers to the two leading candidates about how they view 2016 and beyond.
  • A prolific bank buyer but notoriously publicity-shy, Igor Kim is little known outside his native Russia. In his first major interview with the international media, he talks about expanding into Europe, surviving a spell on Canada’s sanctions list and why global banking models are doomed to failure.
  • Strategic planning has helped Banco de Crédito del Peru outperform despite economic headwinds. The CEO explains how that and rigorous control of risk and costs – all the way down to how much paint is used in its branches – can keep returns on equity above 20%.
  • Colombian banks are moving into Central America as international banks depart. Regulation could drive further consolidation. The locals will need strength to survive – and thrive.
  • As pan-African banks expand across the continent at lightening speed, experts have started to highlight the inadequacy of cross-border banking regulation. Regulatory progress is slow, while pan-African banks admit that the issue is not yet top of their priority list.
  • The island’s biggest lenders are pushing hard into Asia, snapping up regional banks in a quest for growth and higher returns. Back at home, though, the island’s banking sector remains as moribund as ever, hobbled by too small a market and powerful unions.
  • The country’s economy is going through tough times, putting a greater onus on private bankers to look after their clients’ investments. An emphasis on overseas diversification of portfolios is crucial. However, domestic investments still take up the greater share and require careful management
  • Euromoney Country Risk
    Two of the earliest victims of the sovereign debt crisis that hit Europe in 2009 are ahead of the pack again – but this time they are leading the way by re-establishing themselves as economic success stories. Euromoney Country Risk’s survey charts the risers and fallers.
  • The UK and UAE sailed past their original bilateral trade target two years ahead of schedule and have now set the bar even higher – to hit £25 billion a year by 2020. Banks and advisory firms, along with government-sponsored bodies and trade fairs are encouraging small and medium sized enterprises to lead the way. Euromoney gathered representatives from several of these organizations to discuss the future of this burgeoning market
  • Recent developments in the stock markets of the Middle East have caught the attention of international investors. But they also have the potential to invigorate something that the region has long lacked – a powerful domestic asset management industry.
  • The nation’s private banking industry is blossoming, but even as it flourishes, leading players have to move fast to keep up with a changing market and an increasingly demanding and diverse client base. Euromoney gathered together a panel of private bankers, wealth managers and economists to discuss the market’s key issues in July.
  • The country’s bloated public sector and rapidly rising government debt burden have alarmed analysts and prompted comparisons with Greece. As the nation emerges from six years of recession, however, central bank governor Boris Vujcic argues that there is much to celebrate.
  • Asia’s growing band of big, local investment banks won’t let short-term market fluctuations affect their planned transitions from national to regional leadership
  • This column’s author had an inside view of the Chemical/Chase merger 20 years ago.
  • The country’s sovereign wealth fund is probably the largest in the world, and certainly the most transparent – a double act that creates challenges for the 450 people who run it. How does one run a fund twice the size of the national economy it supports, one so big that markets move at the mere thought of what it might do next? Two of NBIM’s CIOs explain.
  • For European banks, the days when a lack of big international operations was seen as a weakness are gone. Nowadays, some of the continent’s biggest and most successful banks are using large market shares in a single market in increasingly profitable ways – setting an example for bigger peers. Euromoney asks their CEOs how they are doing it.
  • Mauricio Cárdenas’ fiscal credibility and investment plans have bolstered the country’s defences amid the emerging market rout, while boasting the best economic growth in the region.
  • Central Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina is using orthodox but painful policy measures to combat the oil- and sanctions-driven storm that is ravaging the economy.
  • The Brazilian government is pinning its hopes on infrastructure finance to boost GDP growth and help woeful productivity rates. But the source of finance and the viability of some of the proposed projects mean that an infrastructure-led recovery won’t be coming to Brazil’s rescue any time soon.