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September 2019

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  • For those that work on them, every edition of Euromoney is special. We try our utmost to reflect the issues of the moment, to delve into the intricacies of the global financial system and never forget that our duty is both to inform and to entertain.
  • Some uncomfortable conclusions arise from a close look at Euromoney’s country risk data for Asia since 1982. India’s opening has been rewarded with a dismal decline in its score, while the overthrow of local dictators doesn’t appear to do much for economies either.
  • Singapore’s emergence as a global financial hub is no accident, and has not happened overnight. The key, according to Ravi Menon – the managing director of financial regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore – is to plan well, act decisively and, above all, listen.
  • Systemic, contagious sovereign crises seem to have been consigned to history. Governments can raise funds more cheaply than ever and investor demand seems insatiable. But the banking sector remains a source of instability and new threats are emerging, such as trade wars. Is complacency the biggest threat of all?
  • One country showed the way forward for Latin American sovereigns nearly 35 years ago. Many have tried to follow. Have they succeeded?
  • In Africa, the more democratic a country is, the higher its Euromoney Country Risk score, but as the continent’s ECR grade stalls, African countries are diverging – politically and economically.
  • Germany is famous for its engineering and infamous for its banks – but how does a $4 trillion economy get by with only one battered global systemically important bank? And is the answer also the problem or an example to follow?
  • Automation and artificial intelligence are transforming the payments industry into one of the most dynamic sectors of transaction banking. But there are still many teething problems in an industry that has been catapulted onto centre stage.
  • When the Philippines needed a new central bank governor earlier this year, no one expected the president to pick an outsider for the job. During his first months in office, Benjamin Diokno has promised – and started – to deliver measures to spur expansion.
  • After the challenges of Asian and global financial crises and the 1MDB scandal, Zeti Akhtar Aziz is back in the top echelons of Malaysian influence again. She tells Euromoney about her achievements as central bank governor – and what she knew and did about 1MDB.
  • With a balance sheet of €486 billion, KfW is Germany’s third-largest bank and a key player in German finance. Does it provide a protective cloak to the country’s financial well-being or cast a shadow over its banking sector?
  • As the role of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development comes under scrutiny in Brussels, president Sir Suma Chakrabarti mounts a vigorous defence of the bank’s unique business model and sets out his vision for its future.
  • The US Business Roundtable has changed its statement of purpose to indicate that shareholders’ ambitions for profits have to be balanced with society’s goals, but what is it that these chief executives plan to do?
  • Bankers in Europe have discussed pooling resources across different institutions for some years, as the threat from bigger US rivals has become painfully obvious.
  • And just as tough to get an interview with those higher up the ladder.
  • The World Bank’s influence on the growth of global capital markets is unquestionable, and no individual has played a more important role than its former treasurer, Eugene Rotberg.
  • From governance issues to mounting competition, the World Bank faces myriad challenges, but its proponents remain convinced of its importance to the modern world.
  • It’s not long ago that Kurdistan was on the brink of accessing the international markets. Then came ISIS, strained relations with Iraq and the challenge of being shackled to a state from which the population wants independence. Is Kurdistan ready to approach world markets again?
  • The country’s poverty is in marked contrast to the relative affluence of its neighbours. It needs access to finance beyond disaster relief. But can banks make a business case for a nation in such poor repair?
  • Countries fall off the global financial grid for a host of reasons: political obtuseness, lack of sovereign recognition, the departure of correspondent banking relationships, even Ebola. But we make a mistake if we think of these places as distant and uninteresting curios
  • It is 11 years since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, and even now, only about half of the UN recognizes it as a free-standing sovereign state. That lack of international validation – not least the absence of a credit rating – is holding back a strong economy.
  • For many international investors, Liberia isn’t relevant. It offers little in terms of natural resource, while global banks find doing business there too risky and its young and poor population offers little commercial opportunity. Can China help turn this around?
  • In the landlocked nation, credit is in short supply and few have bank accounts. Foreign lenders, development banks, microfinance institutions and fintechs want to solve its woes – it’s just not clear that Laos wants them back.
  • A properly functioning financial system has long eluded the country. As it moves on from Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20-year leadership, can the financial system finally overcome its many problems?
  • The Euromoney Real Estate Survey 2019 is our 15th annual survey of the global real estate markets and canvasses the opinions of the leading firms involved in the real estate sector worldwide.
  • Global results
  • As Europe’s financial conduct authorities get tougher, banks will be even less likely to support trade between the EU and states that are small and poor.
  • The retirement of Goldman Sachs securities co-head Marty Chavez leaves trading veteran Ashok Varadhan looking isolated.
  • To date, the transformation of financial services through new technology has been a success story, but regulators are becoming more nervous.
  • European banks are trying to put a devastating series of money-laundering scandals behind them, but the crisis is far from over. The extra costs it implies are hitting them at the worst possible time, while the damage to their reputations will be even harder to repair.