February 2005

Cover story

US exchanges retool for consolidation

The dinosaurs that were the old US futures exchanges are extinct. CBOT's and CME's changes, in response to upstart rivals such as Eurex US, may be paving the way to consolidation.

Sovereign debt

Obstacles to altruism

The tsunami disaster prompted a generous debt payment moratorium proposal from the G7. But, factors such as debtor reputation and comparability came into play, taking the shine off the good deed.

Private banking

Search for growth fuels urge to merge

With private banking contributing anything up to 20% of global bank profits, capturing market share through mergers and acquisitions is a preoccupation of wealth managers.

Debt markets

New Year gets off to a fiery start

Issues by sovereigns, sub-sovereigns and agencies tend to do well at the start of the year, mopping up high January cash balances. But in 2005 quality issuers have done even better than usual, raising hopes of a good year.

Deals of the year

Opinion

Why value at risk holds its own

The increasing complexity of financial instruments, markets and institutions is a worry for regulators and investors. Simple, intuitive ways are needed to make risk transparent. The value-at-risk measure, although sometimes criticized on theoretical grounds (see Markus Leippold in Euromoney November 2004), has established itself as the benchmark. Christopher Lotz and Gerhard Stahl explain how regulators approach the subject of market risk management and use VaR as one among many tools.

Western Europe

North of the border, down Mexico way

As it looks to keep pace with rival Banco Santander, Spanish bank BBVA is setting its growth sights on the Hispanic market in the US - at the outset Mexicans in California and Texas - rather than Europe.

Equity markets

Private-equity firms take centre stage

Much of the action in financial markets this year will centre around private-equity fund managers. They are leading the bidding on new acquisitions, breaking records for new fund raising and seeking exits. But if it is a good time for them to sell, how can it also be a good time to buy? Delivering returns is the challenge.

Emerging Europe

The start of a painful journey

The approval of Turkey's candidature for EU membership is just the start of a decade-long process, much of which is likely to be painful, that is set to revolutionize the country's economy and society.

Islamic finance

Poll of Polls

Poll of polls 2005: Citigroup tops a year's worth of polls

Citigroup regains top spot in our poll of polls from Deutsche Bank, which had nudged it back into second place last year. Hard data from the league tables confirm customers' votes that put Citigroup at the top in capital raising and cash management.

Editorial

Streetwise

Front End

Breakingviews

Market Monitor

Emerging markets

Against the tide

Financial Lawyer

People