December 2005

Top stories

Do the big FX banks need a new platform?

Do the big FX banks need a new platform?

The world’s largest foreign exchange banks have made a mistake in streaming prices to scores of electronic platforms and inviting everyone to participate in them. Now, they want to take back control. As Lee Oliver finds out, a new bank-only system is being touted as the answer. Who is behind it, and will it succeed?

Asset management

Fund champs go head to head

Fund champs go head to head

There’s little to choose between the world’s two heavyweight institutional fund managers as they square up to fight for profitability. BGI and SSgA both have commendable records and both are now testing out new strategies.

Asia Pacific

Foreigners still pouring money into China's banks

Foreigners still pouring money into China's banks

Most of the key investments in China’s largest state-owned banks have been settled, but international investors are still eager to pour money into the sector. ICBC, NCCB and Hua Xia Bank are all on the receiving end.

KfW pulls the lid off local bond markets

Until recently only multilaterals with a regional mandate, such as the ADB and IFC, have shown much interest in issuing bonds in Asian currencies. But KfW is planning a three-pronged attack on local-currency issuance in 2006. So are local markets about to take off?

Where's the value in China?

Chinese bonds have no relative value. Its equity market is convoluted and stagnant. So why all the hype and hysteria? Theodore J Kim reports.

Asian companies 2005

Thai and Malaysian companies performed strongly in this year’s annual survey of which companies leading financial analysts rate as the best in Asia. Paul Pedzinski reports.


South African companies push empowerment forward

The massive shift of equity ownership needed in post-apartheid South Africa was always going to be a tough task. There will never be a template for deals, but a range of structuring and financing strategies are taking shape. Mark Brown reports from Johannesburg.

Infrastructure finance

PPP aims to build on its promises

PPP aims to build on its promises

Capital market practitioners have failed to develop the necessary credit skills to assess and absorb infrastructure risk. Now as Philip Moore reports, these shortcomings are being addressed.


Energy trading heats up

Energy trading heats up

Banks are expanding their presence in energy trading – again. But with two established incumbents, is there enough profitable business for the newcomers? Kathryn Tully reports.


Secrets of the algorithm

Secrets of the algorithm

Algorithmic trading is transforming the secondary equities market and the brokerage business. Its growth seems inevitable, but what will the consequences be? Peter Koh reports.


Front End

Market leaders


Sovereigns: France considers debt management changes

Sovereigns: France considers debt management changes

Proposals in the French budget bill for 2006 and discussions in parliament last month could lead to significant changes in France’s public sector debt and risk management. Risk management role for AFT as Cades remains separate borrower.

Structured credit

The rush returns to ABS

From an asset class perspective, the CDO sector dominates the pipeline and within that sector CLO issuance is at the vanguard.

Foreign Exchange

Equity markets

IPO methods under spotlight

IPO methods under spotlight

A spate of poor deals gets the investment bankers thinking. After a difficult October, in which initial public offerings met with a variety of fates, attention last month swung once again to the IPO process itself.

Fund management

Corporate finance

Brazil: Corporates look to securitization

Companies take advantage of the growing popularity of the Fundo de Investimento em Direitos Creditórios, or the FIDC market. The Brazilian ABS fund, (FIDC) is growing in popularity as it enables companies to improve their debt situation by reducing the cost of funding and lengthening tenors.

Latin America

Biggest Latin American exchanges integrate

Biggest Latin American exchanges integrate

Latin America’s two biggest equity markets have agreed to integrate as part of a pilot scheme to bolster liquidity in the region. Brazilian and Mexican investors to gain access to each other’s markets.

Brazil's hedge funds break through

Brazil’s hedge fund industry is growing up. Two trends in particular stand out: foreign investors are seeking out local players through which to invest; and funds are evolving their strategies. Sudip Roy reports from São Paulo.

Bradesco's plan of attack

Brazil’s biggest private sector bank is a retail powerhouse. But Bradesco’s president Márcio Cypriano tells Sudip Roy that the bank intends to beef up its capital markets business.


Against the tide

Look to Japan in the decade of equity

Look to Japan in the decade of equity

Japanese equities are at the start of a sustained bull market that in the next two years will take the Nikkei well above 20,000 from its current 14,000 level.


Shacks, shebeens and securitization

Originally established under the white minority regime to compulsorily house non-white labour outside the cities, South Africa’s townships are now obvious targets for a nascent low-income housing finance market.