February 2011

Top stories

Orascom's Sawiris: A very modern tale of corporate finance

Orascom's Sawiris: A very modern tale of corporate finance

North Korea. Zimbabwe. Tunisia. Algeria. Iraq. Pakistan. Egypt. It’s a list of the world’s flashpoints. And they’re all part of Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris’s unique telecoms empire. So when his Orascom group needed financing, and then sought a buyer, it presented Sawiris’s advisers with a unique set of challenges. Eric Ellis tells the fascinating story of corporate finance in the new world order.

Structured credit

CDO litigation: Casino banking victims face last roll of the dice

CDO litigation: Casino banking victims face last roll of the dice

Many investors in structured credit deals are anxiously awaiting the outcome of SEC investigations into a number of CDO transactions, hoping that they will be able to bring lawsuits of their own if the banks are forced to settle. But the statute of limitations means that they might have already left it too late.

Private banking

Private banking: Regaining trust, restoring returns

Private banking: Regaining trust, restoring returns

The financial crisis proved almost as tough for wealth managers as it did for investment bankers. They have worked hard to redeem reputations and improve services. The heads of the world’s eight leading private banks tell Helen Avery how they are giving clients the returns they expect.

Deals of the year

Deals of the year 2010: Riding the rollercoaster

The capital markets experienced peaks and trough in 2010. The first quarter saw Greece descending into chaos, the second an EU bailout solution, then relative calm before the bond markets took Ireland down. Deal volumes were down but the year’s top deals set some defining trends. Hamish Risk and Peter Lee report.

Banking

Investment banks: A new culture of risk

The inadequacy of investment banks’ risk management systems was glaringly exposed during the financial crisis. Since then, the industry has sought to understand what went wrong. Will the banks be better prepared next time? Dawn Cowie investigates.

BRIC private banking

Brazil’s private banks compete head-on for risk-averse clients

With the number of high-net-worth Brazilians increasing rapidly, private banking is buoyant but highly competitive. However, customers’ preference for safe fixed-income investments restricts margins and banks are trying to foster more lucrative products. Rob Dwyer reports.

Private banks set Russian growth agenda

Renewed growth and prospects of active capital markets and M&A business in 2011 have put both global and domestic private banks in a bullish mood. Guy Norton reports.

Wealth managers chase India’s burgeoning rich

Domestic banks and well-established foreign rivals are fighting hard for a share of a high-net-worth asset base expected to grow at double-digit rates. With foreign banks’ involvement in the global crisis fresh in potential clients’ minds, domestic banks might just have the edge. Elliot Wilson reports.

Foreign and local banks battle for China’s golden generation

The private banking industry is coming of age in China, as the number of new millionaires in the country rockets. Foreign and local banks are rushing to offer them wealth management services. Clients have sky-high expectations, and meeting them will be tough.

Wealth management

Private banking: The ins and outs of open architecture

Offering third-party products proved no panacea in the financial crisis, yet clients still distrust an exclusively in-house approach. As the focus returns to increasing revenues, private banks are rethinking their models. Helen Avery reports.

Private banking survey 2011

Foreign exchange debate

Islamic finance

Islamic finance beats a tactical retreat

Although Islamic finance has performed better in Asia than in the Middle East, the sector faced one of its tougher years in 2010. The industry’s future is not secured yet, and the boasts of the boom years have been replaced by introspection and a focus on sustainability. Dominic O’Neill reports.

Cash management debate

Banking news

Markets news

Asia news

Latin America news

EEMEA news

Market leaders

Financing: The balance of power

Orascom’s fund-raising shows that no matter where business comes from, financing power and expertise is still in the developed world.

Columns

Against the tide: Germany stymies solution

Germany’s fragmenting political scene tends towards stasis on big decisions, with key voting groups settling for conservatism. It bodes ill for the country’s role in solving EU problems.

Editorial: Emerging market illusions

According to the heads of the world’s largest and most successful global private banks, the main driver of revenue growth for 2011, and for several years to come, will be rich individuals in Asia and Latin America. So adamant are they that this is where growth lies that the top-10 global private banks aim to add a combined 1,000 or so employees in those regions over the next 12 months.

Front End