December 2018

December 2018

The break-up: Why European banks can no longer rely on retail investors

Scandals and losses are ending the co-dependency between European banks and retail shareholders, highlighting the conflict of interest in relying on depositors for capital – and showing up a barrier to Europe’s new bail-in framework. A less parochial, more austere but more accountable era is just beginning.

Top Stories

Investment banking: Is the mega-deal M&A party over?

Investment banking: Is the mega-deal M&A party over?

A string of jumbo strategic corporate deals made 2018 one of the busiest years ever in M&A, but falling equity markets, slowing economies, rising debt costs and geopolitical uncertainties have now dimmed the outlook severely. M&A bankers hope that private equity buyers, with $1 trillion of equity to put to work, will pick up the baton and that activist investors will stop corporate executives from quietly jamming those takeover and disposal plans back into the freezer.

Are CLO managers getting away with murder?

The amount of dry powder that private equity firms now have means they are sometimes putting even more than 50% equity into deals – it’s a huge cushion that is contributing to reckless lending behaviour in the debt markets. But are lenders taking too much comfort from a buffer that could rapidly disappear?

Hillhouse Capital’s box of tricks

It is worth over $50 billion and its deals are among the most important and influential in Asia, it is at the vanguard of Chinese private equity and yet it talks to nobody, but market participants in Asia and beyond need to understand it. What goes on inside Hillhouse?



Banking: How long can Iran hold?

The Trump administration has begun the process of ostracizing Iranian finance. Bankers there are hanging on to some rare good news, but how long will it be till they are back to square one?

Transaction services


Impact banking: Bank of America – not too big to care

Impact banking: Bank of America – not too big to care

Over the last two years, Bank of America has been overhauling its low-to-moderate income business, redesigning branches and products, improving employee retention and working with community partners, but will the bank get the credit its actions deserve?

Middle East

Banking: Mutual interests bind the Middle East to Asia

Banking: Mutual interests bind the Middle East to Asia

Developments in the Gulf’s markets are increasingly being driven by the presence of Asian – and especially Chinese – banks, so no wonder rival financial centres in the region are competing for a bigger slice of the pie.

Asia Pacific

Emerging Europe

SocGen scales back ambitions in CEE

SocGen scales back ambitions in CEE

While others race for scale in the region, Société Générale has become the first of the big regional groups to dismantle its network voluntarily.


African IPOs: A drought or a deluge?

African IPOs: A drought or a deluge?

Bankers believe that Vivo Energy’s dual listing in May has opened the taps on the IPO pipeline in Africa, but with primary equity markets suffering globally, is the continent really an exception?

Africa eyes moment of free-trade transformation

The continent is implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to boost intra-regional trade, economic growth and industrialization, but can 54 countries overcome so many obstacles and ratify the agreement?

Latin America



Western Europe

Front End