NBK nearly employs Aussie embezzler

Gulf of credibility baulks Aussie banker: Australian banker attempts to avoid jail time and earn enough to repay embezzled funds by taking a position at the National Bank of Kuwait.

Bank reorganization: UniCredit/HVB defines its model

The future for UniCredit and HVB’s merged operations in central and eastern Europe has been determined, with HVB’s subsidiary, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, set to become the sub-holding company for CEE operations within the UniCredit group.

Project finance: Abu Dhabi taps its own funds

Although the oil-rich emirate does not need other people’s money to finance big-ticket projects, it has shown an increasing appetite for project finance, reports Mark Ford in Abu Dhabi.

Bond Outlook March 8th

This has been week of two key changes, closely linked: long-term yields are at last rising and emerging markets are seeing a correction in bonds and stocks.

ECB Watch: Changing faces, changing places

With Mario Draghi taking up a position on the European Central Bank’s governing council, and Jürgen Stark set to be the next new member, the inner sanctum is likely to become more pragmatic than doctrinaire.

MIDEAST: Lack of products makes investors demand more

Supply of both Islamic-compliant and conventional instruments has so far failed to keep up with the voracious levels of demand across the Middle East, but there are signs that product-starved investors might now begin to see a steadier flow, though far-reaching challenges remain.

Country risk March 2006

Oil producers strike it rich, but long-term issues remain

The high price of oil highlights the fact that many economies are too reliant on raw materials exports, with governments creating unfavourable conditions for foreign investment through neglect or for political reasons.

Iran: Private banks still opening

The Iranian authorities’ recent granting of operating licences to two new private banks (Bank Sarmaye Daneshgah and Bank Pasargeda) suggests that the sector has a future, despite president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apparent disdain for his predecessor’s reformist agenda.