Real estate survey 2010: It’s all about Asia

Asia’s property markets avoided the worst of the global financial crisis and Chinese buyers are leading the way in global commercial real estate turnover, even as the country’s domestic property market struggles with the fallout from overheating.

Confidence returns to Kuwait

Governor Sheikh Salem Al Sabah is leading efforts to deal with the chaos left from years of property and stock speculation.

Banking: Why Itaú sticks to what it knows best

The bank’s chief executive says it has little interest in risky opportunities in foreign emerging markets when it is based in the world’s strongest emerging market – one it fully understands.

New Russia plans clash with its old problems

Projects such as an elite management school, a Moscow technology park, a nanotechnology fund and plans to turn Moscow into a global financial centre are all designed to move Russia away from dependence on energy and metals productions.

Nedbank offers HSBC a gateway

Mike Brown, chief executive of Nedbank, talked to Nick Kochan days after the announcement of the prospective purchase of his bank by HSBC in late August.

FirstRand pushes into Asia

Like Standard Bank, its better-known rival, South Africa’s FirstRand has seen the advantages of links with the burgeoning Asian markets, notably through a tie-up with Chinese bank CCB and a direct presence in India.

Financial centres: Can the Gulf bridge the gap?

Ambitious plans for international financial centres in the Gulf states of Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain that would be hubs for financial services in a broadly defined region are still a long way off being fulfilled.

Banking: Raiffeisen enters a new era

Managers at Austrian bank RZB and its central and eastern European subsidiary, Raiffeisen International, hope that a merger between the two will help maintain its position as a market leader in the region.

ABC IPO: The cornerstones

Described on page 354 of the Agricultural Bank of China prospectus as “Our Corporate Investors”, these 11 companies pledged to buy an agreed and disclosed amount of the H-share offering on day one in exchange for guarantees that their orders would be filled.

Africa: Bradesco’s continental shift

Norberto Barbedo, Bradesco’s executive vice-president for investment banking, talks to Rob Dwyer about his bank’s tentative exploration of African markets and its primary focus on domestic business.