Mongolia: SMEs take centre stage

For too long, Mongolia has depended heavily on the resources sector, but banks such as TransBank are making an important push to lend to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Cambodia: The stock exchange takes baby steps

Even on a busy day, you can hear a pin drop at the Cambodia Securities Exchange, but with a handful of new share listings and more bond issues expected in 2020, investors can hope for a slightly livelier scene.

ABA's makeover into a Cambodian digital leader

Central Asian expertise and North American money made for a powerful mix: together they have turned ABA Bank into a digital entrepreneur and propelled it to the top tier of Cambodia’s banking industry.

South Korea: Let the app wars begin

New banking rules have blown the competition wide open in South Korea, allowing banks to piggy-back off each other’s client relationships by offering a better mobile app.

Inside Kaspi’s Kazakh banking experiment is Kazakhstan’s most exciting technology company, its most ambitious bank and perhaps its next international export, but rivals think they have figured out its secrets.

Malaysia: Lim finds revolution hard going

Toppling a political dynasty is one thing, stabilizing Malaysia’s corruption-riddled finances is quite another, as finance minister Lim Guan Eng has discovered in his first 18 months in the job.

Stock exchanges: Kazakhstan finds two is a crowd

The government has big ambitions when it comes to the financial sector, but a second stock exchange, launched as part of a bold plan to turn the country into a Dubai on the Steppes, is a big ask when it comes to developing the nation’s capital markets.

Hong Kong: Chan aims to maintain financial order

Hong Kong’s Financial Services under-secretary is a rare species: a government official willing to talk to the media, despite holding such a tough job of keeping the SAR’s markets operating smoothly in a time of chaos.

Class of 2019: ICBC

Investors are buying into ICBC’s business growth in diverse areas such as asset management and investment banking.

Class of 2019: Itaú Unibanco

The bank may be at the peak of its value creation, as the government looks to promote greater competition in Brazilian banking.

Class of 2019: Citi

The global bank has refreshed its senior management but needs to start demonstrating its platform can deliver best-in-class returns.

Class of 2019: JPMorgan

The world-leading bank aims to stay big with long-term investments, no matter what difficult conditions the market throws up.

Class of 2019: CCB

The Chinese bank is making a big push in areas such as financial inclusion as it targets sustainable ways to build its business and support the Chinese economy.

Class of 2019: QNB

The Qatari bank is investing at home and abroad, growing its loan book and building strong operations in Egypt and Turkey.

Class of 2019: Santander

Spain’s biggest bank is moving further away from its deal-making past, instead seeing a way forward for its troubled US and UK banks in payments and cloud technology.

Class of 2019: Barclays

While many European peers languish, Barclays’ transatlantic pivot is paying off – and helping it build elsewhere.

Class of 2019: UBS

Being the world’s leading wealth manager presents challenges in this market environment.

Class of 2019: UniCredit

Italy’s biggest bank has surpassed expectations; higher dividends and share buy-backs could maintain its appeal.

Class of 2019: Societe Generale

Investors have rewarded cuts but restructuring may soon recommence, sparking fears of collateral damage in businesses it still cherishes.

Class of 2019: BBVA

With falling rates in Europe and the US, and Turkey still in trouble, only Latin America – especially Mexico – can keep up BBVA’s spirits.

Class of 2019: Morgan Stanley

With wealth management outperforming even its senior management’s expectations, the US firm is looking to build in other areas.

Class of 2019: RBC

The bank is penetrating deeper into its home markets to complement its long-standing international growth initiatives.