After years of neglect, the Iraqi banking sector offers promise once again. Mobile banking, trade finance and infrastructure financing opportunities are proving attractive to existing lenders and the wave of new entrants looking to break into the market. But, before the tide can finally turn, there are regulatory issues that need addressing.
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Amcon, Nigeria’s resolution vehicle set up after its 2009 financial crisis, has made a lot of progress restructuring the billions of dollars of loans it holds. But its chief executive Mustafa Chike-Obi says its work will get harder and argues against calls for it to be wound down quickly.
With performance starting to pick up again in the Kuwaiti banking sector, and strong growth potential both in the domestic market and in neighbouring Iraq, the small country is finding itself the focus of a growing number of lenders, with competition among them growing fierce.
Following a difficult few years, Italy's banks received a windfall from the central bank after the institution revalued its share 'capital', but other eurozone lenders claim that this gives Italian players an unfair advantage in the upcoming asset quality review.
Nigeria’s banks may be suffering the impact of regulatory changes and monetary tightening, but the country’s robust growth and economic reforms are taking away the sting.
Recent years have seen private banks hit by heavy regulation, fines and spiralling compliance costs, all of which have taken their toll on profits and brand value. As banking groups redefine their exposure to wealth management across the world, will private banking become a game better played by local and specialised names?
A strong economy and good governance have helped maintain healthy profitability at most of the Philippines' largest lenders, but with plans to establish a semi-integrated regional banking industry among the Association of South-east Asian Nations members – which would pit local institutions against much more mature banks – many are looking to diversify, both in terms of the products they offer and the customer base they serve.
There is an optimistic feeling among the CEOs of Spain's leading banks, as profits and domestic conditions improve. With the European Central Bank's imminent asset quality review expected to be passed with flying colours, the country's lenders are now looking beyond survival and towards growth, both domestically and internationally.
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