Latest articles from Comment

Brazil’s central bank takes over at Santos

December 1, 2004

Brazil’s central bank assumed control of the operations of struggling Banco Santos on November 15 after the latter was ordered to provide R$700m ($251m) to cover defaulted loans, a sum that exceeded its ability to pay by R$100m.

Turkey expects glitches in currency changeover

December 1, 2004

Turkey is likely to experience problems when it introduces a new currency next year, bankers and economists fear.
Turkey is due to introduce the currency, the new Turkish lira (YTL), on January 1. Six zeros will be knocked off the old currency in a move to ease accounting practices, reduce strains on payment systems and create psychological conditions to curb inflation forever.

Greek bonds maintain their appeal despite S&P credit downgrade

December 1, 2004

The decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Greece’s credit rating has damaged the country’s image but will have little impact on the cost of borrowing, according to Athens-based analysts.

Dexia and Sanpaolo IMI talks may signal defensive alliance

December 1, 2004

Belgian bank Dexia and Italian bank Sanpaolo IMI are holding talks, possibly about a merger or a joint venture, according to reports leaked as The Banker went to press.

Sustainable solutions for Latin economies

December 1, 2004

José Antonio Ocampo devises a plan resolve the Latin American growth conundrum.

Act now to avoid Spitzer’s wrath

December 1, 2004

Now that crusading New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has set his sights on the insurance industry, do banks with insurance operations have much to fear? If the current scandal widens to other commercial banks that have recently acquired insurance subsidiaries, might even the most law-abiding combinations be forced to return to the status quo, pre-banking deregulation? Or, at the least, will punitive fines be levied, severely damaging the balance sheets of offending companies? Will the whole affair stimulate shareholder suits?

Cazenove joint venture may not bring JPMorgan the value it seeks

December 1, 2004

JPMorgan Chase hopes its Ł110m Cazenove deal will give it greater influence in UK corporate broking but the US firm may be paying too high a price – especially if its partner’s star bankers move on.

Volatility is expected to accompany new rules

December 1, 2004

Uncertain times lie ahead as regulations are implemented that could have a negative effect on reported earnings.

Beware hedge fund danger zone

December 1, 2004

Bankers may declare everything is under control but risky strategies involving hedge funds are increasingly a cause for concern.

Hedge funds: too hot to handle?

December 1, 2004

Are investment banks playing with fire with hedge funds? Will their increased exposure to the hedge fund community provide more risks than rewards? This month, our capital markets editor Geraldine Lambe examines the lucrative relationship between the banks and the funds, the additional risks attached, if any, and the impact on liquidity during market stress.

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