Latest articles from Comment

Ural Siberian deal puts NIKoil at forefront of banking consolidation

May 3, 2004

Consolidation among Russia’s biggest banking institutions is starting to take place as bankers realise that organic expansion will not provide fast enough growth, particularly in the retail sector.

US economic recovery feeds through to banks’ Q1 results

May 3, 2004

US banks reported strong first quarter results on the back of a solidifying economic recovery, demand for banking products and improved asset quality. Here are the highlights of some of the top banks:

GE seeks to soften bad image with Europeans

May 3, 2004

GE, one of the largest companies in the world with a market capitalisation of circa $330bn, has made a 360 degree turn in its relations with the press and governments in the EU.

Albania sells off Savings Bank for $126m to Austria’s RZB

May 3, 2004

Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) has expanded its role in central and eastern Europe with the 100% acquisition of Albania’s largest bank, the Savings Bank of Albania. Following the failure of earlier attempts to privatise the bank, plans were announced by the government last September to sell it by tender and RZB paid $126m for all the bank, representing a 2.5 multiple ofbook value.

Half way to the European destiny

May 3, 2004

The EU is facing an historic moment as it expands to include Eastern European countries but the task is still only half done, says Carl Bildt.

Revealing the truth behind the credit derivatives myth

April 5, 2004

What is the truth behind credit derivatives? Is the pricing of credit derivatives misleading bankers? Are participants fooling themselves over the benefits? This month we look at the risk management reality of these instruments and assess the latest market trends.
In reflecting on the Madrid bombings, we note in our supplement on Spain (one of six supplements this month) that business continues as usual. We also examine the chances of Spain’s outgoing finance minister Rodrigo Rato being the new head of the IMF, which faces credibility issues over Argentina. And we reveal the results of The Banker’s extensive FX poll and consider South Africa’s 10 years of democracy.

Spanish show their mettle in the face of adversity

April 5, 2004

The determination of Spain to maintain normality after March’s attacks in Madrid served to highlight the nation’s strength.

With money to spend, will banks buyback shares?

April 5, 2004

European banks are having to consider carefully what to do with excess capital, since cross-border acquisitions are proving tricky.

Accession is just the beginning

April 5, 2004

Hard work awaits the eight countries joining the EU in May if they are to live up to European standards.

Schism on Basel II a possibility as US ploughs its own furrow

April 5, 2004

Congress’s insistence on more time not only threatens the June 2004 deadline but may lead to tandem versions of the accord appearing.

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