Latest articles from Comment

Pan-European M&A unlikely but Germany in need of consolidation

April 5, 2004

Despite the kickstart to merger and acquisition (M&A) given by two high-profile US deals, a report from Fitch Ratings last month stated that a growth in cross-border consolidation among financial institutions in Europe is unlikely. The report said that Europe was still fraught with regulatory, fiscal and cultural barriers, “not to mention a lack of any realistically achievable synergies”.

Improved Pfandbrief given a mixed reception by agencies

April 5, 2004

International rating agencies have reacted with mixed feelings to new improvements made to the Pfandbrief, Germany’s well known investment-gradecovered bond.

South Korea moves into consolidation mode as foreign interest intensifies

April 5, 2004

Citigroup’s agreement to purchase KorAm Bank in late February has sparked a round of consolidation, reflecting a keen interest by foreign investors in South Korea’s retail banking sector, the third-largest in Asia after Japan and China.

Bahraini banks buck global trend with impressive rise in profits

April 5, 2004

Profits at Bahrain’s locally incorporated banks more than doubled during 2003, compared with 2002.

A big achievement, a greater challenge

April 5, 2004

As South Africa celebrates 10 years of democracy, Roelf Meyer looks back at the progress made since apartheid was ended and forward to the challenges ahead.

Over-egging the pudding: the folly of excessive IT investment

March 3, 2004

Are banks’ IT systems providing value or are they effectively brain dead? This month our technology editor, Parveen Bansal, considers how little banks get back from their huge investment in IT and what can be done to improve it. Financial sector reform is also high on the agenda of Asian Development Bank president Tadao Chino who insists it is key to sustaining high growth across the region. And in Malaysia, Maybank’s chief executive, Amirsham Aziz, discusses corruption, Havana nightclubs and the upcoming elections.

Barclays Bank latest to jump on outsourcing money-go-round

March 3, 2004

Outsourcing between banks is the latest development in a trend that politics is unlikely to arrest.

Saudi’s new laws set to send

March 3, 2004

Imminent changes in capital markets and insurance legislation will give the kingdom’s banks the chance to expand their capabilities.

Showing some self-control

March 3, 2004

Europe and the US banking systems may have money to spare – but banks appear to have learned not to merge just for the sake of size.

Lack of bancassurance regulation is an oversight

March 3, 2004

Concerns remain that double-counting of assets is a disaster waiting to happen.

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