Latest articles from Comment

China expands foreign access to local markets

January 5, 2004

China’s top banking regulator played Santa Claus to foreign banks weeks before Christmas last year, announcing measures that gave them greater access to the local market.

Stronger companies give Spain hope of busy 2004

January 5, 2004

Investment bankers in Spain are looking forward to an active 2004 as Spanish companies lift their heads above the parapet with repaired balance sheets and more positive stockmarket sentiment. This follows two years, 2001 and 2002, which Antonio Rodriguez-Pina, president of Credit Suisse First Boston (Espana) calls “the worst and most difficult of the last 20 years”.

GE financial services rules of engagement

January 5, 2004

In 1987 ge had 7,500 employees in Europe. It now has 75,000, split between financial and industrial services. Andrew Moore from GE Consumer Finance (a division with $77bn of total assets) and Ivan Royle, director of communications for financial services at GE Capital Europe, gave The Banker a few tips from this serial acquirer:

The costs of Basel II implementation

January 5, 2004

Dear Editor
I have been following the debate about Basel II in The Banker with interest. To use an insurance analogy, moving from a flat-rate method of assessing motor premiums to one in which premiums depend on the driver’s accident history inevitably provokes opposition from learner drivers and those with poor accident records. But safe drivers are not treated fairly by a flat rate approach. The Basel Committee has been exceptionally transparent in the development of its proposals and this has manifested itself in the controversy reflected in your columns.

An aficionado for the fine print

December 2, 2003

Jaime Caruana, governor of the Bank of Spain, demonstrates his mastery of the detail of Basel II and the Stability Pact to Karina Robinson.
I have been in this business too long. Two hours flew by as I questioned Jaime Caruana, governor of the Bank of Spain and chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, on the intricacies of the
new capital accord, the detail of Spain’s economic miracle and the level of the euro.

Spain’s latter-day dynamos go from strength to strength

December 2, 2003

The dynamic Spain of today is a far cry from the backward country of
the Franco era more than 25 years ago. The economic and social
transformation has been remarkable and this month The Banker talks to
some of the key architects of the change. Rodrigo Rato, Spain’s finance
minister, explains the successes and the challenges ahead while
Francisco González, president of BBVA, and Javier Valls, chairman of
Banco Popular, give the banker’s perspective. And Karina Robinson
continues our Spanish foray, with a broad-ranging interview with Jaime
Caruana, governor of the Bank of Spain and chairman of the Basel
Committee.

BofA’s deposit giant status is not all rosy

December 2, 2003

With its FleetBoston acquisition, Bank of America is set to become the
world’s biggest consumer bank but investors are not happy.

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