Latest articles from World

Boomtime for covered bonds

January 5, 2004

Anthony O’Connor reports on why covered bonds are becoming a favourite funding tool for banks.
Although the legislation has been in place for Spanish banks and financial institutions to issue cedulas or covered bonds since the early 1980s, it is really only in the past couple of years that issuance has boomed. According to market data compiled by savings bank La Caixa, at mid-December 2003, nearly -60bn of cedulas hipotecarias – covered bonds backed by residential mortgages – are outstanding from nine issuers, with 32 transactions to date. Equally striking are figures for the end of 2003, which show that cedulas hipotecarias will account for about 13% of all mortgage funding, almost double that of 18 months ago. But opinion is split about why cedulas are becoming a favourite funding tool.

Deutsche Bank buys into UFG

January 5, 2004

Ben Aris spoke to the Russian bank’s CEO about the rationale behind the deal and the outlook for Russia.

Russians lead on speed

January 5, 2004

Russian banks dominate the top ranks in The Banker’s first analysis of the fastest growing Europeans.

Japan: not yet out of the woods

January 5, 2004

The government’s rescue of Ashikaga regional bank illustrates that, while Japan’s economic outlook has improved, there are still areas of concern.

HSBC takes local stake

January 5, 2004

After a long-term presence in India, HSBC has surprised everyone by buying into the local banking sector in an apparent strategic shift, writes Kala Rao in Mumbai.

Jordan makes best of it despite regional turmoil

January 5, 2004

Surrounding countries may be in turmoil but Jordan’s banks are laying expansion plans that include Iraq, as Rupert Wright reports from Amman.

Cameroon’s refreshing wind of change

January 5, 2004

Helena Frith Powell talks to Paul Fokam, chairman of Afriland First Bank. He outlines how the bank intends to become a leader on the continent, while remaining relevant to Africans and working to reduce levels of poverty.

Islamic Bank of Britain launch imminent

January 5, 2004

The financial sector is finally catching up with the demand for Islamic banking services. This year hopes to see the ground-breaking establishment of the IBB, which will cater to UK Muslims while also hoping to attract business from further afield.

Spanish behemoths court their clients

January 5, 2004

Spain’s two banking giants both suffered loss of market share after recent mergers. SCH’s Enrique García Candelas and BBVA’s Julio López talk to Karina Robinson about their new client-focused strategies, designed to gain lost ground.

Smart moves in the developing world

January 5, 2004

South African company Aplitec saw a gap in the payments market and devised a cheaper alternative to the EMV standard. Stuart Theobald explains how this upstart company has stolen a march on the global card giants.
Smart cards have heralded a technical revolution in payments systems across the globe. But the industry smart card standard Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) is not without its challengers. One that has caught the attention of Visa particularly is a small South African IT company called Aplitec.

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