After a false start, Islamic banking has become the fastest growing segment of the Pakistani banking industry, with the full support of the government. Apart from the ever-present challenge of liquidity management, most local Islamic bankers agree that their most important task now is to build awareness in the country.
The growth of 'hard' currency sukuk issuance is pushing the market to the next level, as new issuers and new investors flock to the sharia-compliant finance space to capitalise on the growth prospects of emerging economies in the Gulf and Asia.
South Korea's banks have enjoyed mixed fortunes in 2014, a year that has seen high-profile scandals rock the country's largest lenders and in which innovative hybrid funding has characterised a spirit of innovation and growth among the country's small and regional players.
Hong Kong’s banks are unfazed by the student protests that have captured the world’s attention. Bankers remain upbeat about prospects for the continuing internationalisation of the renminbi, the maturing dim sum market and Hong Kong’s inclusion in China’s growth plans.
Former chief secretary of Hong Kong, Anson Chan, tells Stefania Palma about the difficulties facing pan-democratic parties in Hong Kong, and defends the city-state's political protesters, saying that universal suffrage is long overdue.
With ongoing political turmoil, foreign banks may have all but packed up and left Pakistan, but the financial sector has barely noticed. Indeed, assets and deposits have doubled between the end of 2008 and June 2014, while Islamic banking has begun to make its impact felt.
Mired in the fallout of global financial crisis, Vietnam’s banking sector is now entering a new phase, with the government prioritising the restructuring of state-owned banks as it strives to tackle high NPL levels and stabilise the economy.
The Indian government is looking to break the cycle of poverty in the country's rural and urban areas by ensuring every household has a bank account. Rekha Gupta Menon reports on how banks are working to bring the Indian unbanked into the formal banking network.
Despite the plunge in the value of the renminbi earlier this year and growing concerns over China's long-term growth, the offshore renminbi bond market shows no signs of slowing down. Issuance volumes continue increasing annually, but most importantly the market is becoming more sophisticated.
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