China’s new currency regime raises questions

August 1, 2005

China’s decision on July 21 to replace its currency peg to the US dollar with a managed floating exchange rate regime has been welcomed by those clamouring for currency reform. But the relatively small 2.1% revaluation of the renminbi leaves many questions unanswered.

Foreign firms work India’s loopholes

August 1, 2005

Foreign banks that are keen to tap the potential of the under-penetrated Indian market are finding a variety of ways in, despite the barriers. Kala Rao reports.

How Iceland trounced India with efficient management

August 1, 2005

India’s banking sector could learn some useful lessons from Iceland’s strong showing in The Banker’s Top 1000 world banks.

Cross-border deal is clinched

August 1, 2005

The upgrade of Indonesia’s sovereign rating gave momentum to a ground-breaking securitisation transaction that could be followed by others in Asia.

Bank Internasional Indonesia

August 1, 2005

Boosting profits at a mid-size bank in an often turbulent market is not easy. But, with Indonesia on an upswing during a smooth political handover in 2004, Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) discovered many opportunities to raise its game. The result was a 101% increase in Tier 1 capital to $383m and net profit almost doubled.

Philippine Banks

August 1, 2005

The Philippines did not suffer from the Asian crisis as badly as its neighbours. Ironically, the result has been a banking system that has taken longer to recover.
Many banks are still dealing with non-performing loans (NPLs) – arguably the highest in the region – that are about 10% of the system. Although down from their peak of 18% in 2001, a comparison with the 5% in 1997 is a better indication of what still needs to be done.

Political upheaval masks Philippine soundness

August 1, 2005

While political drama grabs the headlines, Philippine reform efforts are paying off in the form of economic gains, and intentions for further improvements remain intact. Karina Robinson reports from Manila.

Driven by faith and overdue reforms

August 1, 2005

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gives Karina Robinson a glimpse of the tenacity that is now keeping her in power.
“She has a PhD in politics,” says a top official about President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines, when discussing whether the youthful 58-year-old with a 1985 doctorate in public finance is a technocrat or a politician.

Vietnam readies itself for foreign arrivals

August 1, 2005

Nick Freeman reports from Hanoi on Vietnam’s burgeoning banking sector and local strategies for survival as foreign enthusiasm grows.

Economic engineers

July 4, 2005

The slow pace of legal and regulatory reform is a recurring frustration across all sectors of the economy but is only one piece of a bigger puzzle.

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