Afghanistan has come too far to be abandoned

June 6, 2005

While much has improved since 2001, the government still needs foreign assistance to maintain security amid bombings and riots.

Microcredit takes root in recovering system

June 6, 2005

Cambodia has made it through a tough time and come out the other side with a respectable degree of political stability – and microcredit lending, which provides much-needed loans to the poor, has emerged as a financial front-runner. Simon Montlake reports from Phnom Penh.

Loan lifeline for the poor

June 6, 2005

First MicroFinance Bank hopes to become a role model in providing loans to the poor in Pakistan. The bank’s president, Hussain Tejany, talks to The Banker.

Investors acquire taste for exotic bond deals

June 6, 2005

A string of small securitisation deals is encouraging finance companies in Thailand to take a closer look at this class of bond, though hurdles remain, says Simon Montlake.

Giants don’t like to be kept waiting

June 6, 2005

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) itself faces the challenge of making its loans more attractive to the two Asian giants: China and India. The two make up about 42% of loans of ordinary capital resources and to keep the balance sheet strong they need to keep borrowing.

Putting some eggs in basket bonds

June 6, 2005

It is absurd to claim, as some have done, that Asia is heading towards monetary union. With far greater divergences in economic development than the countries of the eurozone (and look at all the stresses and strains there), a common currency would be the quickest way of setting Asian progress back a decade.

Macquarie makes a comeback

May 2, 2005

After a dip in fortunes, Macquarie Bank is celebrating its first anniversary of buying part of ING with bumper profits and a rebound in its share price. Virginia Marsh reports from Sydney.
After a difficult period, Macquarie Bank, Australia’s only substantial independent investment bank, has silenced its critics with one of its best years ever.
In the past 12 months, the Sydney-based bank’s share price has rocketed, hitting record levels above A$50 ($38.6).

The best of the rest

May 2, 2005

Banking analysts say that there are about 30 city commercial banks among China’s city lenders that have decent balance sheets and are worth considering for investment. Though the banks still need more capital injections from local and foreign strategic partners, they are small and do not require multibillion-dollar investments.

Zhejiang Province Commercial Banks

May 2, 2005

Wenzhou City Commercial Bank, Hangzhou City Commercial Bank and Ningbo City Commercial Bank, all lenders thriving on the booming private economy of Zhejiang Province, are front-runners in improving capital adequacy ratios, reducing NPLs and shifting from shareholder bases dominated by local government entities to those comprised mainly of private companies. Analysts say that these are among the top choices after Suzhou City Commercial Bank. Potential foreign investors have been visiting them.

Suzhou City Commercial Bank

May 2, 2005

Suzhou City Commercial Bank has a lot going for it and plenty of foreign suitors are lined up hoping for a stake. One factor may be the charm of its location – China’s famed garden city, just an hour away from Shanghai in the country’s fastest growing industrial region. But a bigger factor is probably its clean balance sheet.

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