Since interest rates dropped to record lows in both the US and UK, investors have been anticipating their rebound and picking their investments accordingly.
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The Asia-Pacific (excluding China and Japan) region is once again led by Australian institutions, although this year's rankings underscore the strength of the region as a whole, with a high number of new entrants in each category.
Chinese banks dominate the top 50 in terms of the best cost-to-income ratios, while Australia is the best-performing developed market.
The Banker's top banks in Australia ranking shows that National Australia Bank is the largest bank in the country by Tier 1 capital.
As Basel III regulations come into play, banks looking for a quick fix to bulky balance sheets are divesting their trade finance assets, creating a gap in the market that investor groups and other alternative financiers are keen to fill.
Market reforms are flooding the financial sector and banks are facing the challenge of managing their liquidity more efficiently. But the industry remains divided on best practice approaches to intraday liquidity management.
While the Asia-Pacific region's growth story over the past few decades has been powered by Japan and then China, at least as far as banking is concerned, when these two countries are removed from The Banker's Asia-Pacific rankings, it is Australia's banks that come to the fore.
SABMiller's need to finance its $12.3bn takeover of Foster's saw it issue a $7bn multi-tranche Yankee. The result defied even the most optimistic of expectations, with high demand seeing the brewer come close to refinancing its bridging loan of $8bn in one fell swoop.
The much-anticipated competition in Australia's cash equities markets is finally taking hold, but hopeful new entrants may yet be stymied by the challenges presented by the clearing and settlement infrastructure. Writer Elton Cane
Having sidestepped the worst of the global financial crisis, the dominance of Australia's big four banks in the domestic market means that further major expansion is likely to happen elsewhere, particularly in Asia. Writer Elton Cane
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