Latest articles from Western Europe

BBVA bid heralds foreign bank invasion of Italy

April 4, 2005

The Italian banking market looks on the verge of being blasted open by twin bids from the Netherlands’ ABN AMRO and Spain’s BBVA.

BNG moves into new pastures

April 4, 2005

Growing funding needs led Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten to shift its focus from the retail to the institutional market. Edward Russell-Walling reports on this and the bank’s strategic benchmark programme.

Change in currency boosts confidence

April 4, 2005

Sureyya Serdengecti, governor of the Central Bank of Turkey and The Banker’s Global Central Banker of the Year, discusses his strategy and the challenges ahead.

BNP Paribas joins rush to buy into Turkish banks prior to EU talks

March 7, 2005

BNP Paribas has acquired 50% of TEB Financial Investments AS from Turkey’s Colakoglu Group for $216.8m. The sales agreement, signed in Istanbul on February 11, means that the French bank now has control of a 42.2% stake in Türk Ekonomi Bankas¦ (TEB), a midsize Turkish bank. The development came as European banks stepped up a campaign to buy shares in Turkish banks, ahead of the start of Turkey’s membership talks with the EU in October.

EU entry preparations make Turkey an attractive target

March 7, 2005

European banks are sizing up potential acquisition targets in Turkey as the country’s financial sector benefits from the prospect of EU membership.

One hit wonder

March 7, 2005

As the bidding war rages for the London Stock Exchange, Geraldine Lambe looks at how the 200-year-old-institution lost its lead in the European charts.

Vibrant innovations

February 2, 2005

In 2004, Germany saw its first ‘true sale’ securitisation, the birth of a non-performing loan market and the founding of a new exchange, reports Jan Wagner.
Last year was another difficult one for German banks. Contrary to expectations, equity markets did not perform particularly well and neither did the economy. Despite this, German banks will probably regard 2004 as one of their better years as the financial industry matured greatly, thanks to several important innovations. As 2004 began, Germany’s hedge fund industry was born when the direct sale and domiciling of these products in the country was permitted for the first time.

Martin Blessing

February 2, 2005

board member, Commerzbank
If ever someone was destined to become chief executive of one of Germany’s top banks, arguably it would be Martin Blessing, board member at Commerzbank.His grandfather Karl was president of the legendary Bundesbank between 1958 and 1969, and his father Werner was a board member at Deutsche Bank.

Agis Leopoulos

February 2, 2005

general manager, international activities, National Bank of Greece
As the youngest general manager at National Bank of Greece (NBG) – the country’s biggest banking group – Agis Leopoulos, head of international activities, had to prove he deserved a place on the team.

Ana Patricia Botín

February 2, 2005

Ana Patricia Botín has banker blood in her veins: stretching back to her great-grandfather, who became chairman of Banco Santander in 1909, to her father, Emilio Botín, a legend in his own lifetime whose latest coup – the purchase of Abbey National in the UK by Santander Central Hispano – is transforming the bank.

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