Latest articles from Western Europe

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.

Marcel Rohner

February 2, 2005

chairman and CEO, wealth management and business banking, UBS
“Meteoric rise” would be an appropriate phrase to describe Marcel Rohner’s ascent to the group executive board of Swiss giant UBS. At 40, the demure Swiss economist appears the type of Swiss banker that people would not hesitate to entrust with the family fortune.

Suzan Sabanci Dinçer

February 2, 2005

board member and managing director, Akbank

Suzan Sabanci Dinçer is due to take over from her father, banking legend Erol Sabanci, as the current chairman of Akbank. Winner of The Banker’s 2004 Bank of the Year award for Turkey, Akbank is the second largest bank in Turkey, 40% owned by the Sabanci group – the largest financial-industrial conglomerate in the country, and has the highest return on assets.

Turkey finds EU’s Cyprus conditions unpalatable

January 3, 2005

Turkish government officials have said the EU’s decision to open membership talks with Turkey on condition that Ankara recognises the Greek Cypriot administration is unpalatable.
The EU, at its Brussels summit on December 17, said talks with Turkey could start on October 3 this year after Turkey recognises the Greek Cypriot administration as the sole government of the divided Mediterranean island Cyprus. The EU said Turkey must also accept possible permanent curbs on the free circulation of Turkish labour in the union.

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