Latest articles from Western Europe

German M&A picks up with big acquisition deals

January 3, 2005

Merger and acquisition activity in the German banking industry is picking up, after nearly four years of standstill. As 2004 ended, two major acquisitions were announced in private banking and wealth management – a business that generates plenty of money for banks in Germany.

Central Bank Governor 2006: Global & Europe

January 3, 2005

Süreyya Serdengeçti, Governor, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey

What’s wagging the top dog?

January 3, 2005

When a company gets a bid approach, analysts are entitled to come to one of two conclusions: either the management was underperforming and a would-be owner can see hidden value that could be achieved by new management; or the management did a great job in making assets attractive for sale and getting a great price for shareholders. With London Stock Exchange (LSE) in play again, things are more complicated.

Greek bonds maintain their appeal despite S&P credit downgrade

December 1, 2004

The decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Greece’s credit rating has damaged the country’s image but will have little impact on the cost of borrowing, according to Athens-based analysts.

Turkey expects glitches in currency changeover

December 1, 2004

Turkey is likely to experience problems when it introduces a new currency next year, bankers and economists fear.
Turkey is due to introduce the currency, the new Turkish lira (YTL), on January 1. Six zeros will be knocked off the old currency in a move to ease accounting practices, reduce strains on payment systems and create psychological conditions to curb inflation forever.

Structured finance lifts credit clouds over SMEs

November 4, 2004

Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises are turning to structured finance products to provide the credit they sometimes struggle to find, says Jan F Wagner.
German bankers may not like to admit it, but for the first time in post-war German history, the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), known collectively as the Mittelstand, face a credit crunch.
According to a new survey by KfW, the government-owned development bank, nearly half the Mittelstand say that obtaining a bank loan – its main means of finance – has become “considerably more difficult”. KfW also found that three-quarters of the SMEs turned down for a loan would have paid a higher interest rate to get it.

New exchange offers credit risk solution

November 4, 2004

DEUTSCHE KREDIT BÖRSE (DKB), a new exchange enabling banks and other financial institutions to trade single corporate loans so that they can better spread credit risk, has gone live in Germany.

Italy’s retail sector gets a much-needed shake-up

November 4, 2004

Massimo Arrighetti, head of retail at Italy’s Banca Intesa, talks to Stephen Timewell about the earthquake in his bank’s retail sector that has led not only to a radical rethink, but also to a step change in processes.
When Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, Cariplo and Banca Commerciale Italiana joined forces in late 2002 to form the largest bank in Italy, Banca Intesa, they also formed a bank with a staggering 1,500 different retail products.

The lure of London

November 4, 2004

The Banker’s listing of Foreign-owned Banks in London, shows the UK capital still has pulling power.

Explosive issue

November 4, 2004

Demand for covered bonds is rocketing, as the Bank of Ireland recently discovered.

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