Latest articles from Germany

Germany experiences a silent revolution

April 4, 2005

A lot of the groundwork for a German revival is complete. The news remains bad but then the darkest hour is often just before the dawn. Brian Caplen reports.
While the headline news about Germany’s economy remains dire and political battles continue to be fought over reforms and job losses, behind the scenes Europe’s largest economy is showing signs of restoration to at least some of its former glory.

Shareholders sink Börse’s bid

April 4, 2005

Deutsche Börse’s thwarted attempt to acquire the London Stock Exchange has shown that buying or selling an exchange is not a simple matter.

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.

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.

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.

French savings merger spawns a global player

July 2, 2004

French government efforts to encourage mergers between state-owned and private banks are paying off, says Jan Wagner. But Germany’s Sparkassen are resisting efforts to get them to follow suit.

Germany’s VDH takes control of European covered bonds dispute

June 2, 2004

German mortgage banks are campaigning to develop a common legal definition and standard for covered bonds. The dispute was sparked last year by three UK banks issuing covered bonds which do not legally qualify as this asset class.

German efficiency deserts banking sector

May 3, 2004

With an already fragmented banking sector and state-owned banks reluctant to change, Germany will remain behind its European peers.

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