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.

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