Latest articles from Jan Wagner

Property woes and wins

March 6, 2006

German open-ended property funds are in crisis, yet Anglo-Saxon players are doing well in the country’s real estate investment market.
Jan Wagner reports.

The other German Struggle

December 5, 2005

Germany’s political battles may be over but the war over reform of the country’s banking sector has only just begun. Jan Wagner reports.
While some kind of political truce has been reached in Germany, the real fight for financial reform rages on. By the standards of modern banking systems everywhere, Germany’s three-pillar system of private banks, state-owned savings banks (Sparkassen) and co-operative banks is antiquated and inefficient.

A cause for celebration

July 4, 2005

DEPFA has gone from strength to strength since it split from the Aareal mortgage bank and moved to Dublin. Jan Wagner reports from Frankfurt and Dublin on the most profitable bank active in Germany today.
Germany’s mortgage banks have been partying recently. In May, Eurohypo held a bash to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Jumbo Pfandbrief”. Since its introduction, the high-volume Jumbo has spawned a €600bn European market.
As the market leader, Eurohypo and its peers whooped it up. Attractions included plenty of champagne and an elephant installed in front of the Frankfurt stock exchange. Another Pfandbrief conference, replete with champagne, was hosted in June.

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.

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.

Less ambition, more success

May 3, 2004

Jan Wagner finds that the global banks aiming to expand into Germany should opt for niche markets.

Stuttgart gains ground

April 5, 2004

In Germany, the profitable niche of a regional rival is giving Frankfurt’s Deutsche Börse a run for its money. Jan Wagner reports from Stuttgart.

Eastward ho

April 5, 2004

The ECB’s Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa dismisses talk of a double standard being applied to the 10 EU accession countries. Interview by Jan Wagner in Frankfurt.

Peculiar powers for policing

November 3, 2003

Jan Wagner reports from Frankfurt on the unique powers of the German financial regulator but finds that its approach has not prevented banking troubles.

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