Latest articles from Nick Kochan

Too much of a good thing?

July 4, 2005

The UK’s Financial Services Authority has set the template for regulation around the world but it has recently come in for criticism from politicians and market players for overdoing the red tape. How justified are the claims? asks Nick Kochan.

Bulgaria pulls up a seat at the EU table

December 1, 2004

With plans to sign an accession agreement next year, Bulgaria is preparing itself to become a EU member. Nick Kochan reports from The Banker’s conference.
Bulgaria has moved centre stage among the nations of central Europe. In due course, this will translate into a seat at the EU members’ table, perhaps as early as 2007. These considerations are driving Bulgarian economic and structural policy today.
That was clear at The Banker business conference, Banking on Bulgaria, held recently in London and sponsored by investment fund Equest. Solomon Passy, Bulgaria’s foreign affairs minister, told the conference that his government had two priorities when it came to power three years ago: the first was membership of NATO, which was achieved shortly after the election; the second was to prepare the country for EU membership.

Border control

November 4, 2004

Cross-border issues always add extra complexity to M&A deals. But in the Cemex acquisition of RMC, co-lead managed by Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, there was clearly no language barrier, writes Nick Kochan.
When you are doing a cross-border deal, it helps if your codename makes sense in your client’s language as well as your own. This was not quite the case in Cemex’s purchase of RMC in September. When the English-speaking bankers referred to the deal among themselves, they called it Bromium. When they talked to their Spanish-speaking clients, they called it Bromo.
And the bankers also had different interpretations of the name: one thought it was named Bromo after a volcano in Java, while another thought it was called Bromium after an ingredient in cement. Cross-border communication between bankers and client might have got horridly confused. In fact, relations were faultless.

Turnaround gathers pace

October 4, 2004

Turkey’s economic health is improving faster than many expected and the positive outlook is spreading to the ratings agencies. Nick Kochan reports from Istanbul on the factors that have stimulated this accelerated progress.

Domestic bonds look enticing

October 4, 2004

Investors are being tempted into the Turkish government bond market by transparency and accessible information about state borrowing, and by bond sellers confidence in the economy, says Nick Kochan.

Take-off is delayed

October 4, 2004

The government has suffered some severe setbacks in its privatisation programme but it has a steely determination to press ahead and has more sell-offs slated for the near future, says Nick Kochan in Ankara.

Brokers feel the squeeze

October 4, 2004

The good times may be rolling for Turkey’s economy but for some members of the country’s broking community, the situation is bleak.

Keeping cash clean

May 3, 2004

His Excellency Sultan bin Nasser al Suwaidi, governor of the central bank of the UAE, tells Nick Kochan that the fight against money laundering is not new.

Squaring up for business

May 3, 2004

Nick Kochan finds Dubai and Bahrain are competing hard for the region’s growing business opportunities.
The announcement in April of a new federal law governing Dubai’s embryonic financial centre heralds a battle royal between the Gulf states of Dubai and Bahrain. Dubai is the upstart in the imminent struggle, while Bahrain is more established but there can be no doubting Dubai’s enthusiasm, ambition and ‘can-do’ approach.

Is the PFI about to hit the buffers?

August 2, 2002

Forget worrying about corporate collapses. The growth of PFI financing is playing havoc with public money. Eventually an Enron-style disaster will be rerun on a sovereign balance sheet.

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