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Nordea’s research move opens way to criticism of ratings industry

September 2, 2004

Outsourcing to rating agencies is not the answer to providing an independent research function; the conflict of interest problem and the accompanying censure will simply move to the rating agencies – and who will regulate them?

Venezuela retains appeal for investors

September 2, 2004

Chávez’s hold on power is not unwelcome in the business world, though some are insuring against nationalisation.

Abbey’s best offer lies with SCH

September 2, 2004

Abbey needs to be snatched up soon, before it deteriorates further, and Spain’s SCH has the right track record.

Bank awards reveal record profits despite global economic instability

September 2, 2004

The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards this year reflect a bumper year for profits, as many banks have posted record earnings in 2003 and continue to improve in the first half of 2004. While the global economic recovery remains unsteady and the political environment uncertain, aggregate profits in our Top 1000 listing in July reached record highs, up 65.4% on the previous year.

Delete New money laundering rules lead to chaos in Russian bank system

August 24, 2004

Russians have seen it all before; when the queues began to form outside banks that were refusing to pay out last month, panic began to set in.
A bank crisis that started in May with the closure of medium-sized Sodbiznesbank threatened to spin out of control after the large retail bank, Guta Bank, closed its doors and a run started on accounts at Alfa Bank, one of the two biggest commercial banks in Russia.

Delete Merger marks Japan’s reform progress

August 24, 2004

Last month’s proposal of marriage between MTFG and UFJ would create the largest bank in Japan, but it will only be positive news if the two businesses can be integrated, writes Geraldine Lambe
For the Japanese banking system, recuperation has been a long and painful process. It is only now, after more than a decade of despair, that Japan’s so-called mega-banks are ready to start performing as mega-banks should.

China’s statistics don’t add up

August 2, 2004

Statistics interest about 10% of the population. The processes that determine the underlying accuracy of statistics probably interest 1% of the population. And the number of people willing to spend more money to improve the accuracy of statistics approaches zero. But, unfortunately, without good statistics, those interested in economics are flying blind without a map.

BoE reforms sterling markets

August 2, 2004

The Bank of England isproposing reform of the sterling money markets in a bid to reduce the volatility of short-term interest rates. In what the bank says are the “most far reaching reforms for a quarter of a century or more”, it will replace the present system, which involves frequent bank intervention to stabilise rates, with an arrangement modelled on best practice that should minimise interest rate swings.

Ackermann acquitted in Mannesman bonus trial

August 2, 2004

After seven tortuous months of the Mannesman trial, the Dusseldorf regional court has acquitted the six defendants, including Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, in what could prove to be a landmark decision in the German corporate world.

Reserve Bank of India ruling dismays bankers and investors

August 2, 2004

A proposed policy on ownership rules for Indian private banks put out by the Indian central bank on July 2 has left bankers and investors dismayed.
To ensure that ownership and control of private banks is as diverse as possible, the Reserve Bank of India, the central bank, proposes to limit ownership by a single investor or corporate group to 10% of the paid-up capital of the bank.

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