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Accession is just the beginning

April 5, 2004

Hard work awaits the eight countries joining the EU in May if they are to live up to European standards.

Schism on Basel II a possibility as US ploughs its own furrow

April 5, 2004

Congress’s insistence on more time not only threatens the June 2004 deadline but may lead to tandem versions of the accord appearing.

When negotiations turn into blackmail

April 5, 2004

Argentina’s negotiating strategy of threatening to default on its loans to get its own way has underlined the case for greater IMF independence.

Pan-European M&A unlikely but Germany in need of consolidation

April 5, 2004

Despite the kickstart to merger and acquisition (M&A) given by two high-profile US deals, a report from Fitch Ratings last month stated that a growth in cross-border consolidation among financial institutions in Europe is unlikely. The report said that Europe was still fraught with regulatory, fiscal and cultural barriers, “not to mention a lack of any realistically achievable synergies”.

Improved Pfandbrief given a mixed reception by agencies

April 5, 2004

International rating agencies have reacted with mixed feelings to new improvements made to the Pfandbrief, Germany’s well known investment-gradecovered bond.

South Korea moves into consolidation mode as foreign interest intensifies

April 5, 2004

Citigroup’s agreement to purchase KorAm Bank in late February has sparked a round of consolidation, reflecting a keen interest by foreign investors in South Korea’s retail banking sector, the third-largest in Asia after Japan and China.

Bahraini banks buck global trend with impressive rise in profits

April 5, 2004

Profits at Bahrain’s locally incorporated banks more than doubled during 2003, compared with 2002.

A big achievement, a greater challenge

April 5, 2004

As South Africa celebrates 10 years of democracy, Roelf Meyer looks back at the progress made since apartheid was ended and forward to the challenges ahead.

Over-egging the pudding: the folly of excessive IT investment

March 3, 2004

Are banks’ IT systems providing value or are they effectively brain dead? This month our technology editor, Parveen Bansal, considers how little banks get back from their huge investment in IT and what can be done to improve it. Financial sector reform is also high on the agenda of Asian Development Bank president Tadao Chino who insists it is key to sustaining high growth across the region. And in Malaysia, Maybank’s chief executive, Amirsham Aziz, discusses corruption, Havana nightclubs and the upcoming elections.

Barclays Bank latest to jump on outsourcing money-go-round

March 3, 2004

Outsourcing between banks is the latest development in a trend that politics is unlikely to arrest.

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