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Spain’s latter-day dynamos go from strength to strength

December 2, 2003

The dynamic Spain of today is a far cry from the backward country of
the Franco era more than 25 years ago. The economic and social
transformation has been remarkable and this month The Banker talks to
some of the key architects of the change. Rodrigo Rato, Spain’s finance
minister, explains the successes and the challenges ahead while
Francisco González, president of BBVA, and Javier Valls, chairman of
Banco Popular, give the banker’s perspective. And Karina Robinson
continues our Spanish foray, with a broad-ranging interview with Jaime
Caruana, governor of the Bank of Spain and chairman of the Basel

BofA’s deposit giant status is not all rosy

December 2, 2003

With its FleetBoston acquisition, Bank of America is set to become the
world’s biggest consumer bank but investors are not happy.

Support Putin or face a return to the bad old days

December 2, 2003

Western investors should back President Putin in his battle with the
oligarchs, who are likely to block any reforms that would harm their
own interests.

Rethink due on rating agencies

December 2, 2003

A recent decision by S&P is the latest to have the markets wondering if agencies are objective enough.

Why China is Hong Kong’s best friend

December 2, 2003

The opening up of the mainland will attract foreign investment into the city state and bolster its exports.

Market events make an irrational argument

December 2, 2003

Received economic wisdom is that financial markets are efficient. But looking at events of recent years, John Kay begs to differ.

Saarland to part-sell Sparkassen

December 2, 2003

The saarland may be one of Germany’s smallest states but what it lacks
in size, it makes up for in boldness. Last month, the Saarland
government shook German banking by confirming plans for the first ever
privatisation of Sparkassen (publicly owned savings banks).

ICICI targets UK through alliance with Lloyds TSB

December 2, 2003

India’s second-largest bank, ICICI Bank has set up a UK banking
subsidiary offering a range of products targeted at corporations and
high net worth individuals as well as a unique alliance with a major UK

IBM stresses need to plan for disasters

December 2, 2003

The horrendous recent bombings in Istanbul and the devastation caused
to HSBC’s headquarters there highlight yet again not only the human
consequences of such terrorism but also the impact on institutions and
systems. The challenge is how to assess the risks adequately and how to

Turkish exchange faces charges of negligence

December 2, 2003

Turkish state investigators probing the collapse of Imar Bankasi – a
medium-sized bank that was owned by one of Turkey's richest families,
the controversial Uzans – have filed legal suits against the Capital
Market Board, an agency regulating securities trading, and the Istanbul
Stock Exchange.

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