Latest articles from Comment

India relaxes private bank investment rules

January 3, 2005

Foreign investors will be allowed to acquire up to 74% of private Indian banks, up from 49%, India’s finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, announced in early December. This clears up doubt over whether foreign investors could participate in the consolidation of the fragmented private banking sector.

German M&A picks up with big acquisition deals

January 3, 2005

Merger and acquisition activity in the German banking industry is picking up, after nearly four years of standstill. As 2004 ended, two major acquisitions were announced in private banking and wealth management – a business that generates plenty of money for banks in Germany.

Turkey finds EU’s Cyprus conditions unpalatable

January 3, 2005

Turkish government officials have said the EU’s decision to open membership talks with Turkey on condition that Ankara recognises the Greek Cypriot administration is unpalatable.
The EU, at its Brussels summit on December 17, said talks with Turkey could start on October 3 this year after Turkey recognises the Greek Cypriot administration as the sole government of the divided Mediterranean island Cyprus. The EU said Turkey must also accept possible permanent curbs on the free circulation of Turkish labour in the union.

Old habits must change

January 3, 2005

Peter G Peterson of The Blackstone Group believes that the key to US stability lies in reducing US consumption and imports.
As part of my recent book, Running on Empty, I interviewed a dozen leading global capital market experts about the sustainability of the US’s unprecedented current account deficit of nearly 6% of GDP, about $670bn annually.

Practical steps to an African renaissance

January 3, 2005

Mohan Kaul of the Commonwealth Business Council explains how business can get involved with Africa.

Foreign banks must cherry-pick less to avoid Latin American wrath

January 3, 2005

Foreign banks in Latin America are failing to help its economies by extending private credit. If they do not act now to moderate their behaviour, they may find host governments legally obliging them to do so.

Slimmed down G4 would carry a lot of weight

January 3, 2005

A G4 that included China and a single voice for Europe makes sense but international diplomacy means it won’t happen overnight.

Calm end to 2004 – but volatility on the horizon

January 3, 2005

A relatively upbeat end to last year in the light of stable market conditions does nothing to reduce the possibility of crisis for many countries if the US dollar and economy do not recover.

Russia stands at crucial crossroads

January 3, 2005

Russia appears to be at a crossroads with the battle between market reformers and interventionists reaching fever pitch.
In this special Davos issue, we put the spotlight on Russia, with an exclusive interview with finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who The Banker has picked as its Finance Minister of the Year 2005. Mr Kudrin is candid with his thoughts on the Yukos affair, as well as banking and market reforms.

Brazil’s central bank takes over at Santos

December 1, 2004

Brazil’s central bank assumed control of the operations of struggling Banco Santos on November 15 after the latter was ordered to provide R$700m ($251m) to cover defaulted loans, a sum that exceeded its ability to pay by R$100m.

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