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Crumbling away behind a facade of optimism

January 5, 2004

Social unrest and a government that turns a blind eye to problems means Argentina’s future looks bleak, reports Karina Robinson from Buenos Aires.

Making a splash with cedulas

January 5, 2004

A boom in Spanish covered bond issuance has been good news for the savings banks. Head of capital markets at Caja Madrid Carlos Stilianopoulos tells The Banker about dealing with commercial banks, cooperation with smaller cajas and plans to extend the market abroad.
“By definition, a triple-A market is relatively boring,” according to Carlos Stilianopoulos, head of capital markets at Spain’s Caja Madrid. But if he is right that Spanish covered bond issuance has grown by 90% in the past year, then a little excitement is surely justified – especially for Caja Madrid, which is at the heart of it.

Boomtime for covered bonds

January 5, 2004

Anthony O’Connor reports on why covered bonds are becoming a favourite funding tool for banks.
Although the legislation has been in place for Spanish banks and financial institutions to issue cedulas or covered bonds since the early 1980s, it is really only in the past couple of years that issuance has boomed. According to market data compiled by savings bank La Caixa, at mid-December 2003, nearly -60bn of cedulas hipotecarias – covered bonds backed by residential mortgages – are outstanding from nine issuers, with 32 transactions to date. Equally striking are figures for the end of 2003, which show that cedulas hipotecarias will account for about 13% of all mortgage funding, almost double that of 18 months ago. But opinion is split about why cedulas are becoming a favourite funding tool.

Deutsche Bank buys into UFG

January 5, 2004

Ben Aris spoke to the Russian bank’s CEO about the rationale behind the deal and the outlook for Russia.

Russians lead on speed

January 5, 2004

Russian banks dominate the top ranks in The Banker’s first analysis of the fastest growing Europeans.

Japan: not yet out of the woods

January 5, 2004

The government’s rescue of Ashikaga regional bank illustrates that, while Japan’s economic outlook has improved, there are still areas of concern.

HSBC takes local stake

January 5, 2004

After a long-term presence in India, HSBC has surprised everyone by buying into the local banking sector in an apparent strategic shift, writes Kala Rao in Mumbai.

Jordan makes best of it despite regional turmoil

January 5, 2004

Surrounding countries may be in turmoil but Jordan’s banks are laying expansion plans that include Iraq, as Rupert Wright reports from Amman.

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