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Big predators wait in wings

February 3, 2004

Some companies are already reaping the rewards of a bold decision to invest in Indonesia’s banking sector, but one investor is asking how long they will be able to operate before the big banks decide to move in.

Removal of deficit takes priority

February 3, 2004

When Indonesia graduated from the IMF programme at the end of last year, it brought to an end a traumatic six-year relationship, but since then the country has emerged stronger and more fiscally disciplined.

Taiwan’s outlook hangs on poll

February 3, 2004

Prospects for economic upgrade and liberalisation depend on the results of the coming presidential elections. Dennis Engbarth reports from Taipei.

Crime no longer pays

February 3, 2004

The cost/benefit analysis for prospective financial criminals in Taiwan has shifted sharply toward higher costs in the wake of the national legislature’s passage on January 13 of stiffer penalties for a wide variety of offences and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s willingness to prosecute influential perpetrators.

Asset managers’ Latin boom

February 3, 2004

Jonathan Wheatley reports on the phenomenal growth opportunities of the asset management industry in Latin America, with Brazil leading the pack.
When Brazil introduced a temporary tax on financial transactions, the CPMF, in 1997, it was met with howls of protest. It was a regressive tax that would damage the competitiveness of Brazilian companies, critics said, and once introduced, it was unlikely to be withdrawn. The tax has indeed persisted and is much despised. But one industry has done well from it: asset management.

Trade deal loses clout

February 3, 2004

The new plans for an FTAA fall far short of ideals and economic growth could suffer, says Jonathan Wheatley.

Offshore era ends abruptly

February 3, 2004

Hugh O’Shaughnessy talks to Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, about why the island’s time as an offshore financial services centre was so shortlived.

Uncertainty is killing business on the Nile

February 3, 2004

Currency devaluation, new provisioning requirements for banks and the question of a presidential successor are creating a climate that is discouraging investors. Mark Wallace and Jon Marks report.

Doha courts expats with step into CRM

February 3, 2004

With more than three-quarters of Qatar’s population come from overseas, Doha Bank is focusing on expatriate customers, says Parveen Bansal.
With energy needs expanding worldwide and oil prices remaining high, the Qatari economy is booming. Under the prudent leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, the state’s development strategy is focusing on diversification of the economy away from oil, toward extensive gas reserves and industrial expansion. Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have a per capita income not far below the leading industrial countries in western Europe.

China is hive of updating activity

February 3, 2004

Activity to update the banking systems is continuing in mainland China, one of the latest moves being Bank of China’s implementation of Summit Systems’ treasury and capital markets software across its interest rate derivatives trading desks.

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