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Spanish behemoths court their clients

January 5, 2004

Spain’s two banking giants both suffered loss of market share after recent mergers. SCH’s Enrique García Candelas and BBVA’s Julio López talk to Karina Robinson about their new client-focused strategies, designed to gain lost ground.

Smart moves in the developing world

January 5, 2004

South African company Aplitec saw a gap in the payments market and devised a cheaper alternative to the EMV standard. Stuart Theobald explains how this upstart company has stolen a march on the global card giants.
Smart cards have heralded a technical revolution in payments systems across the globe. But the industry smart card standard Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) is not without its challengers. One that has caught the attention of Visa particularly is a small South African IT company called Aplitec.

Moscow tests multi-service smart card for added value

January 5, 2004

The Moscow Social Card is being used as a pilot to measure the added value of dual interface smart card technology, combining credit/debit and social payments applications on a single card. Wendy Atkins reports on the scheme.

The sacred and the mundane

January 5, 2004

Javier Valls, chairman of Banco Popular Espańol, tells Karina Robinson about the strategy he and his brother Luis are using to ensure the bank remains successful and efficient.

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.

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.

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.

Font of prosperity

December 2, 2003

Having ignored his banking interests in favour of oil and metals, one
of Russia’s oligarchs has now discovered the cash cow that is retail
banking. Ben Aris writes.
Vladimir Potanin ignored his bank until a few months ago. One of
Russia’s classic seven oligarchs that came to the fore in the 1990s and
the owner of Interros industrial group, he was concentrating on
developing his core metallurgical companies such as Norilsk Nickel.

Russia’s latest space race

December 2, 2003

Funds are rushing to get a slice of Russia’s property pie before the limited supply of top quality buildings dries up. Ben Aris reports.
The leading Russian Trading System index sailed through its all time
high of 571 on October 9 to 637.77. With Russia’s blue chips already
trading at fair value, investors are looking for news ways to get some
exposure to Russia’s ballistic growth. They are turning to real
estate’s high returns and low risk and last month saw the first ever
institutional investment into real estate by a dedicated real estate
fund.

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