Asia-Pacific - Asian banking news and insight -

Macquarie makes a comeback

May 2, 2005

After a dip in fortunes, Macquarie Bank is celebrating its first anniversary of buying part of ING with bumper profits and a rebound in its share price. Virginia Marsh reports from Sydney.
After a difficult period, Macquarie Bank, Australia’s only substantial independent investment bank, has silenced its critics with one of its best years ever.
In the past 12 months, the Sydney-based bank’s share price has rocketed, hitting record levels above A$50 ($38.6).

The best of the rest

May 2, 2005

Banking analysts say that there are about 30 city commercial banks among China’s city lenders that have decent balance sheets and are worth considering for investment. Though the banks still need more capital injections from local and foreign strategic partners, they are small and do not require multibillion-dollar investments.

Zhejiang Province Commercial Banks

May 2, 2005

Wenzhou City Commercial Bank, Hangzhou City Commercial Bank and Ningbo City Commercial Bank, all lenders thriving on the booming private economy of Zhejiang Province, are front-runners in improving capital adequacy ratios, reducing NPLs and shifting from shareholder bases dominated by local government entities to those comprised mainly of private companies. Analysts say that these are among the top choices after Suzhou City Commercial Bank. Potential foreign investors have been visiting them.

Suzhou City Commercial Bank

May 2, 2005

Suzhou City Commercial Bank has a lot going for it and plenty of foreign suitors are lined up hoping for a stake. One factor may be the charm of its location – China’s famed garden city, just an hour away from Shanghai in the country’s fastest growing industrial region. But a bigger factor is probably its clean balance sheet.

Nanjing City Commercial Bank

May 2, 2005

Foreign lenders looking for tips on good potential partners often appear to take cues from the IFC: in one of several examples, the IFC proposed an investment in the Bank of Beijing by the end of 2004 and ING Groep NV took a 19.9% stake this March.

Huaxia Bank

May 2, 2005

China Huaxia Bank Co, a medium-sized bank with a nationwide branch network, is the smallest of China’s five domestically listed shareholding banks.

China Minsheng Banking Corp

May 2, 2005

China’s first privately owned bank, China Minsheng Banking Corp, is likely to be the top choice for foreign banks, given its nationwide networks and good financial health. The Beijing-based bank’s biggest shareholder is New Hope Capital, a unit of livestock feed conglomerate Sichuan New Hope Agribusiness Corp, which owns a 6.98% stake.

Best banks to buy in China

May 2, 2005

International banks are looking for a piece of China’s banking market. Kazuhiko Shimizu, in Shanghai, sizes up the most promising acquisition targets.
The race is on to get into the market but finding suitable acquisition targets is not easy. Getting involved with the big four state-owned banks, laden with non-performing loans, would be tricky.

India cracks the combination for growth

May 2, 2005

The coalition government of Manmohan Singh is determined to transform India. Karina Robinson reports from New Delhi on the progress so far.
The measured interventions in the Lower House of India’s Parliament had come to an end. The wood-panelled chamber of the Lok Sabha slid into orchestrated chaos as the opposition benches emptied and its gesticulating members surrounded the speaker, enthroned in his chair.
Dressed in saris, white dhotis, turbans and Western-style trousers and shirts, the parliamentarians raised their voices about a crisis in the Jharkhand state Parliament.

The outlook for Islamic banking

May 2, 2005

As Pakistani authorities grant the third licence to a wholly Islamic bank, Farhan Bokhari reports from Karachi on this emerging sector.

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