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Agis Leopoulos

February 2, 2005

general manager, international activities, National Bank of Greece
As the youngest general manager at National Bank of Greece (NBG) – the country’s biggest banking group – Agis Leopoulos, head of international activities, had to prove he deserved a place on the team.

Ana Patricia Botín

February 2, 2005

Ana Patricia Botín has banker blood in her veins: stretching back to her great-grandfather, who became chairman of Banco Santander in 1909, to her father, Emilio Botín, a legend in his own lifetime whose latest coup – the purchase of Abbey National in the UK by Santander Central Hispano – is transforming the bank.

Marcel Rohner

February 2, 2005

chairman and CEO, wealth management and business banking, UBS
“Meteoric rise” would be an appropriate phrase to describe Marcel Rohner’s ascent to the group executive board of Swiss giant UBS. At 40, the demure Swiss economist appears the type of Swiss banker that people would not hesitate to entrust with the family fortune.

Suzan Sabanci Dinçer

February 2, 2005

board member and managing director, Akbank

Suzan Sabanci Dinçer is due to take over from her father, banking legend Erol Sabanci, as the current chairman of Akbank. Winner of The Banker’s 2004 Bank of the Year award for Turkey, Akbank is the second largest bank in Turkey, 40% owned by the Sabanci group – the largest financial-industrial conglomerate in the country, and has the highest return on assets.

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.

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.

Central Bank Governor 2005: Global & Europe

January 3, 2005

Süreyya Serdengeçti, Governor, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey

What’s wagging the top dog?

January 3, 2005

When a company gets a bid approach, analysts are entitled to come to one of two conclusions: either the management was underperforming and a would-be owner can see hidden value that could be achieved by new management; or the management did a great job in making assets attractive for sale and getting a great price for shareholders. With London Stock Exchange (LSE) in play again, things are more complicated.

Greek bonds maintain their appeal despite S&P credit downgrade

December 1, 2004

The decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Greece’s credit rating has damaged the country’s image but will have little impact on the cost of borrowing, according to Athens-based analysts.

Turkey expects glitches in currency changeover

December 1, 2004

Turkey is likely to experience problems when it introduces a new currency next year, bankers and economists fear.
Turkey is due to introduce the currency, the new Turkish lira (YTL), on January 1. Six zeros will be knocked off the old currency in a move to ease accounting practices, reduce strains on payment systems and create psychological conditions to curb inflation forever.

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