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Top players seek fan base in Europe

March 3, 2004

The big, profit-hungry banks that have emerged from consolidation in Iceland are now hoping to gain a following abroad, reports Michael Imeson.

Istanbul takes centre stage

March 3, 2004

Turkey’s finance minister Kemal Unakitan talks to Stephen Timewell about involvement in a new development bank and the country’s privatisation strategy.

Clean-up boosts investors’ trust

February 3, 2004

Erol Sabanci, chairman of Akbank, tells Stephen Timewell of his optimism on recent sector reforms and the political and economic outlook for Turkey.

Cross-border pioneer fights on

February 3, 2004

Dexia is the result of a pioneering cross-border merger in Europe. Its experiences demonstrate the difficulties of executing an international strategy across a region within which regulations differ, writes Brian Caplen.

Stronger companies give Spain hope of busy 2004

January 5, 2004

Investment bankers in Spain are looking forward to an active 2004 as Spanish companies lift their heads above the parapet with repaired balance sheets and more positive stockmarket sentiment. This follows two years, 2001 and 2002, which Antonio Rodriguez-Pina, president of Credit Suisse First Boston (Espana) calls “the worst and most difficult of the last 20 years”.

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.

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.

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