Cryptocurrencies, unlike fiat money, are, by definition, more a commodity than a pure currency, giving them compelling appeal for Islamic finance—because renting a commodity is in line with the principles of shariah, unlike lending based on interest.
Milestones | France
The French government temporarily increased its stake in French carmaker Renault to nearly 20% ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in April.
FDI Update | FDI Magnet
Countries that dismantled protec-tionist policies are still attracting FDI, despite the commodities bust. Others aren’t doing so well.
Launched just three years ago, FCM Bank is the only bank in Malta to specialize solely in savings and fixed-term offerings. During a talk with Global Finance, chief operating officer Vincent Ma explained why FCM Bank has zeroed in on those two products.
In an interview with Global Finance, Andrew Géczy, ANZ’s CEO of international and institutional banking (IIB), talked about Asia’s remarkable growth—and why the region’s financial system will likely overtake the combined US and European markets by 2030.
Supply chain vulnerabilities can have long-term consequences, so a country’s resilience to disruptions is a major boon to companies seeking to locate operations.
with Ali Khalpey, Exotix
Newsmakers | United Kingdom
The appointment of Bill Winters to replace Peter Sands as CEO of Standard Chartered has been universally welcomed, as the troubled bank saw profits fall by 30% last year compared with 2013 levels.
High Tech Sector
Playing to its youthful strengths, the Middle East has enormous high-tech potential but still has room to grow.
with Jan Rasmussen, Nordea Markets
Consumer Products Sector
The region’s largest retailers continue to expand, as do multinational companies, in this growing markets.
McDonalds appointment of British-born Steve Easterbrook as its new CEO has both surprised and delighted analysts—concerned by the burger behemoth’s first annual decline in 30 years.
Q&A | Supply Chain Finance
Tomáš Hron, head of global transaction banking, UniCredit Bank, Czech Republic and Slovakia, on the limits of digitization in trade and the supply chain.
Newsmakers | Malawi
Friday Jumbe is set to become the latest African finance minister to swap his political ambitions to take up a senior post in a development bank.
Milestones | European Union
Regulators had Web giants like Google and Apple in their sites when they framed a new value-added tax (VAT) regulation for businesses selling digital products into the European Union
Q&A | Supply Chain Finance
Nadya Talhouni, senior vice president and head of trade finance and cash management at Arab Bank, says MENA banks are well placed to handle business needs previously covered by European banks.
After four years of challenges in the social, economic and political space, Egypt rolls out the welcome mat for foreign direct investors.
Without the need for being either a skilled mathematician or uber-geek. The Age of Cryptocurrency includes everything you could possibly want to know about cryptocurrencies.
Qatar | Newsmakers
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family, was appointed CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as part of a reshuffle that includes the addition of other Al-Thani family members.
North America | FDI & Economic Development Update
Knowing their target markets helps northern US states and Canadian provinces compete with the southern US for foreign direct investment.
A major blot on the country’s wholesome image is the questionable behaviour and ethics of some of its mining and energy companies both at home and overseas
Last year ended with a data breach of the US retailer Target, this year "The Sony Hack". What will 2015 hold for cyberattacks and cybersecurity?
How significant is a digitized, simplified, single platform to trade finance?
What is the key consideration in adopting a digitized banking strategy?
Tunisia | Newsmakers
Elections in Tunisia in October, which saw the secular Nidaa Tounes party (39.7%) narrowly beat the incumbent Islamic party, Ennahda (31.8% of the vote), were widely praised for being free and fair. Questions remain, however, about their democratic robustness.
Newsmakers | United States
HP CEO Meg Whitman’s volte-face announcement to split the company in two has drawn a lot of speculation about, and criticism of, the motives behind the decision.
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has just announced seven new infrastructure projects, worth $1.1 billion, as part of master plan to accelerate and expand Indonesia's economic development.
NEWSMAKERS | UNITED STATES
The technology community has warmly welcomed the appointment of Megan Smith as the next chief technology officer of the US.
In this first installment of a two-part series, Global Finance identifies the top online corporate and consumer banks by country and then by region, according to product or service category.
Much has been made of the rush to reshore manufacturing operations by US and European companies over the past couple of years, but very few have brought significant production back home, and those that have, to much fanfare, have also done so in China, India and other markets.
Although there have been no attacks or payouts in the 12 years since its original passage, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act in the US is set for renewal again, despite the fact that it was only intended as a temporary measure to protect the commercial insurance market and its customers following the attack on the Twin Towers.
The recent raft of Chinese investments into Russia following president Putin’s May visit to Shanghai might look like a rapid response to counter Western sanctions.
Nigeria’s first shariah-compliant bond, a $62 million issue by Osun state late last year, could be the start of an Islamic finance boom in Africa.
COVER STORY: CRYPTOCURRENCIES
Still in their infancy, cryptocurrencies could change the way that companies manage payments for the goods and services that are the essence of global trade. As the bitcoin surge picks up momentum, corporate financial executives are wondering what it means for their business and how they can manage the risk of adopting—or not adopting—digital currencies.
“Bob Diamond exists to make money for Bob Diamond, whatever he says. This isn’t to help develop Africa, it’s to make money for Bob Diamond and his partners.”
Madagascar’s new prime minister, Kolo Christophe Laurent Roger, has vowed to revive the island’s economy, helping it become a true emerging market, and reinforces the promise of president Hery Rajaonarimampianina, when he was elected in December 2013, to lure foreign investors and tourists back to Madagascar.
Weird weather presents major problems for supply chains, and 77% of companies believe climate change has the potential to significantly affect their revenue.
NEWSMAKERS By Gilly Wright Dubbed by his supporters a gifted visionary, engineer and CEO Elon Musk is not afraid to take on both big oil and the auto sector in his attempts to drive the sustainable energy sector forward, as ...
MIDDLE EAST 2014 SUPPLEMENT By Gilly Wright The Arab Spring dissuaded many companies from investing in the Middle East-North Africa region, but foreign investment is now returning on the back of a wide array of major planned infrastructure projects. Ongoing ...
MILESTONES By Gilly Wright By awarding HSBC and Linklaters as external advisers, the UK government is a little closer to its widely anticipated issue of a sovereign sukuk, or Islamic bond. Last October in London during the World Islamic Economic ...
NEWSMAKERS By Gilly Wright One of the world’s oldest insurance markets, Lloyd’s of London, has appointed the first female CEO in its 325-year history. But as the London market confronts one of the most challenging periods in its development, new ...
Tax officials perplexed by Google (Photo: CoolCaesar) If 2013 was the year public opinion turned solidly against the tax avoidance strategies of large technology companies, 2014 promises to be the year lawmakers actually address the schemes. In late December, Italy ...
NEWSMAKERS By Gilly Wright Japan’s largest pharmaceuticals firm, Takeda, has appointed Frenchman Christophe Weber as COO in a highly unusual move designed to groom him for the role of CEO. Weber will join the firm in April 2014, ...
Ryanair: Attitude Adjustment When EasyJet in November reported a pre-tax profit of £478 million (US$785 million) for fiscal 2013—a 51% jump from the previous year—it caused a considerable flap with the shareholders of rival budget airline Ryanair. The stockholders’ vexation ...
As third-quarter profits plunged 44%, US heavy equipment-manufacturer Caterpillar slashed its 2013 profit forecast for the third quarter in a row. Caterpillar is being hit with lower demand in nearly all its major business sectors, but about three-quarters of the drop in sales were the result of lower sales of mining equipment.
Alibaba's HQ in Hangzhou: Stealing a march on Wal-Mart (photo: Thomas Lombard) At his first public engagement as Alibaba Group’s new CEO, Jonathan Lu didn’t mince words. He says he expects China’s largest e-commerce company to nearly triple the volume ...
NEWSMAKERS By Gilly Wright After just over a couple of months as Siemens’ new CEO, Joe Kaeser has announced he will eliminate 15,000 jobs, representing 4% percent of the German engineering firm’s global workforce, with a third of the cuts ...
MILESTONES By Gilly Wright The ongoing spat between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar (a British-dependent territory that borders with Spain at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula) has drawn attention to the continued lack of commitment to ...