2012

FX: Dollar Favored Over Euro, Yen

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: FOREIGN EXCHANGE By Gordon Platt The dollar rose sharply last month after the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting in March signaled that further monetary easing is unlikely unless the US economy slows significantly or the inflation rate ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: Africa

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt AFRICA Not only is Africa rich in natural resources, but it also offers the promise of fast economic growth in a number of countries, and a population lacking basic banking ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: Middle East

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt MIDDLE EAST The oil-exporting countries of the Middle East are enjoying strong economic growth, whereas countries that experienced political uprisings during the Arab Spring of 2011 are struggling to get ...

Company to Watch: ŞIŞECAM / Turkey

TURKEY’S LEADING GLASSMAKER EXPANDS ABROAD By Gordon Platt Glassmaker Şişecam has a near monopoly on the glass market in Turkey, where it operates a chain of retail outlets for its Paşabahçe brand of glassware, and where its flat-glass output benefits ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: Asia

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt ASIA Asia has provided one of the few bright spots in the global economy in recent years. The region rebounded quickly from the global financial crisis and has thus far ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: North America

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt NORTH AMERICA North America’s banks are well along the road to recovery from the financial crisis, amid signs of improvement in the US and Canadian economies. The Federal Deposit Insurance ...

DRs: Equity Markets Stuck In Doldrums

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: GLOBAL EQUITY / DRS By Gordon Platt The global equity capital markets got off to a relatively slow start in 2012, with a decline of 26% in activity in the first quarter from the same period a ...

M&A: Glencore Targets Viterra

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS By Gordon Platt Switzerland’s Glencore International, the world’s largest commodities trader, agreed to acquire Canada’s biggest grain trader, Viterra, for C$16 a share ($16.05)—which values the company at $6 billion—in a deal that was ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: Europe

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt EUROPE Europe’s banks are being pulled in two directions. Governments want them to lend more, especially to small- and medium-size enterprises, while European and national regulators require them to strengthen ...

World’s Best Banks 2012: Latin America

By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt LATIN AMERICA With its developing middle class, the region’s growing consumer sector helped banks to continue posting healthy returns last year. Banking sector assets and profits were up throughout the ...

DR News: Unsponsored Indonesian ADRs Target Mining Firms

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: DR NEWS By Gordon Platt Five new, unsponsored American depositary receipt (ADR) programs for Indonesian companies were launched in March by BNY Mellon, targeting the strong corporate sector in the Asian economy. Indonesia’s economy grew by 6.5% ...

Annual Supplement: Middle East 2012

CHANGE IS IN THE AIR As one drives into Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, on King Khalid International Airport Road, a symbol of change appears suddenly through the window after miles of desert. It is the enormous campus of the ...

Middle East 2012: GCC Banking And Investment

ABUNDANT FLOWS By Gordon Platt The oil and gas sector is leading an investment explosion in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Photo Credit: PAUL COWAN / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM Led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the countries of the ...

Middle East 2012: Levantine Banks

THE LEVANT BANKS ON STABILITY By Gordon Platt Caution and conservative growth are the key goals of Levantine economies. The resource-poor countries of the Levant have been trying to promote open markets, free trade and labor mobility among themselves to ...

DR News: Russia Reforms Laws For DR Issuers

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: DR NEWS By Gordon Platt Russia made a number of major changes in its securities legislation that will affect depositary receipt programs for shares of Russian issuers, according to law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. Some of the ...

Middle East 2012: Dubai’s Debt Dependency

EASING THE BURDEN By Gordon Platt Dubai has some way to go before its debt profile is viewed as safe and sound, but it has already made great strides. The Dubai debt crisis shocked the world in November 2009. Despite ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: Middle East

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD FOR YEMEN’S NEW PRESIDENT By Gordon Platt Yemen's new president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the former vice president, won a one-man election to a two-year term. A head for heights: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa Photo Credit: RAHHAL/ SHUTTERSTOCK.COM Yemen, ...

DRs: Facebook Adds 25 More Underwriters

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: GLOBAL EQUITY / DRS By Gordon Platt Facebook prepares for its initial public offering that it hopes could raise $10 billion. Facebook added 25 new underwriters to its original group of six, as it prepared for its ...

Middle East 2012: Economies In Transition

SHIFTING SANDS By Gordon Platt Extraordinary changes are occurring in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings. New economic models—and new opportunities for foreign investors—are developing. But the potential for great reward comes with great risk. ...

EM News: Investment To Support China’s GDP Growth

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: NEWS By Gordon Platt Monetary and fiscal policies in China will ease further to support investment in infrastructure, public housing and water resource projects, says HSBC. In addition, Beijing should and will likely deregulate sectors, including utilities, ...

FX: EU Debt Still Commands Center Stage

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: FOREIGN EXCHANGE By Gordon Platt The foreign exchange market continues to be rattled by Europe's debt crisis, analysts say the issue is far from settled. The foreign exchange market continues to be rattled by Europe's debt crisis, ...

Feinberg Departs After BP Oil Spill Settlement

NEWSMAKERS: UNITED STATES By Gordon Platt Kenneth Feinberg, the Boston-bred lawyer who oversaw the process of paying out billions of dollars to victims of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, was relieved of his duties last month, ...

Company to Watch: BR MALLS / Brazil

BRAZILIAN MALL OPERATOR RINGS UP SALES GAIN By Gordon Platt Brazil’s retail sales rose more than expected in December—climbing 6.7% from a year earlier and suggesting that domestic consumption will remain strong despite global market conditions. BR Malls, the largest ...

Middle East 2012: Doha Dreams

FAITH IN THE DOLLAR PEG By Gordon Platt Global Finance sits down with Qatar’s central bank governor, sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al-Thani. The pegged-exchange-rate regime is working well, according to Al-Thani, and the resilient financial sector will help Doha to ...

M&A: Africa Key Target For Mining M&A

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS By Gordon Platt More than 2,600 mergers and acquisitions worth $149 billion were announced in the global mining industry last year. They represented an increase of 33% from 2010, making 2011 the busiest year ...

Debt: Corporate Bonds Break Records

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: CORPORATE DEBT By Gordon Platt Issuance of high-grade US corporate bonds soared to $99 billion in February. Issuance of high-grade corporate bonds in the US market soared to a monthly record high of $99 billion in February, ...

M&A: Xstrata Investors Balk At Merger

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS By Gordon Platt Mining company Xstrata's merger with commodities dealer Glencore may not go ahead unless the terms are improved for shareholders. The $90 billion deal, billed as a "merger of equals," is expected ...

EM News: Equity Funds Attract Big Inflows

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: NEWS By Gordon Platt Investors dumped money market funds in January and shifted into higher-yielding equity funds, according to EPFR Global. "The emerging-markets equity funds we track have had their best start in six years," says Brad ...

Company To Watch: Zambeef Products / Zambia

EXPANDING PRODUCT LINES AT ZAMBEEF By Gordon Platt Zambeef Products of Zambia is one of the largest agribusinesses in Africa, with more than 4,000 employees. In June 2011, it became the first Zambian company to list on the London Stock ...

DRs: Awaiting Facebook, IPOs Revive

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: GLOBAL EQUITY / DRS By Gordon Platt The US market for initial public offerings is off to a strong start in 2012, with anticipation building ahead of the expected $5 billion Facebook IPO, which will be the ...

DR News: Bancolombia Sells Follow-On ADRs

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: DR NEWS By Gordon Platt Bancolombia sold $267 million in ADRs in January in a follow-on offering to its domestic sale of $614 million in preferred shares. The bank said proceeds would go to lending and financing, ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: Middle East

SAUDI ARABIAN BOURSE ALLOWS FOREIGN CROSS-LISTINGS By Gordon Platt The Saudi Arabian stock exchange, known as the Tadawul, has taken a major step toward becoming a regional exchange. Islamic bloc wins control in Kuwaiti parliament The Capital Market Authority (CMA) ...

Debt: Low Rates, Economy Boost Issuance

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: CORPORATE DEBT By Gordon Platt Easing monetary conditions and economic stabilization have increased demand for higher-risk assets, despite worries about Europe's debt. The Federal Reserve has pledged that the federal funds rate will remain exceptionally low at ...

Middle East Investment Banking

CLOUDY OUTLOOK By Gordon Platt The global economic slowdown and regional political turmoil are casting a pall over investment banking in the Middle East. As there's no change in sight, bankers in the region may be in for another challenging ...

FX: Sudden Currency Moves And Hedging

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: FOREIGN EXCHANGE By Gordon Platt The euro's surprising rise early this year, even as the European Central Bank flooded the market with liquidity, caught many market participants by surprise. Net short positions in the euro hit a ...

New Year, New Fed With Rates Forecasts And Clear Targets

MILESTONES: UNITED STATES By Gordon Platt The Federal Reserve has found a new way to communicate its intentions to the markets. It will publish forecasts for the federal funds rate, the key short-term interest rate under its direct control. Fed ...

Best Trade Finance Banks 2012: Regional Winners

By Gordon Platt BEST TRADE FINANCE BANKS 2012: REGIONAL WINNERS AMERICAS Citi Citi's trade finance business set records across the board in 2011, as all of the pieces seemed to fall in place for the bank. "We were in the ...

DR News: Thai Firms Build Exposure With Unsponsored ADRs

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: DR NEWS By Gordon Platt BNY Mellon set up unsponsored American depositary receipt (ADR) programs for two Thailand-based companies in December, Thai Airways International, the national carrier of Thailand, and BEC World, a television broadcasting and media ...

FX: Dollar Looks Good Versus Euro

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: FOREIGN EXCHANGE By Gordon Platt The Japanese yen will hold its own as a safe-haven currency in 2012, while the dollar will be less ugly than the euro, analysts forecast. Based on relative economic growth and expected ...

Company To Watch: Yandex / Russia

'RUSSIAN GOOGLE' BUYS SOFTWARE FIRM TO BOOST MOBILE OFFERINGS By Gordon Platt Yandex, the leading Internet search engine in Russia, with a 63% market share, purchased SPB Software last November to increase its mobile services. Yandex has also teamed up ...

Country Report: Saudi Arabia

OPEN FOR BUSINESS By Gordon Platt Saudi Arabia is preparing to open its stock markets to foreign investment, and it has reinforced its financial management team in preparation for this and broader economic reforms. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil ...

Debt: Ford Motor Credit, GE

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: CORPORATE DEBT By Gordon Platt Ford Motor Credit, the finance arm of the second-largest US automaker, and General Electric, the world's biggest maker of diesel locomotives and jet engines, were first out of the gate with big ...

Awards: Best Trade Finance Banks 2012

ANNUAL SURVEY AND AWARDS: LIQUIDITY AND REGULATIONS SQUEEZE TRADE FINANCE By Gordon Platt The global economy is threatened by a shortage of financing for international trade, as banks reassess their business models. The availability and cost of trade financing could ...

EM News: New ‘Tigers’ Will Dominate Economic Growth

EMERGING MARKETS INVESTOR: NEWS By Gordon Platt The BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—now contribute more than half of the world's economic growth, while the broader emerging markets provide more than 70% of current global growth. Growth in the new ...

DRs: Depositary Receipt Pipeline Full

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: GLOBAL EQUITY/DRS By Gordon Platt Depositary receipt investors pushed trading to a record high last year, demonstrating the continued popularity of DRs, despite challenging market conditions. While the amount of capital raised by corporate issuers was down ...

M&A: China Three Gorges Wins EDP Bid

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS By Gordon Platt China Three Gorges, a state-owned company that operates the world's largest hydropower project, bought a 21% stake in EDP, Portugal's largest company and utility. The Chinese company also purchased a 49% ...

Debt: Sprint Leads New Issuance Rebound

CORPORATE FINANCING NEWS: CORPORATE DEBT By Gordon Platt New-issuance volume in the US high-yield market rose sharply in November, led by a $4 billion, two-part offering from Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US mobile network operator. The Kansas company placed $3 ...