2014

WORLD’S BEST BANKS 2014

WORLD’S BEST BANKS 2014

Global Finance unveils its annual list of the  best banks globally, regionally and by country. The banking industry remains under stress, but there are bright spots.

Asia: Backing The Right Horse

REGIONAL FOCUS By Thomas Clouse With China’s economy slowing, investors are pondering where the next big growth story will come from in emerging Asia. Many are betting on the ASEAN countries, which face regional, economic and political hurdles. As China’s ...

2013

China: Policymakers Push Reforms

EMERGING MARKETS ROUNDUP By Thomas Clouse China’s economy decelerated in the second quarter, with GDP growth dropping to 7.5% year-on-year, compared with 7.7% in the first quarter. The government responded with some stimulus measures, including a tax reduction for small ...

Japan: Vote Of Confidence For Abenomics

NEWSMAKERS By Thomas Clouse Stability may have finally returned to Japanese politics, now that the coalition led by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has won a majority of seats in the upper house of ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

CHINESE SOLAR-PANEL MAKERS FACE TRADE TARIFFS IN EUROPE By Thomas Clouse Chinese companies face trade friction in Europe now that the European Commission has imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels. The EU charges that Chinese companies are selling the panels ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

INCREASED SPENDING AND REFORMS COULD BOOST DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION By Thomas Clouse In his final annual work report to the National People’s Congress, outgoing Chinese premier Wen Jiabao set the country’s 2013 GDP growth target at 7.5% and pledged to improve ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

WAGE GAP CLOSES AS GOVERNMENT EMBARKS ON SOCIAL REFORMS By Thomas Clouse China announced plans last month to reduce its wealth distribution gap through a series of measures—such as raising minimum wages, loosening lending and deposit rates and increasing spending ...

Milestone: “Drama-Free” Year Expected For Asean

MILESTONES: BRUNEI By Thomas Clouse The small country of Brunei Darussalam must navigate challenging terrain in the coming months after taking over the chairmanship of Asean at the beginning of the year. Brunei, whose approximately 400,000 citizens enjoy one of ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

HOPES RISE THAT CHINA IS REGAINING MOMENTUM By Thomas Clouse China grew at its slowest rate in 13 years in 2012, but an acceleration in the fourth quarter has raised hopes that the economy is regaining momentum. Photo Credits: BARTLOMIEJMAGIEROWSKI ...

Newsmaker: Blast From The Past As Park Geun-Hye Is Elected PM

NEWSMAKERS: SOUTH KOREA By Thomas Clouse South Korea will swear in 60-year-old Park Geun-hye as the country’s first female prime minister this month, after she narrowly defeated her more liberal competitor, Moon Jae-in, in the general election in December. Tough ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

SEC PROBE CASTS SHADOW ON CHINESE FIRMS’ US LISTINGS By Thomas Clouse The US Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against the Chinese branches of five international accounting firms in December for failing to provide information related to investigations into ...

2012

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

CHINA MOVES FORWARD ON FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES WITH EU, US By Thomas Clouse Chinese president Hu Jintao opened the country’s 18th Communist Party Congress in November with pledges to crack down on corruption within the organization. At the meeting, delegates ...

WTO Entry Offers Legal, Regulatory Benefits To Laos

MILESTONES: LAOS By Thomas Clouse The Lao People’s Democratic Republic will take the final step in its 15-year campaign to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) this month when the country’s legislature ratifies its membership agreement. Laotian trade will grow ...

Stars of China 2012: Corporate Winners

By Thomas Clouse CORPORATE WINNERS AUTOMOBILES Great Wall Motors Competition is fierce in China's automotive industry, and slowing sales growth this year has added even more pressure to the country's automotive producers. Great Wall has responded to that pressure with ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

NO-SHOW AT IMF By Thomas Clouse China’s once-a-decade leadership transition will begin on November 8 at the Communist Party’s 18th Congress. Chinese banks skipped the World Bank/IMF meetings in Tokyo last month amid a territorial dispute with Japan, which has ...

Stars of China 2012: Bank Winners

By Thomas Clouse BANKS WINNERS BEST CITY COMMERCIAL Bank of Nanjing China's more than 140 city commercial banks are facing increasing competition from each other as well as their bigger national counterparts and smaller rural finance neighbors. Against this competitive ...

Awards: Stars of China 2012

NEW BALANCING ACT By Thomas Clouse Chinese policymakers must find news ways to boost domestic consumption and reduce economic reliance on stimulus investing in order to balance short- and long-term growth goals. China's economic planners have performed a careful balancing ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

CNOOC TARGETS CANADIAN ENERGY ASSETS By Thomas Clouse Activity in China's Internet industry has heated up in recent weeks, as the country's leading online companies compete for the attention of China's 540 million Internet users. Baidu, which operates China's most ...

Banker Arrests Shake Investor Confidence

MILESTONES: VIETNAM By Thomas Clouse Vietnam’s stock markets tumbled in August following the arrests of two of the country’s top bankers, Nguyen Duc Kien and Ly Xuan Hai. Asia Commercial Bank’s Kien arrested for “illegal business activity” Photo Credits: REUTERS/STRINGER ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

SLOWING ECONOMIC GROWTH FORCES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ACT By Thomas Clouse China's economy showed further signs of slowing in July, with exports expanding only slightly and industrial production falling to its lowest growth rate in three years. Chinese economy still ...

Asean Jolted By Discord Among Membership

MILESTONES: ASIA By Thomas Clouse The Association for Southeast Asian Nations celebrated its 45th anniversary in July in Jakarta, as conflicts over the organization's role in the region continued to create tension among its members and questions about its future. ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

CHINESE EXPORTS DEFY EXPECTATIONS By Thomas Clouse China has given its banks more freedom to determine their own interest rates by declaring in June that banks could offer lenders rates as low as 80% of the official rate and depositors ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

HSBC ISSUES FIRST RENMINBI BOND OUT OF LONDON By Thomas Clouse HSBC issued the first renminbi-denominated bond out of London in April. The RMB1 billion, ($160 million) three-year bond was launched from the bank’s syndication desk in London. The internationalization ...

Water Company Launches First Cambodian Domestic IPO

MILESTONES: CAMBODIA By Thomas Clouse Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) became the country’s first domestically listed company in April after launching a $20.5 million IPO. Water Supply Authority is first to list on Cambodia Exchange The company released ...

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: 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 ...

Tough Times Ahead For New Chief Executive Of Hong Kong

NEWSMAKERS: HONG KONG By Thomas Clouse Newly elected Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying will face challenges on multiple fronts when he starts his new job on July 1. All smiles: A win for Leung but voters are unconvinced Photo ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

REGULATORS BOOST FOREIGN PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT LIMITS By Thomas Clouse Chinese regulators will allow more foreign participation in domestic capital markets, increasing the quota for its qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) program from $30 billion to $80 billion. According to a ...

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 ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

STABILITY, NOT REFORM, IS LIKELY ON THE MENU By Thomas Clouse Premier Wen Jiabao lowers the annual growth target to 7.5% and promotes social services and wage growth. In his final opening address to China’s annual congress, premier Wen Jiabao ...

Asian Development Bank Meeting 2012

ENVISIONING THE FUTURE By Thomas Clouse Business leaders, policymakers and development experts will gather in Manila the first week of May at the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 45th Annual Meeting of the Governors. At last year’s Annual Asian Development Bank ...

Strong Growth, Strong Reform In Mongolia

MILESTONES: MONGOLIA By Thomas Clouse Mongolia’s economy grew at a record-setting pace in 2011, bringing optimism for improved living standards—and concerns about overheating. In February the World Bank cited 2011 GDP growth at 17.3%, up from 6.4% in 2010. Unemployment ...

Emerging Markets Roundup: China

SHANGHAI TO EXPAND ITS POSITION AS A FINANCE HUB By Thomas Clouse China will greatly expand financial activity in Shanghai in coming years, according to a plan released on January 30 by the National Development and Reform Committee. The plan ...