As banks find their margins squeezed on traditional lending and payments activities, nonbank credit and financing—supported by technological innovation—is growing exponentially.
Regional Report | Latin America
Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru are handling the drop in commodities prices better than the rest of Latin America.
Newsmakers | Brazil
Aldemir Bendine became one of Brazil’s poster boys for success while at the helm of Banco do Brasil, but his new role as chief executive of the country’s oil giant, Petrobras, is causing him headaches.
Trends | Global Banking
On the surface at least, Spain’s Banco Santander and Cloud storage providers do not appear to have much in common.
Milestones | Venezuela
Venezuela’s introduction of a marginal free-floating currency system that will freely trade the US dollar and the bolivar seems unlikely to enlarge the country’s foreign exchange reserves or stem its growing external debt.
In a presentation in New York on February 18—his first official visit to the US since his appointment—Brazil’s Finance minister Joaquim Levy said that Brazilians are learning by doing.
Management | Shareholder Activism
A battle is heating up ahead of the DuPont’s annual shareholders meeting, planned for April.
Trends | Bank Capitalization
As Spaniards returned from the Los Reyes Magos (Epiphany) holiday, Spain’s Santander, Europe’s biggest bank, sold the equivalent of nearly 10% of its capital in one day, raising €7.5 billion ($8.7 billion) in cash and bringing required ratios in line with those of the banking industry.
Sukuk Outlook 2015
Hit by the double curse of falling oil prices and rising interest rates, global issuance of sukuk— shariah-compliant Islamic bonds—slowed sharply in the final quarter of 2014.
The drastic drop in oil prices will clearly have an impact on both individual companies and on overall growth in some countries. But is the shift net positive or negative, cyclical or systemic? The ultimate outcome is yet to be seen.
Brazil | Newsmakers
Joaquim Levy, Brazil’s newly appointed minister of Finance, will need to muster all his skills to navigate the rough waters of Brazilian domestic politics and restore the public budget surplus that made the country a darling of Wall Street investors.
A big question mark is pending on how long the US shale production will remain profitable with declining oil prices.
Global Finance sat down with Tom Speechley, a partner in emerging markets private equity investment firm Abraaj Group and CEO of Abraaj North America, to discuss key markets for investment, future EM stars and the lure of cities as investment destinations.
Vatican | Newsmakers
René Brülhart, known as the “James Bond of the financial world” for his high-profile role in cases such as the return of assets from Saddam Hussein to post-war Iraq and the uncovering of the Siemens bribery scandal, has become chairman of the Vatican’s anti-money-laundering unit.
View From The Top
Global Finance speaks to leading executives at the World’s Safest Banks.
Milestones | Colombia
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a relatively small club of 34 countries. It seeks long-term social and economic development through data collection, analysis and discussions.
A Sovereign Wealth Fund is a state-owned investment fund comprising financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate or other instruments and funded by foreign exchange assets.
As China’s top political leaders gathered this week in Beijing for their annual conclave amid expectations for a new reform push, a joint study by two U.S. think tanks said that the world’s second-largest economy is undergoing a massive overhaul of its obsolete growth model.
This month the European Central Bank will start to buy euro-denominated asset-backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds in an effort to revive a market that has been sharply impaired since the financial crisis.
Global Finance sat down with Russell Golden, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, to discuss the current activities of the FASB—including its recently issued standard on revenue recognition, a joint effort with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
MILESTONES | LATIN AMERICA
In Latin America, the outlook for private equity and venture capital remains bright. Despite a 10% fall in investments during the first half of 2014, local and global players increased the amount of funds raised.
Global Finance sat down with Brian Loughman, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) Leader, EY Americas (formerly Ernst & Young), to discuss how greater regulation and increased efforts by countries to fight fraud are leading to greater demand for services by corporations around the world.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa now have something more in common than rapidly developing economies that have recently stalled. In July they gave life to the New Development Bank (NDB), the first multilateral institution controlled by developing countries.
Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) said in July that, Inshallah, it will open its $560 billion stock market to foreign financial institutions in the first half of next year.
GCC REGIONAL SUPERSECTION 2014 | INNOVATION
Attempts to drive innovation in the Gulf are still at an early stage. But as countries increase R&D spending, the results could have a huge impact on non-oil growth.
Juan Manuel Santos’ second term as president of Colombia might prove a bit harder than his first—and not only because he won this election with a lower majority.
We sat down with Fergus McCormick, head of sovereign ratings at DBRS, to discuss the rating agency’s outlook for global markets, sovereign ratings and how the firm differs from its competitors.
SPECIAL REPORT: LATIN AMERICAN INVESTMENT BANKING
Small, but quite competitive, Latin America’s investment banking markets are upbeat this year, driven mainly by infrastructure growth.
Conservative Varela surprises with progressive social agenda.
Do you remember the 2007-2008 financial crisis? Its daunting impact on the world economy is finally fading away and the US Federal Reserve Board is slowly moving to a less expansionary monetary policy, but the debate on its causes and, more important, on what is needed to prevent similar episodes from happening again is still very much alive.
Despite a pause in February, when the number of share purchase authorizations declined by 32% over the same period a year ago, share buybacks are still very popular on Wall Street.
In the summer of 2012, when the eurozone crisis was breaking bad and Spanish banks were heavily hit by the burst of a real estate bubble, Europe set up a mega-loan to the Spanish government to help out its most-in-need financial institutions.
MIDDLE EAST 2014 SUPPLEMENT By Tiziana Barghini Stock markets in GCC countries, in particular Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have capitalized on the political and economic uncertainty that continues to pervade other Middle Eastern markets more than three years on from ...
February 3, 2014 As the US Federal Reserve Board slowly moves away from the expansionary monetary policy it has pursued for a long time, the debate over the consequences for emerging markets is still raging on Wall Street. Bulls say ...
Bernanke: The Visible Hand For Ben Bernanke, a rocky eight-year tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is ending on a good note. The U.S. economy, teetering on the brink in the wake of the financial crisis that erupted ...
MILESTONES By Tiziana Barghini Twenty-two years after the Maastricht Treaty—which paved the way for Europe’s economic and monetary union—was signed, five Eastern African countries have inked a similar pact for an area that is much smaller than the ...
SIDESTEPPING THE BOOM AND BUST By Tiziana Barghini Global Finance sat down with Francisco Ferreira, chief economist, Africa, at the World Bank, to discuss the continent’s economic outlook. The pace of growth in Africa hovered around an impressive ...
For Pemex, a crude awakening A steady, year-long stream of institutional and economic reforms in Mexico is about to end with a gusher: For the first time in 75 years, foreign energy companies will almost certainly be allowed to pump ...
Saddled with debt of $70 billion, Puerto Rico’s government is doing its best to reassure US investors that it will honor its financial commitments and that its beleaguered finances will be remedied.