Corporate leaders can be forgiven for not thinking too far ahead. The length of time that investors hold stock has fallen. Share-holders want fast rewards—and quick fixes when performance flags. Moreover, given the upheavals and macroeconomic uncertainties of the past decade, many CEOs and CFOs have been preoccupied with firefighting.
Asian Development Bank Section: ADB Annual Meeting
Europe has much to gain from the fast-growing region, where per capita GDP is exploding—and vice versa.
Special Report | Depositary Receipts
Capital market reform bodes well for depositary receipt issuers and foreign investors.
Taiwan’s new president and its banks face a tough market and a changing economic picture. They’re ready.
Special Report: Fintech
As banks rush to find areas where the blockchain can save them time and money while creating opportunities, it’s hard to see exactly how this might shape future banking processes.
Taiwan is facing a challenging year, according to participants in a Global Finance roundtable in Taipei. But sound regulation has made banks resilient, and the mood is still upbeat.
Profiling the winners of the Best Investment Banks 2016
Nordea Markets Investment Banking is an integrated part of wholesale banking in the Nordea Group. A move from different legacy systems to one single platform is part of Nordea’s simplification program. Svante Andreen, Nordea co-head of markets investment banking, expects the move to foster agility, enabling Nordea to become a truly digital bank.
The best banks see falling stock prices as an opportunity to finance takeovers with debt and sell bank equity to please regulators.
Jim Rossman is managing director of the corporate preparedness group at Lazard, the M&A advisory and asset management giant. A former M&A lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Rossman talked with Global Finance about how to fend off hostile takeovers—mainly in the US, but also in Europe and emerging markets.
Middle East Supplement 2016
Islamic banking assets in the Middle East are growing, and opportunities abound for Islamic banks to participate in the digital banking revolution, but efforts so far are falling short of customer expectations.
Despite tightening liquidity in the Gulf banking sector, Bahrain’s largest lender reported robust profits in 2015. After leading a slew of product launches, AUB’s group CEO and managing director believes the bank’s prudent risk management will underpin its expansion. He spoke to Global Finance at the bank’s headquarters in Bahrain.
Retail sales in the Middle East are susceptible to lower oil prices and falling consumer demand, but international retail chains still view the region’s long-term investment prospects positively.
By any measure QNB has major ambitions. It is the largest bank in Qatar and one of the leading financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa. It does not stop there. QNB has set its sights on becoming a global bank by 2030. QNB’s group chief executive discusses with Global Finance the regional downturn, success in Africa and its plans for a global presence.
The Bank of Palestine traces its roots back to 1960. Political upheaval has punctuated the bank’s operating environment since its founding. The bank’s chairman and general manager shares his experiences with Global Finance.
Global Finance’s list of Who’s Who in Middle Eastern finance
There are big changes at the top of the rankings this year, and there is greater geographical diversity in the list. Companies in the region are dealing with a number of serious headwinds and broader economic and market changes, which are starting to take their toll.
The Middle East is no stranger to political and economic uncertainty, but simmering religious and political tensions and stubbornly low oil prices have dealt the region a difficult hand. The question now is: How will countries play in order to win?
Changing fortunes in the region’s oil-rich economies have made the secretive world of sovereign wealth fund asset allocation even more opaque.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was the first Islamic bank established in Abu Dhabi, in 1997, and has evolved to become one of the largest retail banks in the United Arab Emirates, with one of the strongest digital footprints of any bank in the UAE. ADIB increased full-year net profits by 10.5% in 2015 to reach 1.9 billion dirhams ($520 million). Global Finance sat down with ADIB’s CEO at the bank’s head office in Abu Dhabi.
Now that some sanctions have been lifted against Iran, Oman’s governmental policy of neutrality could come to the fore in the banking sector. Bank Muscat is gearing up to enter the Iranian market, placing it ahead of many of its banking counterparts in the Gulf. Bank Muscat’s CEO answers questions from Global Finance about the move, and the bank’s challenges in an epoch of austerity.
Emirates NBD returned a stellar performance in 2015, but this year looks to be an entirely different proposition. Shayne Nelson, Emirates NBD Group’s CEO, tells Global Finance how the bank plans to drive growth and why consolidation is needed in the UAE banking sector.
Milestones | Brazil
In this time of recession, Brazil’s economy is becoming more agribusiness-oriented. The sector generated 23% of Brazilian GDP last year, after 21.4% in 2014, and accounted for 46.3% of total exports.
Milestones | Argentina
As Argentina prepares to launch a new bond issue in April, marking its return to international capital markets, investors are once again turning their attention to Buenos Aires, which has known 15 years of isolation.
Milestones | Iran
A strong showing by moderates in February’s elections to Iran’s parliament and assembly of experts (the constitutional body that appoints and dismisses the supreme leader) has boosted prospects for the Islamic republic’s reintegration into the global economy and reassured foreign investors that reforms will continue.
Milestones | Middle East
The established pattern of falling Middle Eastern credit ratings that started in 2014 continued apace in February and early March of this year, as rating agencies issued further downgrades of governments in the region.
Newsmakers | United States
Edward Breen earned his reputation breaking up Tyco, so it’s no surprise that he’s hit the ground running since taking over at DuPont last October as interim CEO, a position made permanent a month later.
Newsmakers | Mexico
Mexico’s giant state oil company Pemex has a new boss, González Anaya, and he’s got a mess on his hands.
Newsmakers | Slovakia
Since he first became prime minister 10 years ago, Robert Fico has been the great survivor of Slovakia’s febrile and unpredictable political scene.
Corporate Finance & Capital
Management | CFO's
A recent report by global consulting firm KPMG was titled, Introducing the Renaissance CFO.
Capital Markets | Regulation
“Nothing will make us deviate or change our course. We are not exiting our operations in any of our African markets,” declared Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa.
Capital Markets | Banking Reform
More than one hundred million people, 2.5 billion transactions every month—and just 1% of payments made electronically.
Trends | Peru
There is no stopping Peru’s economy.
Capital Markets | Mergers & Acquisitions
A need by banks to address weak earnings could result in increased merger activity in 2016, according to Fitch Ratings.
Management | Technology and Change
In the not-so-distant future, they believe, the corporate world will look very different than it does now.
Capital Markets | Fixed Income
The European Central Bank pushed its deposit rate deeper into negative territory in March, even as commercial bankers cautioned that such an unorthodox move could undermine their profitability and disrupt their role as financial intermediaries while doing little to boost lending or the economy.
Trends | Patents
As sovereign governments expand their investments into uncharted territories, a new kind of fund has emerged: the sovereign patent fund (SPF), a state-owned patent investment fund that buys and licenses patents, covers the cost of litigation and protects against patent infringement.
Trends | Movies
China’s richest man goes to Hollywood and buys it.
Capital Markets | Fixed Income
China’s $7.4 trillion onshore bond market, the third-largest in the world, is opening to foreign institutional investors in the latest step by China to integrate its capital markets into the global financial system.
Asian Development Bank Section
Asian Development Bank Section: ADB Annual Meeting
Last year’s historic Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan saw the bank and member countries commit to a wide range of goals and reforms.
Frontier Markets Report
Djibouti is a small country with ambitious plans, which it hopes to achieve by attracting large amounts of foreign direct investment.