Q&A with Moataz Natafji, general manager, BLOM Development Bank, the Islamic subsidiary of BLOM Bank, Beirut, Lebanon
Corporate Social Responsibility
Q&A with Mike Maguid Abdelaaty, president, American Finance House Lariba, Whittier, California
Special Report | Pensions & Benefits Management
Combating economic trends, regulators and even demographics, funds are forced to think outside the box.
Best Islamic Financial Institutions | Introduction
Islamic finance is breaking out, as long-awaited regulatory reform takes hold in key nations, boosting transparency and driving new business.
Morocco | In recent years, Morocco has successfully attracted a growing flow of foreign capital, becoming the top foreign direct investment recipient in the Maghreb region (Northwest Africa), and one of the largest in the African continent.
SEC & Executive Compensation | Five years after the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act, several of its controversial corporate governance provisions on executive compensation continue to wend their way through the system.
Capital Markets | Debt
Issuance of green bonds, which raise funds to support environmentally beneficial activities, more than tripled last year, to $36 billion, according to the World Bank.
Newsmakers | Nicaragua
When Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega announced last December a plan to construct a controversial transoceanic waterway that would provide an alternative to the Panama Canal, he vowed the project would create jobs and bring prosperity to the hemisphere’s second-poorest nation.
Management | Metrics
Corporations and analysts turn to scores of metrics—return on assets, working capital and others—to determine a company’s financial health. Another, the ratio of debt to internal funds, is one of the most widely used benchmarks. But a new study suggests that the debt-to-funds ratio isn’t all that accurate in predicting or explaining default risk.
Trends | Credit Ratings
More than six years after the housing market crashed—dragging the world economy and stock markets down with it—Standard & Poor’s settled in early February with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its alleged part in triggering the meltdown. The price was relatively cheap, as these things go: $1.4 billion with no admission of wrongdoing.
Milestones | India
The Reserve Bank of India’s recent bid to offer licenses for setting up small finance and payment banks has elicited an overwhelming response, with at least 113 companies entering the fray.
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.
Global Finance sat down recently with Andrew Spindler, president and CEO of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, which has spread the gospel of sound financial systems to the developing world for the better part of a quarter of a century.
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
US & China | Milestones
“This is a major milestone in the US-China relationship, and it shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge.”
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.
MANAGEMENT | PENSIONS
As people live longer, many companies are discovering that they have to pay pension benefits to retirees for longer than they had expected. Insurance companies are stepping in with new products that can help take this “longevity risk” out of corporate defined-benefit pension plans.
Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund has always been at the forefront of ethical investing, and its actions have influenced the decision making of other asset managers, big and small. But starting next year the fund will reveal its voting intentions before shareholder meetings, not only to be more transparent but also to influence the debate and the subsequent voting.
It is easy to dismiss the Yukos case as a temporary political and legal hurdle. But clearly the reality is more complex.