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.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Capital Markets | Debt
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.
FINANCE & CAPITAL | TRENDS: Islamic Finance
It is not only investors in the traditional Muslim markets in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey who are tapping into the financial and emotional benefits of shariah exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
It has never been easy for small and midsize companies in emerging markets to raise money. Since the financial crisis it has become even harder. But there's hope.
Nigeria’s first shariah-compliant bond, a $62 million issue by Osun state late last year, could be the start of an Islamic finance boom in Africa.
RISK MANAGEMENT: ENVIRONMENTAL INSURANCE
The threat of corporate environmental liability incidents is increasing as new regulations—and new risks—take hold.
Indeed, there are those who think that the IP wars will continue to have no clear resolution or winners. The only real beneficiaries: lawyers. But commentators such as Bruce Berman argue that unless and until we can quickly sort out the real issues in the IP imbroglio, almost everyone –even the patent trolls – will lose out.