The country has been a stellar performer in Latin America, but now a worldwide scandal about its massive offshore financial industry is putting Panama’s economic growth at risk.
Governance, Regulation & Compliance
Trends | Shadow Banking
Renaud Laplanche, Lending Club’s founder, chief executive and public face, resigned abruptly in mid-May. His resignation casts a pall over not only the peer-to-peer lender that claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, but also the shadow banking industry as a whole.
Management | Corporate Culture
Several recent financial and corruption scandals have forced multinationals to develop comprehensive corporate conduct and compliance programs.
Management | Corruption
At the anticorruption summit held in London last month, world leaders pledged to fight tax dodging, boost transparency and redouble efforts to confiscate and repatriate stolen assets to many of the world’s poorest countries.
The Panama Papers’ revelation that Iceland’s prime minister had offshore interests, including claims on Icelandic banks, caused outrage in this naturally volcanic island state.
Capital Markets | Sovereign Risk
Low energy and commodity prices and a global economy stuck in low gear have provoked a surge in sovereign ratings downgrades in the first three months of this year. And rating agencies anticipate another wave of downgrades if a wider global economic slowdown materializes.
Trends | Inversions
The US Treasury Department’s recent rules against corporate inversions are intended to stop “serial inverters.”
Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as Asia’s top financial center and now ranks third globally behind London and New York. This is the key takeaway from the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), a ranking by British commercial think-tank Z/Yen Group.
Tax Reporting & Compliance
The OECD’s “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” principles are being incorporated into tax laws in some nations, requiring more transparency from corporate treasury departments.
As the commercial world becomes more litigious, individuals and corporations are increasingly hamstrung from pursuing justified legal claims by a lack of liquidity or other means of financing.
We present a rare tour of the newly opened Iranian banking sector. Westerners will be surprised by what they find—in both philosophy and performance—in this long-hidden area of the banking world.
In April the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) commemorated a quarter-century of history, with president Suma Chakrabarti emphasizing how far the Bank had come since its first investment—to WBK Bank in Poland (now Bank Zachodni WBK).
Bank of China, the fourth-largest bank in the world, has been an ener-getic leader in expanding overseas. In an interview with Global Finance, Chen Siqing, the bank’s president, spoke about internationalization efforts and the importance of overseas growth.
Nordea Chief Financial Officer Heikki Ilkka, appointed in December after many years with Ernst &Young, talked with Global Finance editors about how the bank is handling negative interest rates and regulatory challenges, and how it deploys technology to satisfy its customers.
Strong growth and other upbeat data in 2015 bucked the West’s collective vision of a nation in crisis. But without structural reforms, the picture may darken.
Low oil prices are taking a heavy toll on Saudi Arabia’s economy, which is facing even greater austerity under deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud’s plans to raise $100 billion a year from subsidy cuts and new levies.
He’s a kickboxer and a football fanatic, an accomplished pianist and possibly the next president of France—and only 38.
While Latin American economies are expected to shrink by roughly 1% this year, Mexico is slated to grow 2.2%.
Few places on Turkey’s coasts have managed development quite as well as the former ancient Greek port city of Halicarnassus, today Bodrum.
The banking industry’s leading lights have largely adjusted their business plans to a world of tighter regulations, higher capital requirements and less leverage. Now, they are taking on new competitors by embracing the very information technology that has disrupted their business.