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.
Governance, Regulation & Compliance
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.
The US Treasury’s latest measure to keep US companies from reincorporating in lower-tax countries is its strongest effort yet to halt so-called “inversions,” and could have far-reaching consequences for multinationals.
On May 9, voters in the Philippines will elect a new president amid growing concerns over whether the strong legacy of president Benigno Aquino III will continue.
President Jokowi is a radical departure from Indonesia’s political and military elite, which perhaps explains why he is such a populist leader at home. But foreign investors find him difficult to read.
US: At 42, he is a former banker, a former bailout czar and a former politician. He wants to persuade the public, from Wall Street to Main Street, that large banks pose a risk to the economic system. The risk is too high, he says, and must be eliminated—surely not a minor feat, not even for one of the presidents of the mighty Federal Reserve.
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.
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.
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 question this year for investors in China is whether the government will continue moving toward a free-market economy—or keep grabbing the wheel.
Spain: Legislators in Catalonia elected Carles Puigdemont, who has been pushing for independence for the big Spanish region for years, as president on January 10.