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.
Governance, Regulation & Compliance
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.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency is preparing legislation allowing the government to relax restrictions on fintech investment, promising a technological jolt to one of the world’s biggest financial markets.
The foundations for economic recovery have been laid by Matteo Renzi’s government, which is tackling fundamental issues at the heart of Italy’s problems. But he has yet to work his magic on public spending.
The $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market is changing rapidly, as electronic execution platforms control the bulk of trading and bank dealers streamline operations in response to growing pressure from regulators to cut trading risks and boost capital.
Corporate Governance | Management
Selling the assets could improve BTG’s net worth by 20 billion reais ($5 billion).
The International Monetary Fund decided last month to alter its long-standing policy of not lending to countries with arrears to official creditors—national governments or agencies they sponsor—thereby enabling it to continue lending to Ukraine should it fail to repay on time a $3 billion bond due to Russia.
World trade growth is slowing. Its future may depend on internal trade within a handful of discrete, powerful regions—especially Asia.
Bulgaria’s multilingual workforce attracts foreign investors, but corruption is a problem.
When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept elections in November, financial markets were focused neither on prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, nor on president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. All eyes were on new deputy prime minister Mehmet Şimşek, the former Finance minister, who may be the only reformer within the largely statist AKP.
There’s been big change in the small country of Burkina Faso. On November 29, the West African nation of 17 million held its first free elections in almost three decades.
The prospect of the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran has investors excited about the return of this market to the global economic community. But the message is: Proceed with caution.
Management | Corporate Governance
With the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act in October, the United Kingdom has made a new addition to the growing body of compliance regulations sprouting up globally.
Capital Markets | Foreign Exchange Controls
In early November, Chinese Communist Party leaders announced plans to make the renminbi a “freely tradable and usable currency” by 2020—when the latest five-year development plan is set to finish—according to a statement by the party’s Xinhua News Agency.
Management | Corporate Boards
Led by investors such as Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman and Jeff Smith, and targeting companies from DuPont to PepsiCo, campaigns by activist investors have become a common occurrence in the United States in the past few decades.
FX markets move to ramp up self-regulation before politicians step in.
United States: Former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke lashed out at what he described as a do-nothing Congress in his new memoir, Courage to Act.
Thomas Gass, assistant secretary-general for policy coordination and interagency affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations, talked with Global Finance about the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals and how the private sector can help.