Blue-chip bond buys add liquidity fuel to companies already swimming in cash.
The EU hit Apple with a tax bill, but it's not the only company in regulators' sights. McDonalds, Facebook, Google and Amazon are being called on the carpet about tax practices too.
Ireland | Ireland has been a eurozone growth powerhouse in recent years, and remains strong, despite Brexit.
LOCATION TRENDS | Technology allows all sorts of work to be done anywhere. Many companies are taking advantage of this power to "nearshore" European operations from pricey major capitals to lower-cost locales.
Garvan Callan, director of customer, digital and innovation at Bank of Ireland, talks with Global Finance about the bank’s digital offerings.
Europe | Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Europe hit a record high in 2015 with 5,083 new cross-border projects, an increase of 14% from 2014, creating approximately 218,000 new jobs
Spain | Solid fundamentals and steady structural reform could be undercut by political chaos and global market turbulence.
PORTUGAL | With a hefty debt overhang, Portugal can’t quit now on structural reform.
The United Kingdom | Individuals and corporate teams alike are struggling through the implications of Brexit, looking for opportunities, and still hoping the whole thing will go away.
Facing reputational risk and poor prospects, private banking operations are bailing on Russia and encouraging its wealthy to park their assets offshore.
The promise of London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, to build 50,000 homes (half of them affordable) with a reasonable commute is being heralded but also questioned.
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 | Fixed Income
US companies are rushing to borrow in European bond markets. They’re taking advantage of low interest rates on euro-denominated issues after the European Central Bank’s decision to start buying investment-grade corporate bonds in June—part of its economic stimulus program. Last year already set a record for corporate borrowing in Europe’s bond markets, where rates are significantly lower than in the US.
Trends | Inversions
The US Treasury Department’s recent rules against corporate inversions are intended to stop “serial inverters.”
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.
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).
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.
He’s a kickboxer and a football fanatic, an accomplished pianist and possibly the next president of France—and only 38.
Ralph Hamers, CEO and chairman of ING Group, talks with Global Finance about how ING’s lending practices and use of fintech are bolstering the bank—and sustaining the environment.