News and opinion on finance

PrimaryBid triumphs in retail campaign

All investors matter. That was the title of an open letter, posted back in April by app-based retail platform PrimaryBid to the boards and managements of UK companies, then pouring out emergency ...
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Country risk: Confidence shaken in UK investor outlook

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party was elected on a pledge to “get Brexit done”, a message that chimed with some of those who had simply had enough of three years of social division ...
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Retail investors: the new lords of misrule

Retail investors have played a big role in a rebound in global equity markets that seems bizarre in the context of Covid-related economic challenges, but makes more sense given the determination of ...
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Lack of licensing clarity tempers Ethiopian mobile money optimism

Ethiopia is one of the three sleeping giants of the mobile money industry, according to the GSMA’s State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money from 2018, which points to the country’s ...
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Asia and coronavirus: The road to health

A common metaphor in economic literature likens problems in economies to maladies that afflict human bodies: ‘the health of the economy’; ‘the sick man of Asia’; ‘the body politic’. It is not ...
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Providence, Cinven and KKR launch first strike in public-to-private M&A

At the start of June, listed Spanish telecom company MasMovil announced that it had received a takeover approach from a consortium of private equity bidders comprising Providence Equity, Cinven and KKR. MasMovil, ...
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Yum IPO hits the spot as Chinese firms target Hong Kong listings

For investment bankers in Hong Kong, June 19 will be just another in a long line of very big days. On Friday morning, they will be ushered in, bank by bank, to ...
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Deutsche has big ambitions for new International Private Bank

In June, Deutsche Bank announced the latest step in its restructuring: the creation of a new unit, its International Private Bank. This now becomes a prominent part of the larger private bank ...
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New deposit platforms show limits of negative rates

In June, Sweden’s Klarna, one of Europe’s biggest fintech companies, and UniCredit-owned HypoVereinsbank, both announced plans to distribute deposits through Berlin-based Raisin’s WeltSparen platform. Previously, in April, Deutsche Bank started distributing other ...
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Macaskill on markets: How to fight the Fed

An experiment in credit market sponsorship by the US central bank began on May 12 with its first corporate bond exchange-traded fund purchases.The new world of government support began not with a ...
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Reality bites for Singapore banks but diversification dims the pain

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta says: 'If people feel they can’t travel, they don’t spend' The headline numbers were ugly in Singapore this morning. At 8.30am, UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong explained ...
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Country risk: Ghana remains a safe bet ahead of its elections

Ghanaian fishermen: Riding the waves, much like their country As in other countries, Ghana is having to cope with the Covid-19 shock weighing on its macroeconomic indicators, softening GDP growth and widening ...
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Commerzbank: How Zielke and Schmittmann’s positions became untenable

Commerzbank’s chairman Stefan Schmittmann and chief executive Martin Zielke The joint resignations of Commerzbank’s chief executive Martin Zielke and chairman Stefan Schmittmann may have come as a shock for many investors. However, ...
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Sovereign bonds: Give us an E, give us an S… but maybe hold the G

If their own research is to be believed, the world’s largest asset managers are fully seized of the importance of taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks into consideration when investing in ...
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Santander’s positivity is an outlier in Brazil

A Santander office gleaming in the São Paulo sunshine As the first of Brazil’s big banks to report first-quarter earnings, there was more focus than usual on Santander Brasil at the end ...
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Digital disbursements plug gaps left by Covid-19 relief effort

The global lockdown has forced millions of people to stay at home. Local shops, restaurants and bars are all under extreme financial stress as foot fall has collapsed and the realization dawns ...
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German court gives ECB three months to justify sovereign bond purchases

On Tuesday, the German constitutional court delivered a withering verdict on the governance around decisions of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurosystem of national central banks over the public sector ...
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Shifting corporate responsibility to consumer resilience

Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz made the point recently in reference to Covid-19 that the US has created an economy without resilience. It would be fair to say the US is not ...
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IIF says policy fragmentation slowing sustainable finance

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which has 450 members from banks to central banks, is calling for greater international alignment of sustainable finance policies and regulation to better support the transition ...
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Hong Kong: BEA and Elliott show solidarity but bicker over future

David Li, chairman of Bank of East Asia Elliott Management and Bank of East Asia (BEA) on Wednesday issued a joint press release, including comments from Elliott co-chief executive Jonathan Pollock and ...
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In the Middle East, fertility is the next big investment trend

Babies are set to become big business in the UAE as the government looks at ways to tackle the low birth rate among Emiratis. This presents new investment opportunities in long-term demographic ...
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Repayment difficulties put Lebanese investors in a risk frenzy

Red light: Investors – you have been warned Lebanon stood out with one of the biggest falls of all among the countries downgraded by risk analysts in Euromoney’s global risk survey last ...
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US stabs itself in back; China complains

A bill passed by the United States Senate that aims to force all foreign firms to comply with US audit standards has received short shrift in Beijing. China’s securities regulator – the ...
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Country risk: 2020 vision brings the eurozone’s risks into focus

The outlook is poor: GDP growth in the euro area has been slowing since 2017 and analysts see little reason to expect any near-term improvement. Analysts have taken a dim view of ...
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Sideways: BlackRock walks a governance tightrope

BlackRock’s Larry Fink and New York Federal Reserve president John Williams: Both seem keenly aware that the slightest hint of impropriety in their unusual relationship could cause enormous reputational damage BlackRock was ...
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Country risk: Former Yugoslavia face higher risks – Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia exposed

The CEE region has coped well with managing the coronavirus pandemic, but will be severely tested by falling tourism, rising debts and political instability ...
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Banks step in to end African medical tourism

“When this virus struck, we found out that only 28% – less than one third – of health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have reliable sources of energy,” says Amani Abou-Zeid, commissioner for ...
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Ukraine’s banking law: a step forward, but not a leap

Ukraine has a new banking law. On May 21, with much fanfare, president Volodymyr Zelensky finally put his signature on the bill, which had been in the works since last autumn. His ...
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In C-Reits, China sees chance to steady the ship

China has approved its first onshore real estate investment trusts, in an attempt to channel fresh capital into infrastructure projects and give its ailing economy a much-needed boost. A pilot scheme will ...
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Large bank M&A across Europe is now inevitable

Euromoney asks the chief executive of one large European bank for an outlook on the economy, likely credit losses and potential mitigants. He expects the European economy to contract maybe 8% in ...
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