A mother had a few moments earlier showed me her home — a small tent made from sticks covered with plastic and rags shared by nine adults and children. I wish I had told her how proud she should be of having found safety and keeping her family together, and that things would surely now improve. But I was overwhelmed that this tent had provided some respite from the searing daytime heat but little else. It was hard to imagine how nine could fit in and other than a couple of pans and some rags it was bare.
We were well briefed on what we were going to see — I asked every STC person I could in advance to be as well prepared as possible — but it still left me speechless. You might expect the people to be desperate, yet while their need is great, all those we met were extremely polite, spoke in measured tones and expressed huge affection for Save the Children and all those in the red T-shirts. These are very proud people who have been robbed of their lives.
In the second camp in Kebri Dahar one representative of the inhabitants spoke of how before the floods — El Nino delivered floods to these people, then drought — they had their own homes, work, animals, and now he was asking for eight latrines to serve 4, people. And yet he did it with a smile. Save the Children is very careful. Investors in the region are crying out for more opportunities to invest in fast-growing businesses, even welcoming companies that have yet to turn profitable. The surging interest makes it clear why Asian stock exchanges are so keen to attract more technology companies to list on their bourses, rather than the US.
The reforms deemed necessary to ensure that Asia companies choose to list in their home region, however, are proving controversial.
The Singapore Exchange tabled proposals in February to accommodate weighted voting rights, subject to certain provisions, and clarified in July that it would allow secondary listings from companies with a dual-class share structure that are primarily listed in any of 22 developed markets — as defined by index providers FTSE and MSCI. In June, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing revived plans to allow dual-class shares in a concept paper on the creation of a new third board.
Both exchanges are expected to push ahead, but there are questions that need to be answered. Will the proposals attract more listings? What safeguards are required to protect minority investors? Will it trigger a race to the bottom in corporate governance standards? These are the New Board Pro, targeted at early-stage companies that do not meet the current listing criteria, and the New Board Premium, which is for more established companies that are ineligible to list in Hong Kong because of their corporate governance structures.
Both would allow companies to sell shares with weighted voting rights. HKEx also said it would accommodate secondary listings from firms with unequal voting rights. The Hong Kong government has since hinted that it would drop plans for a third board to allow companies with dual-class structures to list on the Main Board through the creation of a special chapter. The latest comments have been welcomed by most market participants. Bankers pointed out that the purpose of the proposals was mainly to attract secondary listings from some of the large Chinese tech firms such as Alibaba.
Listing on the Main Board would be a more attractive option for them than a start-up board with limited liquidity. Still, there is a concern that by scrapping the third board, Hong Kong will need to do more to attract start-up firms. The success of the Ps The yield on the bond fell all the way to a mid-market price of 7. Quick read. Overall, big firms snapped up more than 50 standalone investment banks between and Now, roughly two decades later, some in the industry think it might be time to revisit the idea of the standalone investment bank — not least because post-crisis rules have made the global model less efficient.
In the US, foreign banks have been forced to set up intermediate holding companies, where they have to hold more capital and submit to rigorous stress tests. UK-listed banks, such as Barclays and HSBC, are being forced to structurally separate out their investment banking operations. In general, it is now more difficult to move capital freely — and thus to operate as a genuinely global firm. When Rudolf Bohli, head of activist investor RBR Capital Advisors, launched his campaign in October to break up Credit Suisse, he envisioned three separate businesses — and said he would float the investment bank operation.
In the end, the campaign did not find much traction, not least because CEO Tidjane Thiam was already two years into an intensive restructuring plan that involves cutting capital in the investment bank, redeploying into its asset management business and winding down non-core operations. You could in theory spin off an investment bank, but the question is whether it can get a sufficient rating.
Clients only care if you are a sufficient counterparty credit — and whether you have sufficient equity. In rough terms, monoline or standalone investment banks are defined as those firms that derive at least two-thirds of their revenues from capital markets and wealth management activities. By that definition, both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley would still be classified as standalone, though both are also following the over-arching industry trend towards diver.
Saudi Arabia struggled to balance the budget through most of the s and s. But then, in , with the country on the verge of being downgraded to junk because of its soaring national debt, its fortunes suddenly changed. Flush with cash, the government spent freely, quadrupling its budget, and creating over a million new public sector jobs. Saudi, once a debtor nation, became a major global creditor. The good times are now over.
An ill-judged attempt to kill off US shale drillers by ramping up production, and a subsequent attempt to shore up falling prices have hit Saudi hard. Cash is so tight that businesses in the kingdom complain that bills sent to the government often go unpaid for months.
As well as the financial pressures, the kingdom faces some big social challenges, including the need to provide work for the 4. The government is well aware that the current economic model is insufficient to absorb a glut of workers.
With public sector finances under acute pressure, the government needs to strengthen its private sector, which in turn needs capital to invest, grow, and put Saudis to work. This year, equity issuance has fallen to its lowest in more than a decade. The appetite for change is real. Rules that heavily restricted the presence of foreign investors in the country have been eased, while the stock exchange has moved its settlement processes into line with global norms and allowed covered short-selling for the first time.
Recent rule changes have specifically been driven with one particular target in mind: index pro. Do investment banks have a recruitment problem?
Numerous surveys show students at leading universities are less interested in investment banking than graduates were 20, 10 or even five years ago. A recent survey of more than 20, new graduates at leading British universities showed the number applying to investment banks and finance dropped by a fifth from a year ago, according to High Fliers, a research firm for graduate employment.
Remuneration remains a trump card for investment banks, even if the annual bonus round is now more restrained. But the bonus cheque is becoming less important. And technology and other start-up firms can offer equity and a more attractive, nimble and dynamic workplace, recruiters say. Accounting and consulting firms are also seeing a resurgence in applications, and competition is coming from many sectors. More graduates who join banks are also leaving in their first few years for private equity, hedge funds or a career away from finance.
He claimed that was despite an improvement in work environment and culture. But it is relative, and investment banks remain vastly oversubscribed: one industry source said there are still 50— graduate applications for each position in London. As a result, they can still afford to be fussy. Some reckon that may have shielded the industry from changing an outdated recruitment policy, even if the net is being cast wider to a more diverse group of students than in the past. He, and others, said that showed a change in mindset. Institutions queued up in to laud the progress that has been made.
In its Global Banking Annual Review for , McKinsey says the recovery from the financial crisis is complete now that capital stocks have been replenished they are deeper today, the firm notes, than at any time in recent memory, with the industry Tier 1 capital ratio reaching The IMF takes a similar line.
Adjusted capital ratios … have in aggregate risen steadily since the under-capitalised pre-crisis period. G-SIB liquidity has also improved: loan-to-deposit ratios are down from the elevated levels a decade ago, and reliance on short-term wholesale funding has fallen. Serra also points to an average 5. Higher capitalisation and liquidity levels; more focused business strategies, better operational risk management; less fragmented IT architectures the latter is still a work in progress ; and the new resolution framework have certainly diminished systemic risk factors.
Even banks that remain entangled in various stages of reform such as Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UniCredit are well into restructuring phases, and from an industry perspective are idiosyncratic laggards and outliers rather than representative. Capital and cost optimisation, just like business line optimisation, has become an industry constant. The fact that banks, including recent and current reformers such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, established financial resource management units in , focusing exclusively on efficient capital allocation across the suite of core businesses, speaks volumes.
More than a nuance, this is a step-change in approach and mindset. And to be sure challenges remain. McKinsey, for example, points out that for all of the turnaround work, profits remain elusive, although that has much to do with poor underlying business conditions.
The focus for banks that are through restructuring is on positioning for and investing in growth. At the same time, weaker revenues will redouble focus on efforts to leverage new tec. But despite some uncompromising language, the substance of the Treasury report is different in tone to the rhetoric of the Trump campaign. It recommends improving regulatory efficiency and effectiveness by identifying fragmentation, overlap and duplication across agencies; reducing unnecessary complexity; tailoring regulation to account for variations in the size and complexity of regulated firms; and aligning the overall regulatory regime to support liquidity, investment and lending.
Its approach has been to look at the costs and benefits of regulations, with a lot of emphasis on what is good about the rules the US already has. Some rules actually frustrate each other, and this review will make them interact better. The devil you know If a new regulatory system were to be built from scratch, nobody would create the current US system. It is hard to envisage a regime overseen by at least 15 separate regulatory bodies ever producing clear and coherent policy.
Most financial companies in the US — with the notable exceptions of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks — answer to at least two supervisors; depository institutions and broker-dealers answer to five or six. The result is institutionalised complexity and confusion — and that is before taking the rules themselves into account. That is not to say that all regulators should be consolidated into one, the CEO stressed, but for each to have a clearer role, with fewer turf disputes between them.
This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience.