Amer throws the ball into Egyptian banks’ court

Thursday, November 3 dawned as another regular day for banker Hisham Ezz Al Arab, the long-serving chief executive of Egypt’s biggest non-state bank, Commercial International Bank. At around 8am, Hisham was at home with his usual workaday routine: showering and dressing before a quick breakfast and a look through his … read more >>

Israel and Palestine – the practical partnership

The conference setting is stunning and fitting too; a sumptuous spa on Jordan’s Dead Sea shore, with magnificent views overlooking the West Bank. Corralled by the Union of Arab Banks, delegates come from across the Arab corporate mainstream; bankers (central and commercial), businessmen and officials, to talk banking in Palestine … read more >>

Cuba’s unlikely banking pioneer

Urbane and well-groomed, career banker Dave Seleski is an unlikely revolutionary. Tiny by US standards, with assets of around $3 billion, Seleski’s Stonegate Bank has found itself in the extraordinary position of being the only US bank to be authorized by both Washington and Havana to do business in Cuba. … read more >>

Ashraf Wathra ushers in a new era for Pakistan

Ashraf Wathra is a different choice as head of the State Bank of Pakistan. An outsider brought in to the inner sanctum of monetary policy, he is keen to promote market-based reforms, boost the banking sector and break the reliance on the IMF. Can he profit from the new positivity … read more >>

Mulyani rides to Indonesia’s rescue (again)

Indonesians well remember the moment when their popular finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati unexpectedly resigned her post in 2010, defeated by the country’s venal money politics, her reform work unfinished. It was a dark time, as Indonesians fretted that their most trusted public official had been crushed and, with her … read more >>

Ukraine: The perils of PrivatBank

Assailed by conflict and politics, Alexander Dubilet admits that the task of running Ukraine’s biggest bank is complicated. But he insists that PrivatBank can cope with the loss of large parts of its network and dismisses rumours about secret loans and the need for state support.  “How’s business?” Euromoney asks … read more >>

Ukraine: Yulia’s tale: serving clients amid hostage-taking and betrayal

July 7, 2014 loomed as a normal business day for Yulia Vyalova, PrivatBank’s branch network boss in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region. Normal that is, inasmuch as circumstances allowed Vyalova and her charges to do their job, staffing the 155 PrivatBank branches around Luhansk after war had erupted three months earlier … read more >>

Njoroge stresses need for Kenya banks to innovate

Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, is reflecting on the topic of weight. But it is not the balancing of fiscal levers or the appropriate spreads for Kenya’s $7.2 billion in foreign reserves that is concerning him. No, for this recent arrival – he took over the … read more >>

Kenya: central bank governor Njoroge: Calling it as he sees it

Patrick Njoroge has spent much of his career outside Kenya, mostly in Washington at the IMF as a senior economist. Two decades in that role took him around the world, occasionally as its ambassador, more often in a team of firemen fixing damaged economies. As for central banks, he has … read more >>

Technology: Traditional banking is Finn-ished

A conversation with Dr Tom Dahlström of Finland’s OP Group, the ubiquitous financial services firm, is like having one’s own TED talk about banking. Firstly there’s his ‘doctor’ thing. Not many banking executives can claim to be one – Dahlström’s doctorate is for economics, which he got in Helsinki after … read more >>

Kenya: Patrick Njoroge, corruption-fighter

Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, is reflecting on the topic of weight. But it is not the balancing of fiscal levers or the appropriate spreads for Kenya’s $7.2 billion in foreign reserves that is concerning him. No, for this recent arrival – he took over the … read more >>

Zeti tries to rise above Malaysia’s creeping crisis

For Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the venerable governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, these should be the best of times. Deep into her last year of what will be, by her retirement next April, 16 years at the helm of BNM, it should be a period of … read more >>

Mugur Isarescu: Romania’s central figure

THE soaring walls and revolving doors of Romania’s communist-era finance ministry on Bucharest’s Constitution Square expose a deeply rooted instability that hampers one of Europe’s more volatile economies. Portraits of former ministers are displayed around the walls of the ministry’s foyer, their faces looking beyond those doors to the pompous … read more >>

Turkey: The Battle for Bank Asya

Turkey’s president has tried to kick of one of the country’s largest banks into touch, through public attacks and behind-the-scenes pressure. Despite becoming a political football, Bank Asya is still in the game. Can Turkey’s reputation in the west as a place to do business survive Erdogan’s continued, politically-motivated vendetta? … read more >>

Downfall of a dynasty: The last days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

Bankers in Lisbon say the demise of BES is a watershed moment for the country: the turning point when old Portugal became new Europe. Ricardo Salgado tried every trick he knew to save his empire, but found that the Portuguese establishment could not – or would not – save him. … read more >>

Espírito Santos and Queiroz Pereiras: Duel of two dynasties

Ricardo Salgado went to war with a rival pillar of the Portuguese business establishment in his frantic efforts to shore up Espírito Santo group. But Pedro Queiroz Pereira had the last laugh…. For a man steeped in family honour, there is a rueful irony in the fact that it was … read more >>

Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s new president: Death and Taxes (from 2004)

Shortlisted for the 2005 British Business Journalist of the Year Award (Economics) Death and Taxes in Kabul Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani is battling warlords, cabinet colleagues, indifferent global donors and stomach cancer as he struggles to salvage Afghanistan’s ravaged economy. If he fails, the world could pay an enormous price. … read more >>

Inside Ukraine’s Economic Crisis

When Euromoney penetrated the economy and finance ministries in Kiev in late May, as well as the central bank, it found an atmosphere of unease and uncertainty. A supposed dream-team, which in reality is a collection of talented and driven novices, has a battle on its hands to keep Ukraine’s … read more >>

Spain: Laboral flies the co-op flag

Jon Emaldi Abasolo surveys the remains of Spain’s devastated banking landscape and scratches his head. He’s genuinely confused. “We know how we manage our bank,” says Abasolo, a director of the Basque savings bank Caja Laboral Kutxa, part of the Mondragon group of co-operative businesses (MCC), “and we know that … read more >>

Indonesia: Flight of the Navigator

Muhammad Chatib Basri is not a big fan of bureaucracies. “One of the reasons so many Indonesians have become religious,” jokes Indonesia’s 48-year-old finance minister, Jakarta’s ninth in 16 years, “is because they have to deal with the government.” Citing a common gripe of his 250 million compatriots – and … read more >>

Emerging Europe: A free market for Georgia?

By the seasoned standards of the world’s finance ministers, Georgia’s Nodar Khaduri, aged 43 and just over a year in the slot, is a relative babe in arms. Take Euromoney’s last five finance ministers of the year. Our 2008 winner, China’s Xi Xuren, was the oldest, at 61, while, at … read more >>

Morocco: Attijariwafa stakes claims south of the Sahara

It’s a steamy mid-September and l’atmosphere in downtown Casablanca could well be mistaken for a languid late summer in Marseilles. In myriad chic eateries, Fashionable Young Things in oversized Jackie O sunglasses tap instant messages to each other into new iPhones over café au lait, while their male equivalents motor … read more >>

Myanmar’s Little Helper

Revolutions have a way of revealing inconvenient truths; the dictator is toppled, his cronies flee in haste while they can, and in the ransacked files of the regime’s abandoned palaces, the dark secrets of tyrants – and the hypocrisy of their embarrassed enablers, too – are revealed. But sometimes revolutions … read more >>

Sri Lanka – Rajapaksa Calls “Bull Shit” On Global Mail Coverage

Last weekend, as a courtesy, The Global Mail emailed Sri Lanka’s unelected Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa a link to our story on the nepotism among Sri Lanka’s powerful elite. Gota, as Sri Lankans know him, is the country’s enforcer-in-chief. The former soldier is credited with having masterminded his presidential brother … read more >>

Sri Lanka Part Three – The Smugglers’ Prey

WHAT does a Sri Lankan would-be asylum seeker look like? Many look like this man. His name is Gnanaseelan. He’s 32. He’s a Tamil, though never a Tiger. A father. A widower.He lives in this desperate shanty outside the seaside hamlet of Mullaitivu, on Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north-east coast, with … read more >>

Sri Lanka Part Two – The Monks’ Army

Sri Lanka’s raffish capital, where we begin our series, is in economic catch-up mode. Colombo is replacing the colonial-era roads and railways built when Churchill was a boy and ‘Ceylon’ was a languid tropical afterthought for the British who ruled the plantation island.Though it took its time – 10 years … read more >>

Sri Lanka Part One – How Not To Win A War

FOUR years after its brutal victory over Tamil Tiger rebels that ended a 26-year-long civil war, Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-led government is at pains to persuade the world that it has at last brought peace and unity to this troubled island. And the captain of the flag-carrying SriLankan Airlines flight 423 … read more >>

Out Of The Haze, A Singapore Spring?

When you are Singapore’s Lee family, and your clan has exercised absolute and uninterrupted control over its swanky specklet of Asia for 54 years, fellows like Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam are handy to have within your power court. K. Shanmugam, as he’s less tongue-twistingly known, may have escaped the attention of those … read more >>

Wendi…back by popular demand…

“Cheers to Wendi! Gan bei! Drink the cup dry!” It’s 8 pm on a freezing night in Xuzhou, and we’re having a jolly time in the Overflowing Fragrance dining room of the Sea Sky Holiday Hotel, an oddly named establishment given that this grim industrial city of 10 million people … read more >>

Oranges and Lemons: The Royal Houses of Europe

TODAY in Amsterdam, the Dutch royal family will perform something their ennobled Spanish cousins further south in Europe aren’t much inclined to publicly do these days – their job. Admittedly, today’s majestic jollies at Amsterdam’s 15th century church, Nieuwe Kerk, are unavoidable if one’s privileged station is to bestride the … read more >>

Lite-Wing: Mellowing The UK Right For The Masses

IT’S just after dusk, ahead of a harsh winter’s night in Westminster. I’m inside Europe House, the European Union’s “embassy” in London, and Nigel Farage, one of its more controversial tenants, is late. People with gravitas rush into the building, en route to a discussion of doubtless importance, on something … read more >>

Europocalypse Now

What’s that shocking smell wafting around Europe? Well, if you were sniffing in a Netherlandly direction on Wednesday, you’d have caught an unmistakable tang of fear among the thrifty Dutch, who for a brief moment during a banking technical malfunction thought they’d become the latest Eurozoners to have their hard-earned … read more >>

Monte dei Paschi: Shaken to its foundations

Through late May and early June last year, an intriguing document suddenly appeared in the inboxes of those who make their living absorbed by the baffling intricacies of Italian banking. The paper was a challenge to anyone with a dodgy internet connection, a chunky 10 megabyte PDF file spread over … read more >>

In Spain, Running With The Bullshit

THE A369 road south from Spain’s literary retreat of Ronda, the mountain town that so inspired Hemingway, Welles and amigos, meanders photogenically through Andalucia’s famous pueblos blancos, whitewashed villages punctuating one of Europe’s more spectacular mountainscapes. With their architectural nod to Arabic neighbours, Andalucia’s charming white towns are daubed like … read more >>

From Machiavelli To Berlusconi In 500 Years (Is This Progress?)

ISN’T there a general election coming up in Italy? Yes, it’s to be held from February 24-25, and we know there’s a poll because, in this the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli’s The Prince — a kind of Lonely Planet guide to power — Italy is engulfed by a massive corruption … read more >>

Germany: Inside Der Spiegel’s Tent

BIG MEDIA is in crisis, this much we well know. The internet is the Fourth Estate’s enemy, or possibly its saviour, if once-eminent titles such as Newsweek, which killed its 80-year-old print edition last month, and companies such as Australia’s ailing Fairfax Media, can deliver to a readership wielding smartphones, … read more >>

German Banking Gets a Spanking

Gott im Himmel! Corruption in Germany? No matter that World War II ended 67 years ago, the jingoistic London publishers of the old British war comics Commando are going strong. And in Commando, lantern-jawed Germans still are always brutal, inhuman automatons, and most everyone else in Europe, particularly Brits, are … read more >>

Denmark: Inspiring Politics?

ADAM PRICE well remembers the moment one of modern television’s most celebrated series was conceived. It was October 24, 2007 and the polymath Price — he’s a celebrity chef as well as an accomplished Danish scriptwriter — was working out in his Copenhagen gym. As he sweated, the gym TV … read more >>

Conrad: The New New Black

Convicted fraudster Conrad Black, who once lorded over Australia’s Fairfax newspapers in another less-disgraced life, has been peddling around London, hyping his new book with the velocity of a Lance Armstrong EPO-ed to the eyeballs. And, like Lance, flogging The Big Lie that he’s innocent. Armstrong would have us believe … read more >>

If The Water’s At Your Neck, It Pays To Be Pragmatic

A FUNNY thing didn’t happen to Dutch voters on their way to recent elections. They didn’t debate climate change. Which, in one of the world’s more vigorous democracies, strikes one as astonishing. In the febrile atmosphere that marks the climate-change debate elsewhere, the discussion inevitably reduces to money — specifically, … read more >>

Calling a Scumbag a Scumbag: Rupert Murdoch’s Revealing Twitter Habit

Isn’t it just grand that older folk have embraced the Internet with such gusto? Why, Gramps and Granny can now Skype with the far-flung grandkids, and bitter octogenarian megalomanic billionaires can tweet about all the “toffs”, the “scumbags”, and the “lying” who’ve tried to bring their media empires down. Bitter … read more >>

Allah’s Assassins – The Bali Bombings Revisited, 10 years on – Part 3

Winner of the 2003 Walkley Award, Asia-Pacific reporting…. THE Bali bombers were rootless young men recruited from the dusty poverty of a village in West Java – their overseer a worldly West Javanese, burning with Islamic zeal and with the contacts to organise and bankroll their jihad. Eric Ellis retraces … read more >>

What On Earth Is Going On In Spain?

THESE are very difficult days for Spain. Summer’s tourists have returned home from sojourning in the world’s second biggest tourist economy. And as the northern autumn descends into winter, that means that even more Spanish will now be out of work than the near one-in-three that entered the short holiday … read more >>

Wikileaks: Jennifer Robinson

JENNIFER ROBINSON is baffled. And that’s not the natural state of this peppy jurist, defender of whistleblowers, daughter of tiny Berry on New South Wales’s south coast now ascending the rarified legal heights of Cavendish Square, London W1 and jurisdictions beyond. I’ve asked her to clarify what seems an elliptical … read more >>

My Life As A Mighta-Been Millionaire

REGRETS, I’ve had a few but, like Sinatra perhaps, too few to mention. But this week as Apple, the much-loved technology company, became history’s most valuable public corporation, I allowed myself a look back at what might have been. Some 15 years ago, almost to the day, I ruefully recall, … read more >>

Spain: Rhapsody in (Smurf) Blue

GLOBALISATION isn’t a topic that ever much exercised the good pueblo of Juzcar, population 221. Tucked anonymously into the southern Spanish sierra dividing Ronda — the stunning mountain town made famous by Hemingway and Welles — from the tacky towers of the Costa del Sol, discussions in this sleepy, whitewashed … read more >>

Boris Bags Gold In London — But Beware The Curse Of Cameron

These Olympics have been stunning — stunning, that is, for the Brits and their much-lauded Team GB. So much so that last Saturday night, after Mo Farah streeted his 10,000-metre rivals and Jessica Ennis triumphed in the heptathlon — achievements which crowned four victories earlier that day, and capped off … read more >>

French Timewarp: A Tres Grand Step To The Right

WHEN the French and their many admirers speak of La France Profonde, or Deepest France, it is rural hamlets such as Le Hamel they have in mind. Tucked into the wheat fields of Picardie, under big azure skies a few hours’ drive north of Paris, Le Hamel gathers sleepily around … read more >>

Tower Of Sun

I NOW know what consumed Richard Dreyfuss as he entered The Mothership at the end of Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Like the ethereal glows that are Spielberg’s cinematic signature, the light emitting across southern Spain’s arid plains from Abengoa Solar’s soaring towers bewitch and entice much as it was … read more >>

The Man Who Divides Germany. Again.

THILO SARRAZIN, Germany’s most provocative author and self-styled public intellectual, wants to make a few things clear. Firstly, this economist who helped draft the template for the modern German welfare state is neither anti-euro nor anti-Europe. Yes, he has just written a book — which has soared rapidly on Germany’s … read more >>

Scrabble for Europhiles

A is for Absent. Leadership is made during crises: think Churchill, Giuliani and 9/11, Mandela’s inclusive grace, even Anna Bligh during the Brisbane floods. Overwhelmed by Europe’s most calamitous crisis since World War II, the rudderless European Union threatens to dissolve; it is in dire need of leadership. So where’s … read more >>

The Pain in Spain

Oh no, not another European economy going down the gurgler. What’s wrong with these people? Let’s start with The Binge, before we get to The Hangover. For the past 20 years, it’s been lots of fun to be Spanish. You got to party on someone else’s coin — Brussels’ and … read more >>

Laughing All The Way To Power

Italy’s most popular political figure has just told me to fuck off. At least that’s what Beppe Grillo’s hand gesture seems to say, emphatically “Vaffanculo!” as Italians like to curse. Or could his two-finger salute be more a Churchillian V-for-Victory gesture? Recent Italian events suggest as much — that his … read more >>

It’s Time, Rupert

IN THE blue corner, there’s ‘Dave Snooty’ as Private Eye depicts the British Prime Minister; a privileged old Etonian, an embodiment of the elite. He’s a royalist, the glorified PR schmoozer with little actual qualification except a profound sense of entitlement. In the other, more Thatcherite, corner, there’s Rupert Murdoch; … read more >>

Murdoch: All The Truth That Fits

AFTER swearing on the Bible to begin a two-day interrogation in Court 73 of London’s Royal Courts of Justice last Wednesday, an octogenarian once feared as the world’s most powerful media mogul began taking questions, the first few being perhaps the only ones he answered with clear and indisputable truth. … read more >>

Does My Neo-Nazism Look Big In This?

IT’S NOT HARD to imagine this is how it went. Last July, in a boardroom in Germany, a group of executives are brainstorming ideas to lift sales of their youth-oriented clothing line, Thor Steinar. As they thrash concepts around, a TV airs its usual schlocky fare in the background, broadcasting … read more >>

The Stain on Spain

LAST July 1, in a sweltering greenhouse in southern Spain, a black man from Africa was shot by a white man from Europe. Allegedly. The black man was Dinantou Barbosa, a 29-year-old from the impoverished West African state of Guinea-Bissau, one of as many as 100,000 Africans living and labouring … read more >>

The Schlock of Gibraltar

THERE are eyesores, there’s urban blight, and then there is Gibraltar, Britain’s last colony in Europe, a carbuncle of ocean-going ghastliness that’s in a class all of its own. Next April, its 30,000 people will have been officially and determinedly British for 300 years. That’s the anniversary of the Treaty … read more >>

Braveheart’s Bomb

IT’S 7.30am in the tiny hamlet of Garelochhead, all 1,200 residents and no traffic lights of it. We’re well north of Glasgow, into the breathtaking foothills of Scotland’s remote loch-lined Highlands. The locals are friendly, the air is clean and sharp like the waters of Gare Loch; Scotland at its … read more >>

What’s Rupert’s Game in Scotland?

  IT WAS a humble tweet, just 52 characters, one of around 300 million made on February 20 — initially little noticed in London but resonating across the bonny Caledonian highlands. “Let Scotland go and compete. Everyone would win,” tweeted one Rupert Murdoch last month. While that’s not how London … read more >>

Which Way Paradise?

TO MANY Glaswegians, particularly those of an independent, Catholic and Republican persuasion, Paradise is a football stadium in this tough city’s East End, where urban blight in Britain seems at its bleakest. Their idea of heaven is a drizzly winter’s Saturday, a gutful of lager and fish and chips, with … read more >>

Irish Eyes Are on Australia

IN Kilkee, a sleepy retreat from the stormy Atlantic on Ireland’s remote far west coast, they still talk about the day the West Clare Gaels Ladies Football Club won the 2010 All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Final. It was, by all accounts, an incredible victory, a bright moment of glory that briefly … read more >>

Free The Billionaire! Would That Help President Putin?

IT’S unlikely that Forbes Magazine has too many subscribers in Segezha, a grim town of 35,000 in Russia’s wintry northwest at the edges of the Arctic Circle. But if by chance it did, the magazine would take some time to get there. Segezha is a train station that became a … read more >>

Viva O’Chevolución!

IN history’s pantheon of legendary revolutionaries, there’s Cromwell and Washington, there’s Lenin, Mao and Ho, there’s Gaddafi if you’re so inclined, and Mandela, too. And then there’s Ernie Lynch. Ernie Lynch? Now, there’s a name one doesn’t hear so much in such radical company. If the name doesn’t ring a … read more >>

The Anti Rupert Murdoch

ENGLAND can be confusing, and John Bird isn’t helping. Bird is the Anti-Rupert, a social entrepreneur who in 1991 founded – with Gordon Roddick, who also founded The Body Shop with his late wife, Anita – The Big Issue, that ubiquitous “street newspaper” distributed by homeless people from Brisbane to … read more >>

An Environmental Problem For Brisbane Roar

  THEY DO things differently at the Football Federation of Australia, the peak administrator of soccer in Australia.

UK: The Bomb-Chucking Blogger

A DISCUSSION with Paul Staines develops not so much as conventional-journalist-interviews-gadfly-blogger-of-British-politics, as form dictates it should. Rather it mutates into an hour of grilling each other, as perhaps was destined to occur upon meeting the bomb-thrower better known as Guido Fawkes, named after the anarchist who plotted to blow up … read more >>

The Last Grande Dame of Australian Art

    DAZZLING in a sarong of a shade best classified as unspeakably orange, Mitty Lee Brown emerges regally from a nap through Sri Lanka’s tropical torpor to receive an unexpected well-wisher. She’s a little startled at the intrusion because these days, at 89, Mitty doesn’t get too many guests … read more >>

Room for Everyone at The Hague

  MEET Kuniko Ozaki – 55, Japanese and, since 2009, international resident of The Hague. Ozaki-san is one of the current 19 judges of the International Criminal Court, which sits in The Hague with claims as the world’s most distinguished forum to transact criminal justice. With her untaxed, near €300,000-a-year … read more >>

Europe’s Leaders-In-Waiting Face The Mess Ahead

HINDSIGHT. It’s a wise and beautiful thing. And there’s a lot of it about Europe at the minute. In Britain, the Murdoch kids believe, with hindsight, that Rupert shouldn’t have handed Rebekah Brooks the reins at News International. Much of the rest of the country reckons, in hindsight, that Rupert … read more >>

Amsterdam: I’ve Been To Bali, Too

AMSTERDAM. Been here a year. Was concerned I’d find it boring after years absorbed by manic Asia, the last years in Indonesia, which used to be Dutch. But, neo-colonially, we’re now ensconced in the Netherlands, in an agreeably restored 18th century canal-house that once traded silks, pelts and spices shipped … read more >>

LONDON: Starbucks, Star Pupils and Protest

THE Starbucks on St Paul’s Church Yard is one of the chain’s biggest and busiest outlets in London. And no wonder, servicing disciples of two deities, The City and The Church, and myriad tourists too, at £3.50 per winter-warming, triple-shot venti latte. Worshippers of Mammon swing by here in their … read more >>

Egypt: Banking on a revolution

CAIRO – In January and February this year, as revolution coursed through Cairo and beyond, Egypt’s central bank governor, Farouk Abd El Baky El Okdah, called the heads of the country’s main banks to a series of urgent meetings at the Cairo Marriott on Zamalek Island in the middle of … read more >>

Thailand: Korn puts Shinawatra government on watch

BANGKOK: What a difference a year makes in Thailand. This time last year, Bangkok’s downtown Ratchaprasong crossroads at the Thai capital’s commercial core was a mess. The iconic Central Department Store was in ruins, trashed after the scorched-earth tactics of the crippling protests earlier in the year. Much of Bangkok’s … read more >>

Australia: Wayne Swan Confounds His Domestic Critics

BLESSED WITH, and industriously exploiting, a natural resources bounty pointed at China that would embarrass Croesus, some Australians will find it strange that Euromoney has chosen their treasurer, Wayne Swan, as finance minister of the year. The less charitable might even recall the words of Donald Horne, in his 1964 … read more >>

Indonesia: Helman’s play on Asia

MENTION the name Aburizal Bakrie in the smart bars, clubs and restaurants of Singapore and Jakarta where bankers gather and the name Helman Sitohang is often uttered in the next breath. Sitohang is Credit Suisse’s chief rainmaker in Jakarta and Singapore, a man regarded by many as perhaps the best-connected … read more >>

Wendi Deng Murdoch: La Bella Ambiciosa Que Llegò de China

Wendi Deng Murdoch

LONDRES: Fue en marzo de 2007 en Pekín, adonde yo había ido a ver un hermoso siheyuan —el patio tradicional de las casas chinas— al lado de la Ciudad Prohibida, cuando por primera vez noté que algo extra- ño pasaba con mis comunicaciones. Podía enviar correos electrónicos, pero no llegaban … read more >>

Egypt’s reluctant finance minister gets to work

Samir Radwan was a surprise choice as Egypt’s new finance minister, even to himself. Appointed at the height of the chaos, the retired economist is working hard to sustain Egypt’s finances and economy through a period of extraordinary upheaval. Eric Ellis joins him in Cairo IN EGYPT’S chaotic last days … read more >>

Orascom: A very modern tale of corporate finance

North Korea. Zimbabwe. Tunisia. Algeria. Iraq. Pakistan. Egypt. It’s a list of the world’s flashpoints. And they’re all part of Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris’s unique telecoms empire. So when his Orascom group needed financing, and then sought a buyer, it presented Sawiris’s advisers with a unique set of challenges. Eric … read more >>

Orascom: How do you solve a problem like Korea?

Naguib Sawiris has built large parts of his empire by being prepared to do business where other companies would fear to tread. He explains how he became a telecoms operator, banker and even an hotelier in the biggest rogue state of all, North Korea. “We looked at a map of … read more >>

Why Farnood was flushed out of Kabulbank

In the battle to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan, Kabulbank inserted itself as a key player, building the country’s largest deposit base and becoming the payment agent for many government enterprises. But a run on the bank in August led to the ousting of colourful poker-playing bank owner Sherkhan Farnood. What does … read more >>

“Double-A Team” inspires new hope for Indonesia

Left to right: SBY, Agus Martowardojo and Darmin Nasution

Government officials hope that international investors will look afresh at Indonesia. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government made history with its re-election. It is using a strong popular mandate to tackle corruption and bureaucratic shortcomings head-on. Eric Ellis reports from Jakarta AFTER 30 YEARS of kleptocratic dictatorship and a decade or so … read more >>

Afghanistan: Why Farnood was flushed out of Kabulbank

In the battle to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan, Kabulbank inserted itself as a key player, building the country’s largest deposit base and becoming the payment agent for many government enterprises. But a run on the bank in August led to the ousting of colourful poker-playing bank owner Sherkhan Farnood. What does … read more >>

Court of the Lion Kings; the moneymaking machine of Singapore Inc

IN THE fomenting debate over Singapore Inc’s bid to buy a most vital pillar of Australia’s economic architecture, there’s something deliciously apt that the decisive call on the Australian Stock Exchange will probably be made by Canberra’s independent members of parliament. Singapore doesn’t do independents, Mr Oakeshott. Indeed, it would … read more >>

Gibraltar – Cracks in the Rock?

TINY Gibraltar is an ocean away from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but it doesn’t take much traversing of the Rock’s lanes to get a distinctly Groundhog Day feeling that Bill Murray might recognize read on…  

Thailand’s finance minister Korn faces the ultimate stress test

Thailand’s finance minister Korn faces the ultimate stress test Finance minister Korn Chatikavanij has steered the Thai economy successfully through huge political and social upheaval. But his long-term aim is to connect with Thailand’s people, and not just its financial and business elite, to bring prosperity to the majority. Eric … read more >>

Pakistan’s central bank governor Syed Salim Raza resigns before our very eyes

Euromoney’s correspondent has spent more than two decades navigating Asia’s often fathomless vagaries. But this was an exceptional experience. Having been lured to the most dangerous city – Karachi – of one of the world’s most dangerous countries – Pakistan – to interview the governor of the central bank we … read more >>

Islamic finance: Hub or hubris?

Shariah banking is becoming big business in Southeast Asia, with Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta battling for the title of regional Islamic finance centre. But even the most optimistic bankers fear further expansion could be stymied by arcane regulation and lack of cross-border consensus. Eric Ellis reports. HERE ARE SOME concepts … read more >>

The World’s Most Powerful Women – Emilia Pires

Exiled to Australia at age 15, she spent 24 years away from East Timor. Good experience for her job as finance minister. East Timor’s finance minister, Emilia Pires, is nothing if not ambitious for her struggling country, one of the world’s newest and poorest. It’s not enough for East Timor … read more >>