The Balkan banking sector is ripe for consolidation at all levels, but the region is facing tough reforms and deep demographic change that hinders the region’s growth. Optimism lies in the EU accession process, making the most of foreign direct investment and keeping its young skilled workers engaged at home.
Ghana’s minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta has been praised widely by the international financial community for his steady stewardship of the economy, which is helping drive demand for the country’s Eurobonds and lowering its borrowing costs. Ofori-Atta tells Phil Thornton where he sees Ghana and Africa heading.
Two years after the first ESG-linked syndicated loan, the appetite for sustainable lending is growing fast. With many bankers going as far as predicting that green loans will be the new market standard, it is clear to see why there are so many banks and corporates jumping on the bandwagon.
Exuberantly delivering the Raiffeisen Bank International’s 2018 results, RBI’s CEO Johann Strobl said, “This is the best year in the history of the bank.” And, from this point the positive results flowed. Reporting a consolidated profit of €1.27bn, and highlighting both the bank’s conservative approach to its business and a brighter economic environment throughout the majority of the countries where it operates in CEE & CIS, Strobl emphasized that RBI is operating efficiently and that its subsidiary banks are performing well and profitably.
Much of the result can be attributed to the bank’s managing of its risks, and its current non-performing loans (NPL) ratio is down closer to a European wide average of 3.8% from a much higher 12% just a few years earlier.
Building a winning team is more than just assembling good individual performances, it is about building and shaping an enduring and enabling culture. Successful organization need leaders who can react to change and have the psychological flexibility to move quickly and adapt. Julian Evans looks at the English rugby team’s on-field collapse against Scotland, and prescribes a possible cure.
Bahrain has moved swiftly to establish itself as one of the world’s centres for financial technology (fintech). The kingdom’s inward investment body and central bank and two successful start-ups explain how the sector has taken off. Phil Thornton reports.
Turkish bond issuers burst into 2019 to print more than $10bn of debt in the first three months, but the party might already be over as the country has fallen into recession and analysts are growing increasingly concerned about foreign exchange reserves.
Telecoms company Vodafone stunned the markets in the first quarter with what looked to be the ultimate prize in corporate finance – a deal that at first glance seems to let the company raise significant debt without diminishing any of its existing credit or equity metrics. But while investors poured money into the deal, the ratings agencies kicked back.