Political Risk

Latvia not going the way of Iceland, says central bank governor

The governor of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, says he is confident that Latvia is not going the way of Iceland. “The short-term debt of Iceland is twice as high as the total gross external debt of Latvia. Moreover, half of the banks’ short-term debt is in fact long-term”, he told an investor conference in London on November 4.

Georgia's PM defends 'compassionate libertarianism'

It caused a certain amount of surprise in financial circles when Lado Gurgenidze was made prime minister of Georgia in November 2007.

Gurgenidze is a well-known figure in east European finance – a former head of CIS corporate finance at ABN Amro, who then re-located from London to Tbilisi in 2004 to become CEO of the Bank of Georgia, which he turned into the country’s leading private bank and the only Georgian company to list on the LSE. The company is the pride of Georgia, having attracted over 200 institutional investors, and appreciated over 1000% since flotation.

Middle East news

The Middle East’s bond machine has started rolling this year with major issuance from fixed income darling Saudi Arabia, and analysts reckon the region is set for a decent year in the capital markets. 

Nigeria’s mixed messages...

The Nigerian financial sector is mired in liquidity shortages, the economy continues its slow progress out of recession, the Central Bank is in a major dispute with mobile operator MTN, and some international banks have packed their bags.

Cover Story: African finance caught in global crosswinds

Strong trade winds are blowing throughout Sub Saharan Africa. Pushing companies forward are rising oil and commodity prices, but throwing the continent’s businesses off course is a deterioration of trust after a spate of defaults and the end of cheap credit globally.