Regional Focus - Articles and news items
November 2011 / 9 November 2011 / FX-MM, Erik Bauer, SEB and Darius Gecevicius, Swedbank
This month we take a look at how countries in the Nordic/Baltic Region are coping with the impact of the global economic crisis. We talk to FX professionals in the region to get their views on current market issues and ask them to give their outlook for 2012.
Economic Overview – the Nordic Region
The economies of the Nordic countries have much in common. They are all small, industrialised, open economies in which foreign trade has great economic importance. Intraregional economic activity is also significant – historical, cultural and linguistic proximity have all played a part in this. The Nordic economies are today among the most competitive in the world and the “Nordic model” is much admired by policymakers in other countries.
The Nordic countries are characterised by large public sectors, extensive welfare services provision and high taxation. The public sector and welfare services have helped these countries to develop highly skilled workforces and to sustain a high level of employment. Other important elements of their success have been the strong democratic tradition and stable civil society, combined with an effective regulatory framework. (more…)
November 2010 / 10 November 2010 / FX-MM
Characterised by state-guaranteed welfare, peaceful co-operation and small, open economies, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Nordic region is merely a refuge from brusque globalisation. In reality, the Nordic states boast some of the most competitive economies in the world. FX-MM explores the relevance of the Nordic socio-economic model post-crisis, examines the role of the euro in Nordic stability and discovers that spirit of innovation resonates in the region’s veins – global banks beware.
November 2010 / 10 November 2010 / FX-MM
Björn Lundvall, Head of e-solutions, Handelsbanken Capital Markets, discusses the move from telephone to web-based trading, looking at the intricate balance between multibank and single bank platforms in the Nordic region.
November 2010 / 10 November 2010 / FX-MM
In the Nordic region Swedbank has increased its footprint steadily across the countries over the last few years, says Peter Granqvist, Head of FX Sales at Swedbank. In Sweden and Norway, Swedbank is one of the main players in the domestic SEK and NOK FX markets, handling a significant portion of the daily turnover in both spot and swaps. In the Baltics, Swedbank is the largest bank, and the largest player in the Baltic foreign exchange market, trading EEK, LVL, LTL locally.
October 2010, Past issues / 20 October 2010 / Drew Hillier, Editor
As the financial services industry gears up for Sibos in Amsterdam, FX&MM delves into the land of Delft, clogs, waterways and windmills to discover there’s more to the Netherlands than meets the eye. Just as Sibos is more than a conference and exhibition, so too is this year’s host city more than merely an eye-catching collection of museums and quaint bridges. The capital of the world’s 16th largest economy – an internationally renowned powerhouse of industry, global jurisprudence, commerce and shipping – Amsterdam is an amply appropriate destination for this year’s premier event for the financial services industry, taking place from 25 – 29 October, where – like Holland itself – networking and doing business top the agenda. Drew Hillier reports.
Past issues, September 2010 / 23 September 2010 / FX-MM
Packing a punch well above its weight, Switzerland – with its population of under 8 million – is far greater than merely a sum of its parts. Cuckoo clocks, rubbery cheese and ingenious cutting implements aside, the Swiss have established a formidable reputation for their financial acumen and banking expertise. Drew Hillier, Alpine horn at the ready, dons his lederhosen and heads for Geneva, where from the 6th to the 8th of October, the EuroFinance International Cash and Treasury Management conference takes place.
August 2010 / 16 August 2010 / FX-MM
In 2010, as many African nations celebrate the half-century anniversary of independence and the FIFA World Cup thrusts Africa onto the international stage, entrepreneurs and investors from across the world are showing increasing levels of interest in the emerging potential of African business. For FX&MM, Drew Hillier reports on a truly momentous year for the region, and asks if this could be the turning point in the fortunes of the historically troubled Rainbow Nation.
June/July 2010 / 14 July 2010 / FX-MM
Fresh from his country having enjoyed a successful G20 Summit in Toronto, China’s President Hu Jintao has been invited by his American counterpart to make a state visit to the United States. This new-found cordiality, spearheaded by the Obama administration, has been boosted by the Hu government’s recent decision to relax controls on its currency. On June 21, China celebrated the summer solstice by making the peg temporarily less rigid, causing the largest one-day appreciation in its currency against the dollar since 2008. Yet as Drew Hillier reports, the Hu government’s latest move does not in itself signal a policy shift, rather a resumption of a strategy initiated in 2005, rethought in 2008 and suspended in 2009. Which begs the question as to whether there’s more to all this than meets the eye?
May 2010 / 12 May 2010 / FX-MM
25-26 May Treasury, Risk and Cash Management Conference in East Africa. Nairobi, Kenya
In the Kenyan village of Iten, lying some 8,000 feet above the Rift Valley, it seems that everyone can run the marathon in under two-and-a-quarter hours. Elsewhere, more likely than not, this would be a national record, yet in Kenya, it’s almost commonplace. Indeed, just recently, a little-known Kenyan runner, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, won this year’s Boston Marathon in a course record time of 2:05:52, along with prize money totalling $150,000.
February 2010 / 22 February 2010 / FX-MM
This year’s EuroFinance conference on Liquidity and Cash Management for European Companies takes place in Amsterdam, early modern Europe’s wealthiest trading cities claiming the world’s first full-time stock exchange, and capital of a country which many economic historians regard as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. FX&MM reports.
December 2009/January 2010, Past issues / 22 December 2009 / FX-MM
With the eurozone economy officially confirmed as having emerged from recession, FX&MM stops off to visit a reinvigorated and – so it seems – less pessimistic, even bullish France. In doing so, we take a snapshot of the country which suddenly finds itself with a renewed sense of élan, not least because of Michel Barnier – no friend of the free-market – who was recently named as the man designated to take charge of regulatory oversight for financial services across the entire EU. And then, of course, there’s also the stylish French finance minister, Christine Lagarde…
November 2009, Past issues / 12 November 2009 /
The philosophy behind this proverb of Strength in Unity – the African context of which being when two people are walking along together and the presence of a leopard is sensed – rests with the Baganda people in Uganda, evoking perfectly the idea of mutual help and solidarity. As we look forward to the upcoming EuroFinance Cash, Treasury and Risk Management conference in Southern Africa, we see how the Continent is leading the way, drawing upon both strength and unity, so that – as we hear from Dipak Patel, head of Global Transactional Products and Services with Standard Bank – whereas the global financial crisis has forced banks the world over to concentrate on their core business, ironically, this has worked in Africa’s favour.
November 2009, Past issues / 12 November 2009 / FX-MM
Dipak Patel, head of Global Transactional Products and Services, Standard Bank, says the global financial crisis has forced banks the world over to concentrate on their core business. Ironically, this has worked in Africa’s favour
“We are seeing a reversion to the importance of transactional banking as a highly important annuity income stream, which in turn is accelerating development of basic financial services in Africa, which is precisely where the continent’s greatest need lies,” he says.
August 2009, Past issues / 7 August 2009 / FX-MM
As the United States and China engage in Strategic Economic Dialogue, there can be little doubting that while China shines as the world’s new economic growth “engine,” the domination of the USA is viewed by many as on the wane. And as economic data releases over recent weeks continue to pour cold water on the idea that a robust world-wide recovery is close at hand, China proves the exception. Reporting rapid growth in Q2 which pushed 8 per cent, the Chinese may forgiven in asking: “Slump, what slump?”
April 2009, Past issues / 30 April 2009 / FX-MM
As we look forward to the EuroFinance International Cash, Treasury and Risk for Finance Professionals in Asia – taking place in Singapore, 12-14 May – liquidity and funding will remain the single biggest issue for virtually every company. This year’s conference, therefore, aims to deliver key case studies for hard-pressed companies desperate to manage in what are unprecedented times. The ‘must attend’ treasury event for 2009 presents the opportunity of casting a wider net, looking further afield for a snapshot of the global downturn simply than the epicenter comprising the USA, UK and Europe, to the economic engine-room of the emerging markets. As the global crisis has intensified, FX&MM attempts to read the runes as to how Asia might weather these turbulent times.