Bankers have long complained that the rules that arose from the ashes of the financial crisis are ill-prepared at best and punitive at worst – and ultimately driven by a spirit of banker-bashing. The election of a US president with a similar view looked set to unleash a wave of creative regulatory destruction. But the early signs indicate that authorities will take a more constructive approach.
Green bonds have quickly become an important piece of sustainability financing. Yet while Green loans have emerged more slowly, they have plenty to offer both borrowers and lenders – and provide options not available in the bond market. Environmentally responsible lending may finally be ready to take off in earnest.
A reformed and reshaped global banking industry is investing for growth again. But with decent profits still elusive for some, and a host of headwinds to battle against, it’s too early to declare that happy days are here again.
Growth is (relatively) strong, markets are up as a result and capital markets activity is buoyant. The return of Tepco to the bond markets and the funding dynamism of Softbank were among factors that gave bankers in Japan and those who focus on the market from abroad a certain swagger.
Banks are in a fight for talent with technology, consulting and other firms, but are they ignoring too many students from poorer backgrounds? Some bankers think so, and want the net widened so they can add true diversity.
Singapore and Hong Kong look poised to allow shares with weighted voting rights in a bid to attract more listings from the new economy. But will it change anything?
Not so long ago it looked like the classic standalone investment bank would become a thing of the past. But with all the regulations put in place in the wake of the financial crisis, could the standalone model be poised for a comeback?
Grand plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s oil-focused economy have caught the attention of every major bank over the past year. But many could be in for a long wait as they seek returns on the resources being lavished on the country.
The weakness in the oil market, relative to the highs enjoyed in past years, has provided a supportive backdrop for Islamic bonds, forcing oil-rich Middle Eastern issuers to fund in the market. The market’s outlook will be determined in large part by oil’s future path, though investors will also be looking for assurances that Middle Eastern issuers honour their legal obligations.