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Ahli United acquires BKME

September 5, 2005

Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank (AUB) has strengthened its role as a major player in the Gulf by acquiring a majority stake in the Bank of Kuwait & the Middle East (BKME), the seventh largest bank in Kuwait.

Banco Hipotecario under suspicion over bonuses

September 5, 2005

Argentina’s National Securities Commission (NSC) has launched an official investigation into 30.9m pesos ($11.3m) of bonus payments made in 2005 to directors of Banco Hipotecario, one of the main mortgage lenders in the country.

Italy’s banking sector is mired in scandal

September 5, 2005

Bankers and journalists were busy in August speculating on the future of the Bank of Italy, the Banca Popolare Italiana (BPI, until recently Banca Popolare di Lodi), the Banca Antoniana Popolare Veneta (Antonveneta) and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL).

Germany thwarts Dublin’s bonds issue ambitions

September 5, 2005

Dublin’s aspirations of becoming a major European centre for the issuance of covered bonds have been dealt a heavy blow by two German banks.

Raiffeisen International seals deal to buy Ukraine’s Aval

September 5, 2005

After months of negotiations, Vienna-based Raiffeisen International (RI) has signed a landmark purchase agreement to acquire a 93.5% stake in Ukraine’s second largest bank, Bank Aval.
The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval in Ukraine and Austria, adds significantly to RI’s existing banking assets in Ukraine and reflects its pioneering style in central and eastern Europe.

RBS buys 5% of Bank of China

September 5, 2005

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the sixth largest bank in the world by Tier 1 capital in The Banker’s Top 1000, has spent $1.6bn on 5% of state-owned Bank of China.

Ignored remittances are forfeited profits

September 5, 2005

Bill Postgate points out that failing to investigate the remittance business is a missed opportunity.

Oracle acquisition shakes up core banking market

September 5, 2005

The software behemoth’s purchase of core banking systems provider i-flex is a vote of confidence in a fast-growing sector.

Stock market highs belie Japan’s looming lows

September 5, 2005

Investors should not ignore the fact that Japan’s economic recovery is finely balanced, with high oil prices and a shrinking population among the problems that must be addressed sooner or later.

Audacious moves demonstrate flair and solid strategic thinking

September 5, 2005

Bold deals, such as Royal Bank of Scotland’s 5% stake in Bank of China, show that the sector’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well – and that flare is often needed to overcome shareholder timidity.

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