Archiv: April 2006

Credit Suisse creates new private bank Clariden Leu

As of the beginning of 2007, Credit Suisse is planning to merge its private banks Clariden Bank, BGP Banca di Gestione Patrimoniale, Bank Hofmann and Bank Leu plus the securities dealer Credit Suisse Fides to form a single autonomous bank, subject to the approval of the committees responsible. To be known as Clariden Leu, the bank will be headed by F. Bernard Stalder, currently CEO of Clariden Bank. Walter Berchtold, CEO Private Banking at Credit Suisse, is the designated Chairman of the Board of Directors. Clariden Leu will focus on wealthy clients and position itself as a leading international private bank firmly rooted in Switzerland.

Source: Credit Suisse (media release)

SFBC reports about Basel II status in Switzerland

On its annual media conference, held on 27 April, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) has outlined the implementation policy of Basel II for the Swiss financial industry.

Here is an extract of the SFBC's report:

The simpler approaches (including F-IRB) are scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2007, with the most advanced and institution-specific procedures (A-IRB and AMA) not following until a year later. This two-speed timetable is designed to give those banks which will be operating the institution-specific approach the time they need to prepare for the changeover. The schedule, envisaged by the Basel Committee, is being adopted by both Switzerland and the European Union. The US, however, is experiencing delays. The drafts of the new Capital and Risk Distribution Ordinance and the amended Banking Ordinance will be submitted to the Federal Council early enough to allow Basel II to come into force in Switzerland on 1 January 2007. Once the ordinances have been enacted by the Federal Council, the Banking Commission will approve its own circulars. Depending on their risk profile, individual banks may be faced with capital requirements higher or lower than those they are subject to at present. The switch to Basel II will probably result in little change to the average capital requirements for small and medium-sized universal banks. The additional requirements for operational risks are balanced out by slightly lower capital requirements in the Swiss standard approach when calculating capital requirements for credit risks (as with the international standard approach). This means there will be no new, additional capital burdens for the banks.

Read also the full report "Key themes" of the SFBC.

Read also the Basel II speech of SFBC's Director Daniel Zuberbühler: "Basel II Switzerland: a precision landing"

ex-CEO of Deutsche Boerse writes bestselling book

The invasion of the locusts (Invasion der Heuschrecken) is the eloquent title of the bestselling book of Werner Seifert, ex-CEO of the German stock exchange Deutsche Börse. In this book (co-written by the professor of economics Hans-Joachim Voth) Werner Seifert gives his views about the events which led to a genuine merger battle in Europe's financial industry in 2005 and subsequently to his dismissal from the CEO post.

Under Werner Seifert's 12-year management Deutsche Börse developed from the former moderate Frankfurt-based exchange into a global leader. In December 2004 Deutsche Börse went into merger negotiations with the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This move was fiercly opposed by a group of hedge funds, led by the Children's Investment (TCI) Fund. The funds won the fight, the merger was given up and Werner Seifert had to go. The German politician Franz Müntefering publicly denounced these events as "the invasion of the locusts" thereby coining of the most-cited German media-phrases in 2005.

Source: NZZ am Sonntag

Hu Jintao's US-trip brings no change in the Chinese currency regime

The US-trip of China’s president Hu Jintao of last week has brought no real breakthrough in the Chinese-American relationship and the forex markets were quick to react. The Chinese currency yuan lost 0.6% against the US-dollar during the first hours of the meeting of the political leaders. This may underline the fact that the US is currently loosing influence over China in both political and economical matters.

In fact, Hu Jintao’s visit demonstrated clearly that China was not so much dependent on the goodwill of the American government, but rather on a good relationship with leading US corporations. In the state of Washington, Hu Jintao was received by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the chairman of Boeing, James McNerney. China is said to have ordered software and aeroplanes representing a value of several billion US-dollars.

However, China’s diplomatic policy is not without risks. The country still faces great economical and political challenges. China is currently seen as the economic driving force for Asia. Consequently, a crisis might not only have disastrous repercussions for China itself but also for other Asian countries. The Asian crisis of 1997 was still different in this respect. The US consumer demand for Asian products had been able to prevent the worst-case-scenarios. Today, China is the most important trading partner for Japan and South-Corea and was also able to support the economic recovery of Japan. But since the Chinese financial markets and its week banking systems are still in the development phase, a crisis might well produce consequences which could not be prevented by an international agency, not even the International Monetary Fund.

Source: Finanz&Wirtschaft

you may also read this related Weblog topic:
China facilitates access to foreign currencies and financial markets

100th iDealunch in Zurich

On 21st April Telekurs Financial celebrated its 100th iDealunch at the Convention Point of SWX Swiss exchange. The representatives from major Swiss banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions were invited to the celebration and brought a special toast to the long lasting success of this special client event. And there was more….for the first time, the invited guests were able to discover Telekurs Financial's new offering of Tullett Prebon inter-dealer-broker data. Tullett Prebon Information Ltd is the leading provider of real-time price information from the wholesale inter-dealer brokered financial markets.

iDealunches are regularly held in Zurich, Geneva and Basel and for this year also in France, Austria and Germany. The combination of a quick training session with a lunch buffet attracts many users of the global financial information display Telekurs iD.

China facilitates access to foreign currencies and financial markets

China holds the worldwide biggest reserves in foreign currencies and has recently outperfomed Japan in this role. As per end of March the Chinese currency reserves amounted to $875.1 bln which represents an increase of 33% compared to last year.

Last week, the Chinese goverment has announced a number of measures which aim to facilitate the access to foreign currencies and to foreign financial markets. Chinese banks and insurance companies will be allowed to acquire US government bonds and other fixed-interest securities. Furthermore and for the first time, Chinese brokers and fund managers will be entitled to buy foreign shares and securities for private clients. Finally, the currency limit for Chinese travelling abroad will be increased to $20 000 per person and per year as from 1st May. With these measures, the Chinese goverment wants to take a further step towards modernisation and globalisation of its financial sector.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

2005: Successful anniversary year for the Telekurs Group

Telekurs Group, which is active in the fields of card-based payment transactions, electronic payment systems and international financial information, was able to celebrate both its 75th anniversary and a successful business year in 2005 with positive growth. Telekurs Group earned an operating profit of 57 million francs before interest and taxes, which is 6% higher than in the previous year.

Read the full text of Telekurs Group's press release.

Oil prices on record high

Oil prices are holding around $71 a barrel, after hitting new peaks overnight amid rising tension between Iran and the international community.

Read the full article by BBC News:

press release: Telekurs France meets its users as it launches the first Paris iDealunch

Telekurs (France) SAS announces the first edition of a brand new concept that had gathered some of its display product users: the "iDealunch". The first edition took place on Thursday the 30th March 2006 at the Telekurs Paris office, rue Royale. Several major French banks were represented for this working lunch around Telekurs iD.

Read the full text of this press release
(download 29 KB).

Berry dispute in China

The plan of the Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM) to launch its BlackBerry device in China encounters fierce competition. China Unicom has launched its own BlackBerry-like wireless e-mail service, called Redberry.

Read the full article by BusinessWeek online:

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Nasdaq becomes major shareholder of the LSE

Yesterday, Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. announced that it had acquired a 15 percent share of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Read more news about this topic:

Spend a working day with Bill Gates

Have you often wondered how the chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, organizes his working routine? Here's an extract:

The screen on the left has my list of e-mails. On the center screen is usually the specific e-mail I'm reading and responding to. And my browser is on the right-hand screen. This setup gives me the ability to glance and see what new has come in while I'm working on something, and to bring up a link that's related to an e-mail and look at it while the e-mail is still in front of me.

This is just one example of Bill Gates' vision of "digital workstyle". Seeing the chairman handling his e-mail might inspire those who believe that improving daily tasks might be the first step to the lofty heights of international top management. To others it might just be a good opportunity to learn more about Microsoft's digital products.

Read the full article by Fortune:





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