Archiv: October 2006

Market Data Information: New currency code assigned to Serbian Dinar

Due to the division of the former “Serbia-Montenegro” into two independent countries, Serbia and Montenegro, the National Bank of Serbia has requested the assignment of new currency codes for the Serbian Dinar. According to an official BSI announcement (ISO 4217 Amendment Number 134) dated 25 October 2006, new currency codes (alpha/numeric) will be introduced and become effec-tive on 25 October 2006.

Telekurs code numeric: 893 Serbian Dinar
Telekurs code alpha: RSD
ISO code alpha: RSD
ISO code numeric: 941
CH-NSIN (Valoren-number): CH:2770649

The pertinent reference and domain meta data will be provided with the Sunday delivery on 26 November, 2006.
Please take note that the new currency codes only refer to Serbia, whereas in Montenegro the Euro is used (ISO code numeric: 978, ISO code alpha: EUR).

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Gold fields listed on Dubai exchange

Gold Fields, one of the world's largest precious metals producers, was listed on the Dubai Financial Exchange (DIFX) on Monday. Gold Fields expects that this listing should entail more liquidity. The CEO of Gold Fields, Ian Cockerill, explained that Dubai was regarded as one of the most important liquidity pools in the Middle East. Furthermore, Dubai is one of the most important gold importing countries. According to the World Gold Council Dubai has the highest gold consumption rate per capita. 2005 the country imported more than 520 tons of gold. Gold Fields is the first African company and the first metal producer to be listed on the DIFX.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Investors' first information choice remains print paper

Preliminarily released data from the Zurich University study 'Equity Ownership in Switzerland 2006' confirm that investors in Switzerland still rely on newspapers as their first information choice. Although print products have lost some importance compared to the previous study from 2004, they are still rated 10 percent higher than the Internet. While persons under 30 prefer the Web to the newspaper, the preference of persons between 30 and 59 is roughly on the same level for both media. Persons over 60 have a clear preference for newspapers.

The study, made by the Swiss Banking Institute of the Unversity of Zurich, which will be officially released on 24 November, is in sharp contrast with the general opinion that the Internet has already won over the classical media. In 2003 a study by professor Pöll of the University of Linz had already stated that the Internet would certainly diminish the information gap between finance professionals and private investors, but the Web would also generate more quantity rather than quality.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

'Gambits' are a risk to Internet domain system

Vinton Cerf, a communications expert known as a father of the Internet, said Sunday that he feared the network's addressing system would break down if "political gambits" by international groups or national agencies interfere with plans to expand the languages used in domain names. On the eve of the first ever United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum, which opens near Athens today, Cerf said national interests had surfaced in recent weeks that would change the process for "internationalizing" Internet addresses. The fresh conflict shows that the high- level global debate over U.S. influence and control of the global network is still unresolved, he said.

Read the full article by Victoria Shannon (International Herald Tribune).

London moving up fast as a world financial capital

Even as the Dow Jones industrial average is climbing to new highs and Wall Street firms are reporting robust profits, by some measures, New York's long-held crown as the financial capital of the world could be slipping.
London has had a heady resurgence in banking and lending. In recent years, its stock market has attracted a growing number of companies that once would have sought to list in the United States. And London is attracting a tide of hedge fund assets as well.

Read the full article by Heather Timmons (The New York Times).

NYSE tripples profit

The NYSE Group, the holding company of the New York Stock Exchange and the electronic exchange Arca (formerly Archipelago), has tripled its net profit in the third quarter. NYSE reports a profit of $68 million or 43 cents per share, compared to $22 million or 19 cents of the previous year when Arca was not yet included. Wall Street analysts had predicted an EPS of 41 cents. Revenues were up 33.3 percent to reach $602.9 million (compared to $452.4 million of the previous year).

NYSE Group reports a two-digit growth rate for trading volumes in all areas. The number of listed companies reached 2704 at the end of September, compared to 2639 in September 2005. However, the quota of trade in NYSE listed shares went further down to 72.4 percent (compared to 76.3 percent in the previous quarter and 80 percent in the previous year. The quota of of trade in Nasdaq listed shares rose to 25.5 percent (compared to 25.2 percent in the previous quarter and 22.8 percent in the previous year). NYSE also confirmed the acquisition of a stake in Industry Automation Corp (SIAC), which was sold by the American Stock Exchange for $40 million. This makes NYSE a 100 percent owner of the provider of computer systems for both exchanges.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Sun introduces data center built in shipping container

Last week Sun Microsystems unveiled Project Blackbox a systems innovation designed to reset datacenter economics. Project Blackbox is a prototype of the world's first virtualized datacenter - built into a shipping container and optimized to deliver extreme energy, space, and performance efficiencies.

According to Sun's concept customers will be able to order a variety of standard and custom configurations of systems, storage, networking, and software. Housed in a standard 20-foot shipping container for maximum flexibility, Project Blackbox will be easily transported using common shipping methods. Simple hookups for water, AC power, and networking will enable customers to quickly deploy Project Blackbox upon delivery.

Source: Sun Microsystems

Market Data Information: Change of currency for securities traded at Cyprus Stock Exchange

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (exchange code: 299) will share a common trading platform with the Athens Stock Exchange as from 30 October 2006. According to the Exchange instruments on EC 299 will not be priced and traded any longer in Cyprus pounds (CYP / currency code 224) but in euro effective 30 October 2006. The prices of the relevant securities will be adjusted and the currency changed to euro.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange announces that in view of the launch of the Common Platform on Monday, October 30, 2006, it decided to suspend the trading of all listed securities on Thursday, October 26, 2006 and Friday, October 27, 2006, pursuant to Articles 183 and 184 of the CSE Law. This was deemed necessary for the completion of all activities and controls required to secure a smooth transfer to the new environment and the new systems, updating the CSE software and the Members with the investors' data.

The trading of the listed securities will commence on Monday, October 30, 2006 at 10.00 am in the new environment of the Common CSE-ASE Platform.

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Wireless: Regulation on roaming divides Europe

Calling home from a mountaintop can cost a pretty penny because of roaming charges that European mobile operators impose for cross-border calls. This summer, with great fanfare, the European Commission moved to cut those costs sharply, saving consumers what it estimated at €5 billion, or $6.3 billion, a year. While many European telecommunications companies oppose the proposal, they have been hesitant to speak out against it publicly, for fear of angering consumers.

Read the full article by Eric Pfanner (International Herald Tribune).

Find out more about Telekurs Financial's mobile financial information offering Telekurs iD mobile.

SWX Group and Deutsche Boerse found 'Alex' exchange

The SWX Group and the German exchange Deutsche Boerse AG will combine their trading activities in structured products as of 1 January 2007 in a jointly owned subsidiary known as “Alex”. Alex has set the goal of becoming Europe’s leading exchange in this market segment.

Via Alex, the SWX Group and Deutsche Börse AG are combining their clout in a rapidly growing market segment and thereby creating a new market standard. Alex will focus exclusively on structured products. As a specialised exchange, it can address more directly the specific needs of customers in this segment. The advantages of Alex also lie in the aggregated liquidity that will be attracted to this centralised trading venue from all corners of Europe and a large network of participants.

Moreover, Alex will utilise various pricing procedures. Issuers may choose the market model that is best suited to the trading of their structured products. This new European specialised exchange is also planning to implement in the foreseeable future the clearing and settlement structures that will enable crossborder transactions to be conducted at local tariffs.

Read also SWX's press release from 24 October 2006.

IPO of ICBC breaks all records

The forthcoming IPO of the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) is considered as a milestone for the modernisation of the Chinese financial sector. The shares of the ICBC should be traded for the first time on Friday at the Honkong and Shanghai exchanges.

Apparently the investment community has already shown an enormous interest in this IPO. ICBC confirmed that the demand from investors of mainland China for share subscription was 50 times higher than the actual share allotment. The issue price of 3.12 yuan (0.39 cents) was consequently fixed whithin the upper price range. ICBC will reach a market capitalisation of $129 bln. The calculated issue revenue will be $22 bln. ICBC will be the 7th biggest financial institution of the world.

The issue revenue of $22 bln breaks all IPO records. The second biggest IPO in history was that of the Japanese telecom provider NTT Mobile Communications Network which generated a revenue of $18.4 bln in 1998. The third biggest was that of the Italian energy holding Enel ($13 bln) and the fourth biggest that of Deutsche Telekom ($11.2 bln).

You may also read this related Weblog post:
Chinese bank plans record IPO

Bloomberg to keep company stake - for now

Nearly as rife as the speculation about the political ambitions of Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has been talk about a possible sale of his multibillion-dollar financial information company. On Wednesday, Bloomberg sought to mute the deal chatter, saying that while he had been approached by potential buyers, he had decided at this time not to sell the company, which some have estimated could be worth as much as $12 billion.

Read the full article by Thomas J. Lueck and Andrew Ross Sorkin (International Herald Tribune).

Critics see monopoly risks in Chicago exchanges' merger

The planned $8 billion combination of Chicago's commodities and derivatives powerhouses is undoubtedly good for the two exchanges. But it is raising concerns at banks and rivals that the new company may increase costs and stifle competition. The merger of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, announced Tuesday, will create a trading operation where nine million contracts will be exchanged daily. (Also read the related Weblog post "Merger of derivatives exchanges CME and CBoT")

"There is an industry view that the merger should bring out significant costs savings and synergies" which should be passed along to the users of the exchange, said Anthony Belchambers, the chief executive of the London- based Futures and Options Association, a trade group of banks and brokerages.

"On the other hand, there is a very real concern that this is the establishment of a monopoly or a near monopoly," he said. "When you have a merger of this scale, there are going to be market participants who are extremely wary about it."

One of the biggest worries is that it creates a so-called "vertical silo," or a market where one entity is both a trading platform and a clearing system. Contracts purchased on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have to be sold on that exchange.

Read the full story by Heather Timmons (International Herald Tribune)

Dow Jones breaks the 12,000 mark

The Dow Jones Industrial index - still the most popular index - broke the 12,000 points mark on Wednesday. The index reached 12,050 points at the start of the trading on Wednesday. However, it would fall back during the day and settled around the 12,000 mark. Just two weeks ago Dow Jones had reached its former all-time high from January 2000, which was 11,722.98 points. It took the index seven years to complete the advance from 11,000 to 12,000 points.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

IPO trend fuels Portuguese stock exchange

The stock market of Euronext Lisbon has been considerably dynamic since the beginning of this year. Euronext Lisbon's main index PSI 20 has been advancing with a plus of 21.4 percent and the daily average turnover from January to September was 72 percent higher compared to 2005. This dynamic is mainly due to the IPO activity of the exchange.

Telecom provider Sonaecom launched its takeover bid in February offering 11 bln. euro for the purchase of Portugal Telecom (PT). In March the Banco Comercial Português followed suit with an offer of 4.3 bln euro to purchase Banco BPI. It is expected that these purchase offers will be concluded in 2007.

A recent momentum in the Spanish energy sector nourish speculations concerning a cross-border consolidation (i.e. between Spain and Portugal). This proved to be beneficial to the stocks of the Portugues energy giant EDP (Energias de Portugal). EDP is a clear blue chip in the PSI 20 index and its stock prices are now 33.5 percent higher than at the beginning of the year. One other factor of the momentum is the IPO of the oil and gas holding GalpEnergia, which was announced at the start of this week. The shares of the company should be listed on 24 October.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Out of India, a 'third wave of globalization'

The world has gotten used to the notion of India as an outsourcing powerhouse teeming with low-cost labor. But India is now emerging as a new kind of powerhouse: a fount of the next generation of global megacorporations.

Read the full article by Anand Giridharadas and Saritha Rai (International Herald Tribune).

Merger of derivatives exchanges CME and CBoT

The two derivatives exchanges Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT) announced their merger on Tuesday. Technically CME will take over the CBoT. The new corporation will be named CME Group Inc and will have a market value of over $25 bln.
The combined derivate exchange will be capable of a continous and substantial growth as was announced on a press conference on Tuesday. CME was founded in 1898 as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board and became a pioneer in the 70ies and 80ies with the launching of financial derivatives. The CBoT was founded in 1948 and is currently specialized in interest and yield derivatives as well as commodities trading. Together the two exchanges process a daily volume of 9 million future contracts with a value of around $4.2 trillion.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Also read the following related topic:
IPO of CBOE delayed

Brazil offers strong opportunities for private banking

Brazil has opened a new chapter in its economic history. It doesn't come with the buzzword "economic miracle" often (or too much) used for the Asian tiger states. "Stability" is the chosen word. After some turbulent crisis Brazil now seems to present the macro-economic basis for a slow but steady growth path. For the financial branch this comes as good news. Macro-economic stability should fuel the willingness of corporations and individuals to invest, which, on its turn, will be beneficial to all segments of the financial markets. Banks see good chances in developing deposits, M&A, IPOs and also investment advisory. Foreign banks are more likely to focus on high net worth indiviuals (HNWIs), i.e. those investors with assets of (or more than) 1 million US-Dollars.

According to the annual "World Wealth Report" by Merrill Lynch/Capgemini there are around 300,000 HNWIs in Latin America (with total assets of 4.2 bln US-Dollars). In comparison there are 8.7 bln HNWIs (with total assets of 33.3 bln US-Dollars) worlwide. The number of HNWIs in Brazil is estimated at 100,000. And the number is continously growing. The World Wealth Report estimates that the wealth growth rate for Latin America was 9.7 procent for last year, which is considerably higher than the worldwide rate. Brazil does even top the statistics with a growth rate of 11.3 procent.

Brazil is, however, not a paradise for everyone. Wealth is restricted to a small elite. There are only few countries in the world with such a high income differential. The minimum income is around 150 US-Dollars. Wages of 1000 US-Dollars are considered high and place their owners among the wealthy 5 percent of the population. HNWIs in Brazil are generally wealthier in comparison to other countries. Many of them have assets of more than 30 million US-Dollars. The World Wealth Report estimates that these "ultra-HNWIs" make 2.4 percent of the total number of HNWIs. The reasons for this wealth are manifold. On the one hand family fortunes are often inherited over two to three generations. Additionally, Brazil offers a gigantic inland market with a population of more 186 million which makes a good business idea a prospect of fortune. Another positive factor are the high-yield Brazilian government bonds. The general prospect for the Swiss bank is promising: all the financial segments score with double-digit growth rates. The credit volume grew by 21.5 percent in 2005 after a plus of 19.5 percent in 2004. A similar growth rate is expected for the current year.

Although the HNWIs are a very promising segment, these private investors are very hard to persuade. Brazilian investors have a tendency of avoiding any risk and show little loyalty to their banking relations. The first factor can be explained by the enormous yields of goverment bonds which also explains the second one. Who can be interested in shares if the bonds provide 2-digit yields? And there's another psychological factor: the many economic and political crisis of Brazil led many investors to place their assets off-shore. In the past foreign banks provided a haven against inflation, income tax and goverment seeking to freeze their bank accounts. Today these reasons seem obsolete. Therefore, the target for foreign banks in Brazil is onshore-banking. It can not be achieved by a simple representative office. Brazilian's HNWIs need to be persuaded and cajoled. They often tend to diversify their assets on different institutes and are generally quick to change their bank relations. Any private bank should therefore provide a strong research and some marketing initiatives for promoting their products. Competitors - such as independent hedge funds and investment advisors are a small segment in Brazil, but they will seize the opportunities if banks should be slow to react.

Source: Finanz&Wirtschaft

Fun solutions to serious problems

Scientists and researchers from around the world have been exhibiting their gadgets at New York's WIRED NextFest. And some of these products have the potential to change lives.

Read the full article by BBC News.

Wireless cutting-edge from Japan

In Japan mobile technology once again leads the way for Europe and North America. Take QR codes for example. Read this article by Eric Sylvers (International Herald Tribune): Mobile marketing in an ink blot

MiFID readiness: European financial world is on track

Financial software leader Sungard has recently published a study to verify the degree of implementation of MiFID in the European financial world. The survey covers 230 financial institutions across more than 12 countries (9.8 percent in Austria/Germany) and is a cross-section of different types of financial institutions. Here a a few results of this study:

MiFID readiness: only 16 percent of firms believe they are behind schedule.
57.8 percent of firms believe that MiFID is just about compliance, however, 43.5 percent believe tey can gain competitive advantage from MiFID.
Most firms are unsure or do not believe hat MiFID is good for the European Economy.

Download the results fo the Sungard - TradeTech MiFID Survey.

Additionally, Sungard offers some interesting MiFID items on a its web page 2006: year of the MiFID.

IBM predicts move to algorithmic trading

IBM has recently published a published a study which describes how algorithmic trade may change the way of trade information processing in the near future. Here's an extract:

Algorithmic trading is also being applied far beyond just the equity exchanges, and now incorporates not only many other asset classes, but also complex trades that offset a number of different classes. In this environment where a trade may have components in several different asset classes, the failure of any one of the components of the trade directly impacts the overall trading position. This means that there is immense pressure to have systems that are fast enough to complete the end-to-end process across all components of a complex trade. Goldman Sachs predicts that within 12 months, 60% of the deals struck on the London market will be generated from black box systems.

Download IBM's study, entitled Tracking latency - the algorithmic arms race (download 800 KB).

Euronext in favour of alliance with Deutsche Boerse

The pan-European stock exchange Euronext has approved an alliance with the German and Italian stock exchanges in the stock trading segment, notwithstanding the pending merger with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The respective proposal from the influential finance lobby Europlace is in accordance with a merger of Euronext and NYSE, said Euronext. Euronext also said that NYSE would also support this version.

Europlace had proposed in a commissioned study that Deutsche Boerse could sell its share trading segment against a participation in Euronext. This would make Euronext the biggest individual shareholder of Euronext with a stake ranging from 15 to 20 percent. In a second phase the Borsa Italia could join the alliance. This could lay the basis for a new merger agreement with NYSE.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Read also this related topic published in this Weblog:
Paris in favour of European exchange alliance

Telekurs Financial sponsors the Credit Risk Summit London 2006

Telekurs Financial were sponsors of the Credit Risk Summit London at the CBI Centre in London on October 3rd and 4th. The event itself, mirroring topics covered by Risk magazine, gave an update on the latest information and debate on the key issues within credit risk management and structured credit.


Attracting over 100 key delegates, the conference focused on a unique overview of the credit markets and examining these with its volatile environment and changes to the credit cycle.

Topics covered in particular included examining trading strategies for the credit market, encompassing alternatives to leverage credit exposure, high yield updates and portfolio positioning. Also explored were concepts and applications of new credit products such as CLOs, SIVs, DPCs, LCDs and more just to name a few.

Telekurs Financial's focus at this event touched on a unique solution that helps manage your risk exposure through the integration of D&B's D-U-N-S® Numbers into the Telekurs Financial ValorData Feed (VDF). This solution provides company hierarchy information on legal entities with full linkage to the ultimate parent entity.

For more information on D-U-N-S Numbers please click here.

If you would like to get in touch with a representative from Telekurs (UK) Ltd , please email or call on Tel. +44 (0)20 7550 5000.

Google buys YouTube for $1.65bn

Google is buying video-sharing website YouTube for $1.65bn (£883m) in shares after a weekend of speculation that a deal was in the offing. The two companies will continue to operate independently, Google said as it announced the news on Monday. YouTube, launched in February 2005, has grown quickly into one of the most popular websites on the internet. It has 100 million videos viewed every day and an estimated 72 million individual visitors each month.

Read the full story by BBC News.

UK mortgage provider to capitalize on City bonuses

UK-based mortgage provider Woolwich is to target bankers, brokers and other financial services professionals working in the City, by offering mortgages to those expecting big bonuses at the end of the year. According to reports, the mortgage provider is attempting to take advantage of the vast amounts now paid in bonuses every year to London bankers by letting them buy a mortgage. The buy-now-pay-later mortgage appears to be restricted to the big City players, however, with the minimum loan set at £500,000.

Source: bobsguide

IPO of CBOE delayed

The IPO of the leading American Derivate exchange Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has been delayed for statuary and juridical reasons, according to CBOE chairman William Brodsky. Brodsky would not confirm any date. He says that the CBOE needs to become a public company in the first place, which would entail an examination process by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of six to nine months. Another factor to delay the IPO is the pending legal case with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). CBoT had initiated a lawsuit against the CBOE this August to clarify the subscription rights of existing shareowners in the forthcoming IPO. The Chicago Merchantile Exchange (CME) already went public in 2002 and the International Securities Exchange (ISE) in April 2005. The IPO of the CBoT followed in October 2005.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

You may also want to read this related Weblog post:
CBOE launches index on US exchanges

Chinese bank plans record IPO

IHT reports today that the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank in the country by assets, plans to raise as much as $19.1 billion in the world's largest intitial public offering (IPO), four people involved in the sale said Sunday. The IPO probably will exceed the $18.4 billion that NTT DoCoMo raised in 1998. Chinese banks, including China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank have attracted $27.7 billion from share sales in the past 15 months. Shares of Bank of Communications more than doubled since its IPO in June 2005.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Microsoft releases final test version of Vista

IHT reports today that Microsoft has released what it says will be the final test version of its new computer operating system, Vista. Microsoft is scheduled to introduce both Windows Vista and Office 2007 to corporate customers by the end of the year, and to consumers early newxt year. The simultaneous launchings after five years of development are a multibillion-dollar proposition from Microsoft.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Warren Buffet's stock breaks $100,000 mark

The share price of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffent's legendary holding company, broke the $100,000 mark on Thursday evening. However, the price fell back to $99,000 on Friday. The shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway are confident that the insurance stake may not suffer under this year's hurricane season. Insurances make half of the earnings of the holding company.

Berkshire Hathaway's -A- shares never had a stock split in their history. The stock split is the classical way of companies to bring the stock prices down. But Berkshire Hathaway has never been obedient to sacrosanct rules of the financial markets. Today the stock is 77 times higher than the second highest stock of the American equity market. When Warren Buffet took over the suffering textile company Berkshire in 1965, the share was traded around $15.

Source: Tages-Anzeiger

Read more news items about this topic

Paris in favour of European exchange alliance

Representatives of the Paris exchange have voiced their approval for a European stock exchange alliance between the pan-European exchange Euronext and the German exchange Deutsche Boerse. According to a report, issued by Henri Lachmann, chairman of Schneider electric, and commissioned by users of the Paris stock exchange, such an alliance would strenghten the development potential of Euronext and reinforce the European model for securities trading.

According to Lachman, the transatlantic alliance with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) would only be a second priority. However, Euronext has already announced the merger with NYSE in June.

Furthermore, the report does not agree with the current merger proposal of Deutsche Boerse for Euronext. Lachmann suggests, that the German exchange should only integrate its equity trading segment into Euronext while receiving a stake of 15 to 20 percent in Euronext's capital. Derivative trading and the post-exchange settlement, which makes 80 percent of the revenues of Deutsche Boerse, should be excluded from the merger. The first reactions of Euronext and Deutsche Boerse to these proposals were positive.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Read also the following news reports on this topic.

Mobile phone sales start to slow

Worldwide sales of mobile phones will hit a billion next year but the days of massive growth could be over, says an industry report. According to research firm Informa Telecoms and Media, the battle now will be persuading users to upgrade their phones regularly. New services such as mobile TV will compete with improved cameras, more memory and cutting-edge design. But the long-awaited switch to 3G could be some time off, the report said.

Read the full article by BBC News.

Find out more about Telekurs Financial's mobile financial information offering Telekurs iD mobile

Banking Matters: In China, small is big

Bank of East Asia, a family-controlled bank based in Hong Kong, has more outlets under its own name in mainland China than any other foreign bank. This might seem surprising, considering that behemoths like Citigroup, the largest bank in the world in terms of capital - with $79.4 billion in Tier 1 capital, a standard measure of bank performance - and HSBC Holdings, the second largest, are present and investing heavily in the same market.

Surely a relatively small institution like Bank of East Asia is an irrelevant minnow with nothing to teach the world's largest banks? The institution, which ranks 207th in a listing compiled by The Banker of the world's top 1,000 global banks, has $2.4 billion in Tier 1 capital.

Despite its small size, the bank has something to teach the major banks about China. Its shares have been among the best performers this year on Hong Kong's main index, the Hang Seng, fueled by optimism about its mainland China strategy.

Read the full article by Karina Robinson (International Herald Tribune)

Managing Globalization with industry standards

When people talk about the forces that make globalization happen, the first things that come to mind are often information technology, transportation and trade. But there's another important factor that connects all of them: standards.

International standards have become, at the same time, the price of admission to the global economy and the glue holding it together. They cover engineering, manufacturing, management, communications, packaging and just about any economic activity you can name. Adherence to the standards is a condition of entry to the World Trade Organization. And as the global economy grows, so do they.

"In 2005, ISO was producing more than 100 standards a month, a 40 percent increase compared with 2002," Alan Bryden, secretary general of the organization, said in an e-mailed response to questions. "Today, ISO's portfolio stands at over 16,140 standards, and they provide benefits for just about every sector of business and technology."

Read the full article by Daniel Altmann (International Herald Tribune).

Telekurs Financial as a founding member of ANNA (Association of National Numbering Agencies) and a co-founder of the ANNA Service Bureau, supports standardization in the financial industry and also provides financial data in ISO15022 format.

Bank Leu closes fund of hedge funds

The closing of Bank Leu's Prima Relativ Value Fund was decided on 28 September by the fund management. According to Bank Leu the liquidation was due to the unsuccessful fund strategy, the so called relative value investment strategy (fixed-income arbitrage, risk arbitrage, convertible arbitrage and equity market neutral).

In the past years the fund assets have been shrinking continously. End of 2004 the assets were still at $ 288 m, but until June 2006 the assets have been shrinking to around $ 22 m. This fund was legally described as special risk fund. According to Bank Leu the actual assets are insufficient for managing the fund and obtain a suitable risk diversification. According to the fund regulations the fund should be invested in at least 10 different hedge funds.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Google buys its founding garage

Internet giant Google has bought a landmark in its history - the suburban home where it was founded in 1998. Google has paid an undisclosed fee for the property in Menlo Park, California, where Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the business from a garage.

Read the full article by BBC News.





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