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Qatar National Bank
30 апреля 2016, 18:05

Cyber crime: The rise of the digital mafia - Counting the Cost

Cyber theft has long replaced the 'traditional' concept of bank robberies. A much more sophisticated method of attack that has been in use for years has accelerated of late as a slew of hacks across the world has proven. Recent international targets, including the US Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the Philippines and Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Doha, have all been subject to notable security breaches. What's striking, however, is the fact that in some instances, no money is being stolen. In QNB's case it was a robbery of data - hundreds of customers account details, including their passwords, their social media profiles, were posted onto a whistleblower website. No one really knows what's behind it, but it proved that data is alomost more valuable that money these days. Where once the main purpose behind this activity was to make money, hacking and leaking information has now escalated into issues as prominent as state secrets, government intelligence and political gain as part of the 'hacktivism' movement. With safety of the consumer remaining an issue due to the slow-paced movements of the enterprise world versus that of the ever-evolving technological capacity of the hacking world, the public is forced to brace for further and harder hitting attacks in times to come. We talk to James Lyne, director at the London-based Sans Security Institute and the global head of Research of SOPHOS, about the impact of cyber theft and the future cyber crime. We also talk to Nourulddin Aulabi, a former professor of information security at Strayer University and a cyber security consultant, about the issues behind cyber attacks. Also on this episode of Counting the Cost: Automobile industry secrets exposed: Mitsubishi, the world's 16th largest car manufacturer, is now also owning up to cheating quality tests. The Japanese car giant has confessed to faking fuel economy tests for the last 25 years - a lie that affects over 600,000 cars sold in that period in Japan alone. Aside from a sharp fall in market value over the last week, notable repercussions on the tail of similar scandals courtesy of Volkswagen and General Motors include considerable brand damage and in effect, a dramatic loss in consumer trust. Ivory Coast: Africa's new foreign investment leader? The International Monetary Fund has highlighted the Ivory Coast as the fastest growing African economy for this year with a predicted growth of 8.5 percent, beating Nigeria as the top destination for foreign direct investment. The country continues to witness a period of relative calm since the end of the second civil war in 2011. Tractors for Cuba: For the first time in more than half a century, a US company is returning to Cuban soil. The small Alabama tractor factory, which is planning to build tractors for private Cuban farmers, is expected to begin operating next year - another sign of growing ties between the two countries. More from Counting the Cost on: YouTube - http://aje.io/countingthecostYT Website - http://aljazeera.com/countingthecost/

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28 апреля 2016, 01:13

Qatar National Bank hit by cyber attack

Gulf state’s leading bank suffers data breach that exposes personal details of customers

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24 сентября 2013, 16:43

Катар: Qatar Petroleum планирует привлечь $880 млн путем IPO

Государственная энергетическая компания Qatar Petroleum наняла два банка для проведения первичного публичного размещения акций одного из своих подразделений. По сведениям из осведомленного источника, компания может привлечь 3,2 млрд риалов ($880 млн) путем IPO. Сообщается, что Qatar National Bank займется проведением сделки, в то время как Deutsche Bank выступит в роли финансового консультанта. Qatar Petroleum не прокомментировала данную информацию.

13 сентября 2013, 06:01

Nigel Farage Slams Barroso's European "Disaster"

Following Barroso's State of the EU speech, we thought it useful to reflect on the true state of the EU. Nigel Farage's recent tirade slamming "Communist" Barroso's pro-bureaucrat policies are poignant as he exclaims the "disaster" that the EU has become for the poor and unemployed. To further color this rant we note Charles Gavekal's recent note on why Europe's still broken as worthless IOUs are 'transferred' around the union and "no one really knows who is going to take the final loss." Perhaps it is The Hamiltonian's summary of the structural problem (an interlocking set of European political, bureaucratic, media, academic and financial elites) and the sad fact that history suggests a crisis deferred is a crisis magnified. The first few minutes of Farage's speech focus on the real-world problems that his peers "are in denial" over... (the rest is global warming related) But to provide more specific reasons for why Europe's still broken, here is Charles Gave (of Gavekal Research), ... The interesting thing is that the median cost of capital across the eurozone has not changed significantly during the crisis period; what has shifted is the dispersion around that median. And the countries which are on the wrong side of the spread have seen interest rates remain above their economies’ structural growth rates. The result is a massive deleveraging of the private sector, offset by a huge increase in state spending in the likes of France, Italy, and Spain, etc. The logic of the system is inherently at odds with the budgetary stipulations set within the Maastricht criteria. Hence, so long as interest rates are set way above the growth rate, “austerity” must fail miserably.  This system is inexorably causing the destruction of the industrial bases in Italy, France, Spain and the others. The lost revenues from productive activity is for the moment offset by Germany (together with the likes of Japan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) accumulating financial assets issued by the governments of those nations that face slow strangulation. It can’t last. A while ago, I argued that Germans might as well load much of their auto exports headed to eurozone countries on to a boat and sink it outside of Hamburg. It would do as much good as selling Audis in exchange for IOUs issued by bankrupt countries. But no problem—now those IOUs are held by the European Central Bank as shown by the still high Target 2 balances. Of course, what this really means is that no one really knows who is going to take the final loss and so the game continues (and this is the difference with a gold standard where cycles end with a simple depletion of the gold inventory). The end game will come when sovereign nations inside and outside Europe stop accepting this rotten paper. This denouement will ultimately be a political decision which is hardly my area of confidence. What I would say to those tempted by Europe’s “attractively valued” markets, is look elsewhere...  and From The Hamiltonian, Europe - Crisis Deferred Is Crisis Magnified, In the current period of surface calm in [Europe] it is more necessary than ever to point out the structural phenomena which mean that a crisis is bound to re-emerge. ... The structural problem... is an interlocking set of European political, bureaucratic, media, academic and financial elites. King said there are four possible resolutions to the crisis. One is continued mass unemployment in the cads in order to produce deflation; the second is inflation in Germany; the third is giving up on adjustment and instituting a perpetual transfer union (and, implicitly, German rule); the fourth is a change in euro area membership.  King, although he was not explicit, seemed to have grave doubts about the feasibility of the first three possible solutions (he would no doubt also rightly have major worries about the possible financial implications of the fourth possibility; but if nothing else is feasible, the authorities should be planning to mitigate the financial consequences of that possibility – but that would mean admitting that entering into monetary union pre-programmed some sort of financial crisis, something the progenitors of monetary union, and even some of their successors, will never admit). ... Ponzi games are sometimes excused, or even lauded, on the grounds that a crisis deferred is a crisis resolved. Sadly, history suggests that crisis deferred is a crisis magnified. Can one justify the creditstimulation ambition on the slightly more respectable argue that time is being bought? Well, one might – if it were clear what exactly the time being bought was expected to produce and if the price at which time is bought were specified. The second condition has never as far as we are, been fulfilled. What about the first condition? Two main possibilities are mooted by the proponents of buying time. One is that underlying structural improvement in the cads will allow structural adjustment without a need for deflation. The second is that the passage of time will allow the third of the possible resolutions outlined by King – a perpetual transfer union – to become more feasible politically. And of course the two arguments are linked: the greater an improvement in the structural performance of the cads, it is claimed (though often sotto voce), the more likely it will be that Germany will accept a transfer union and the more likely it is that cad societies, having already by hypothesis become more “Germanic”, will be able to accept the imposition of German rules (and, in effect, German rule) in return. ... Barroso’s comments last night, in which he claimed that any “rowing back” from “Europe” would re-create conditions like those which led to the First World War, are not just ludicrously wrong – wrong by 180 degrees – but frankly obscene. But apart from that, PMIs tell us all is well, right? (well, no!)        

05 сентября 2013, 22:23

Richest Countries in the World

Follow ZeroHedge in Real-Time on FinancialJuice Wealth has besotted people since time immemorial. It’s accrued, amassed, hidden, stolen and we would even die sometimes for it, or at least knock someone off more than likely to get what they have. Wealth: the abundance of valuable assets and material possessions, the mainstay today of our consumer societies. Wealth became a target when we left nothing untouched by consumer valuing of resources. Everything has a price today in the world. Everything can be bought and sold, whatever it is; and it doesn’t just come out of factories or from the fields, it could be you or me that have a price on our heads. Wealth Measures Wealth of a country is measured in two ways. The first is the Gross Domestic Product of a country. But, the problem with that is that it only measures the size of the economy. Per Capita Gross Domestic Product can give us an average of what that wealth works out to per person in the population. Again, however that is inadequate, since averages are just that. They don’t give us the full picture of what the country is actually experiencing. They are just half-way lines that give some gauge of the situation. Anyhow, using GDP per capita or GDP alone means that currency fluctuations will always come into play as they will be shown in the currency of the country in question. But, Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity (GDP PPP) will take into account the standard of living of a population and the relative cost of living in a country. A hypothetical international dollar known as the Geary-Khamis Dollar is therefore used as the unit of comparison, with the same purchasing power as the US Dollar and the year 2000 is the benchmark year for that comparison. Wealth Ranking – TOP 5 So here are the rankings. The world’s top 5 countries according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund. 1. Qatar GDP PPP per capita of Intl. $102, 211. Just 250, 000 Qataris and the rest of the 1.8-million population are immigrant workers. Oil accounts for 60% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product today. Qatar Petroleum, the state-owned and run oil company is currently the third largest company in the world that exploits, produces and refines oil as well as transporting and storing it. Qatar has the third largest natural gas reserves today in the world. The country has attracted major investors. US investment alone there has exceeded $100 billion. Branches of 6 US universities (Weill Cornell Medical College, Carnegie Mellon and Georgetown University amongst others) are located there. Public-sector Qatari workers got pay increases of 50-120% in 2011. 2. Luxembourg GDP PPP of Intl. $79, 785. Half a million people in terms of population. Thanks to the fact that it had secret banking laws and was able to transform itself into a tax haven in the world. But, for how long will that last as the US starts putting pressure on Swiss banks for doing exactly that (making it illegal now for a US citizen to open an account in the country without having had the US authorities informed prior to it). But, despite their apparent wealth, the country still had a budget deficit of 5% in 2009, reduced to 1.4% a year later. In 2009 Luxembourg had nearly 30, 000 people working in the banking sector and there were 152 different banks located in the country. It was added to a list of ‘grey’ countries in the world by the G20 concerning worries over secrecy laws. 3.       Singapore GDP PPP of Intl. $60, 410. The country has the lowest tax rate (14.2% of GDP) in the world. The Singaporean economy is largely considered as the most open economy in the world (also the least corrupt). Perhaps there is food for thought as to opening up economies and doing away with corrupt administrations and authorities. The Singaporean economy depends on exports (electronics and semiconductors (11% of the world’s output)). It also produces 10% of foundry wafer output in the world. 4.       Norway GDP PPP of Intl. $55, 009. Largest natural gas reserves in Europe and also oil reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly 50% of the exports of the country and it is a major component of the GDP of the country (21%). One of the world’s biggest exporters of gas (2nd largest after Russia). Although oil was only discovered in 1969. They produce 2 million barrels per day on average. They set up a unique system to ensure that there was management of the revenue from oil and in 1990, for example, the Government Pension Fund was established (Global (GPFG)) for surplus oil revenues. It is worth$700 billion at least today. Oil profits get taxed at a rate of 78%, bringing in $36 billion in 2011. 5.       Brunei GDP PPP of Intl. $54, 389. Cashing in on natural gas and the benefits of petroleum. The 3rd largest oil producer in Southeast Asia. Brunei produces 180, 000 barrels per day. 4th largest natural-gas producer in the world. Mean wages in Brunei stand at US $25.38 per man-hour. New companies (that meet regulations) are exempt from income tax for five years. The energy sector brings in 94% of government revenue. It also accounts for 96% of exports from the country. But, by 2045, those oil reserves and natural gas reserves will have run out completely. The other countries are as follows in the ranking:  6.       Hong Kong GDP PPP of Intl. $51, 494. 7.       United States GDP PPP of Intl. $49, 922. 8.       United Arab Emirates GDP PPP of Intl. $49, 012. 9.       Switzerland GDP PPP of Intl. $45, 418. 10.   Canada GDP PPP of Intl. $42, 734. 11.   Australia GDP PPP of Intl. $42, 640. 12.   Austria GDP PPP of Intl. $42, 409. So, the wealth of the world is concentrated in the Gulf, Europe and North America which seems of little surprise when it boils down to it. Luxembourg is way behind the State of Qatar and yet is in second position. Norway is in 4th place but still has just a little more than half of the GDP PPP of Qatar. But in the top countries it’s natural resources that are exploited to make it to the highest echelons of the ranking for the main part. Really Rich? Without the poor, the rich wouldn’t be rich and those poor countries are maintained in their positions some might say of inferiority to make sure that those at the top are there to stay. Money can buy everything. It can even by exploitation and it can certainly buy poverty somewhere else to be used and abused. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the poorest nation in terms of Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity per capita in the world with only$369 for 2012 When we look at the list of the world’s top wealthy countries are we proud of finding our place on that list? Do we have the impression that we are that rich really in the world. The US is 7th in the list, but how many of the 7.4%-unemployed actually believe that they are living that dream of wealthy abundance and opulence. How many of the people that are nearing 15% that are either unemployed or are on contracts that see them working for just a few hours a week and that are underemployed actually participate in that wealth that has made the US get to the top ten of the richest nations on the planet? Few of them it would seem. The thing with averages that are calculated is that they are not true when the majority of the wealth of a nation is held in the hands of the minority few. Wealth distribution is concentrated wherever that may be and being the richest nation means very little else than the fact that the few have even more than others. Wealth and income are concentrated not just in the top 1% of the country, but mainly in the top 0.1% of the United States. The top 1% of households owns roughly 35% of all private wealth. The next 19% hold 53.5% of US private wealth. 11% of the wealth only is owned by the rest of the 80% of the population of the country. In a study carried out in 2010 (Norton & Ariely), 90% of US citizens believed that the top 20% of the US own just60% of the private wealth in the country, whereas it is closer to 80% or more. They had no idea either that the bottom 40% of the country owns nothing more than 0.3% of private wealth. Wealth needs an overhaul and needs to be redistributed from the eager tops somewhere down the scale to those that surely need it more. Being in the 7th place in terms of GDP PPP might well mean something for the guys at the top, but for the rest of the populations of those countries in the list, it’s nothing more than marketing to show the others that we can do what we want if needs be. Don’t mess with rich countries. They have the economic power and clout to knock you for six.  Septaper Will Open Floodgates | How Sinister is the State? | Food: Walking the Breadline | Obama NOT Worst President in reply to Obama: Worst President in US History? New Revelations: NSA and XKeyscore Program | Obama's Corporate Grand Bargain Death of the Dollar | Joseph Stiglitz was Right: Suicide | China Injects Cash in Bid to Improve Liquidity Technical Analysis: Bear Expanding Triangle | Bull Expanding Triangle | Bull Falling Wedge | Bear Rising Wedge | High & Tight Flag           

05 сентября 2013, 14:52

Qatar

Follow ZeroHedge in Real-Time on FinancialJuice Imagine the scenario. You drive to work this morning and you spend all day slogging away at the office, with sweltering temperatures of 50° C to boot. The only bonus that you have is that you are grinding away in luxurious surroundings. But, when it comes to leaving, the doors are locked, bolted and barred. You can’t get out of the place and nobody gives a damn anyhow. That’s exactly what it’s like at the moment for expats living and working in Qatar. They are at the mercy of their business partners in order to be able to live the country and are to all intents and purposes being held hostage, complacently acceptably condoned by the governments, with little being done by the Western states where those visiting business people come from. Qatar: Doha Wealthiest State Qatar has enough natural gas to make every citizen of the country wealthier than any other in the world. Sheikh Tamim bin Khaifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar is a new ambitious determined leader that plans to make Qatar a prominent country in the world. It has close ties with the US since the US Central Command’s Forward Headquarters are located in Qatar along with the Combined Air Operations Center. It has a population of 250, 000 citizens and the rest of the population is made up of Arab nations (13%), Indian subcontinent (24% from India and 16% from Nepal, amongst others) andSoutheast Asia (11% from the Philippines). There are a total of 1.87 million people currently residing in the country, with 65% that are immigrant workers. It’s the home of Al Jazeera and it tops the list of the richest nations in the world today. Qatar had a Gross Domestic Product of $91, 600 per capita in 2010. It increased to $100, 600 in 2011. It reached $102, 800 in 2012. By comparison, the USA had a per capita GDP of $50, 700 in 2012. 14% of households are millionaires. Go to Qatar with the fervent desire to earn bundles of cash from the richest nation in the world and you risk losing your dignity, your freedom and even all sense of humanity. Qatar is described as the El Dorado, the Vegas of the Middle East, the place where you can strike it rich in one fell swoop. But, there’s a price for everything; nothing comes free. The propaganda is intensely maintained in the media through the channels that the state of Qatar has managed to get its hands on. People should think twice before being attracted by the Midas touch; they might not turn into very much at all and certainly not gold. The state of Qatar is organizing the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and as such a hoard of immigrant workers have been taken on in a vision of times gone by with slave drivers forcing the workers to build , unbuild and rebuild. Those workers are driven like slaves and have their basic rights taken away from them. Qatar might be at the top of the list of richest nations in the world, but it’s pretty damn poor with regard to workers’ rights and even human rights. But, what can be expected from a country that has a ruling family that has a hereditary title and has had its country in their grasp since the mid-nineteenth century? What can be expected from a country that has the major and most important key positions in the country and the government handed out in true fashion of nepotism to family members of the ruling Al Thani dynasty? The only time privileges are changed and old orders knocked out is when there is a coup d’état (a peaceful one is de rigueur); wars and revolts cost money and that would be a waste, so the ousted Emir usually goes peacefully and anyhow he’s your father usually (Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani overthrew his own father and took the country in 1995). Kafala The workers have their rights taken away and they are trapped in a Kafala from which there’s no possible escape. Kafala is literally a procedure of adoption in Muslim law that allows someone to be adopted but to maintain their own name as full adoption is legally impossible. The adopted person will not have the full rights regarding inheritance as a legitimate child that is born to the family. The adoption procedure has been extended to business and any foreigner that wishes to work in Qatar must be ‘adopted’ and surrenders all rights to their sponsor. The Kafala allows workers to be maintained in servitude to an employer or to a business partner, with passports that are confiscated to stop them leaving the country and with courts that are banned so they have no access to legal recourse. If your sponsor does not provide the visa to allow you to exit the country, then you end up staying put until he allows you to, or until you give him what he wants from you. More than a million workers are forced into labor by slave-drivers with immense wealth. Their salaries are unpaid or paid late, they are denied basic freedoms and yet they are building the multi-billion dollar World Cup 2022infrastructure of luxury hotels and football stadiums. Qatar: World Cup 2022 There was already great controversy over the granting of the World Cup to Qatar since it was amidst accusations of corruption, underhand tactics and bribery as well as pressure on certain people. A secret meeting between the Emir of Qatar and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010 ensured that the French would vote for Qatar. One French footballer got $15 million for his support (Zinedine Zidane) and Michel Platini was told to vote for Qatar by the French President. Qatar bought the French football team Paris Saint Germain in return. Just last year a prominent US businessman (Nasser Beydoun) in Doha was held hostage in economic slavery and indentured servitude for 685 days. He had been trying to get out of Qatar ever since he resigned from his job in 2009 as CEO of a group of restaurants in the country. The exit visa was refused by the group Wataniya Restaurants that had sponsored him to work there. He was sued for $13 million and detained in the country. He was found innocent and allowed to leave after 685 days. He stated: “Though this battle is over the war has just started. The people who held me hostage have a profound immorality, cold egotism and an utter disregard of justice and humanity.” Beydoun is not the only one that is making the economic slavery hot the headlines in the media these days as more and more cases come to light. There is the case of the Belgian, Philippe Bogaert, that went to Doha to work as a TV producer and that has been refused an exit visa for the past two years. If a project fails, then it’s the foreigner that is considered to be responsible and he is sued to pay the money back, holding the visa as ransom to get exactly what is wanted. Boagaert is being sued for over $4.2 million. Without your sponsor’s say-so it is impossible to do anything in the state of Qatar. You can’t drive a car, you can’t rent or buy a house and you can’t even open a bank account. Other countries have adapted the work laws in their countries and Bahrain has done away with the Kafala, for example. The United Arab Emirates has a free zone that doesn’t apply the Kafala to attract foreign business people to work in Dubai. But, have things changed there? In Bahrain for example the Labor Market Regulatory Law came into force in April 2009. But, essentially very little has changed. The migrant workers are still expected to have a sponsor. The only gain that they have made is to be able to change employer much more easily than before (i.e. without the consent of the employer a worker can change jobs today). The governments of these countries do very little to protect migrant workers and they do even less to apply and implement the changes in the law when they have been made. Withholding salaries is widespread. Forced labor without payment has transformed these people into economic slaves for the sole benefit of accruing more wealth and yet we do nothing. Western governments sit complacently and forget the workers that are in these countries slaving away. Qatar has enough money and has enough investment in our countries for the governments not to rock the boat. If it rocks too much, the oil will spill and we wouldn’t want that, would we? Al Jazeera makes sure that the Western governments do little else than look on and watch. 220 million people watch Al Jazeera English alone in more than100 countries. It is watched 2.5 million times on YouTube and is the most watched TV channel there. That’s a powerful tool to be reckoned with. In the meantime, the economic slavery continues and Qatar is a five-star oil-rich state as a result of the masses grinding away of those held hostage Septaper Will Open Floodgates | How Sinister is the State? | Food: Walking the Breadline | Obama NOT Worst President in reply to Obama: Worst President in US History? New Revelations: NSA and XKeyscore Program | Obama's Corporate Grand Bargain Death of the Dollar | Joseph Stiglitz was Right: Suicide | China Injects Cash in Bid to Improve Liquidity Technical Analysis: Bear Expanding Triangle | Bull Expanding Triangle | Bull Falling Wedge | Bear Rising Wedge | High & Tight Flag       

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27 июня 2013, 18:22

Катар: CEO Qatar National Bank был назначен министром финансов страны

CEO крупнейшего по рыночной капитализации в Персидском заливе кредитора Qatar National Bank (QNB) Али Шариф аль-Умади (Ali Shareef Al Emadi) был назначен министром финансов страны. Стоит отметить, что на фоне данных новостей акций компании выросли на 1,9% до 159 реалов на торгах в Дохе, достигнув максимального с июня 2003 года значения.

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03 мая 2013, 06:59

Qatari Bank Named As World’s Strongest In First Year On Bloomberg List

GA_googleFillSlot("EW_News_300x250"); The semi state-operated Qatar National Bank (QNB) has been named as the world’s strongest bank in Bloomberg Markets’ third annual ranking of global financial institutions, after seeing its profits rise by an average of 27 percent per annum over the last five years, thanks to strong government supervision and rapid international expansion. The semi state-operated Qatar National Bank (QNB) has been named as the world’s strongest bank in Bloomberg Markets’ third annual ranking of global financial institutions, after seeing its profits rise by an average of 27 percent per annum over the last five years, thanks to strong government supervision and rapid international expansion. read more

02 мая 2013, 04:02

World's Strongest Banks Ranked

Four of Canada's biggest banks have landed among the top 10 in a global ranking of the strongest banks, although two of them have seen their rankings slip from last year. According to data compiled by Bloomberg Markets magazine, CIBC, Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD were ranked 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th, respectively, on the publication’s annual ranking of the world’s strongest and safest lenders. Bloomberg Markets maintains a list of global banks with at least $100 billion US in assets. This year, 78 firms made that cut-off. The magazine then ranks the lenders based on five broad categories, including the size of their capital reserves, the amount they keep on hand to cover bad loans, the percentage of their assets that are inefficient or considered ‘non-performing’ and the amount they take in deposits. Qatari bank rated No. 1 According to Bloomberg’s metrics, the world’s strongest bank is Qatar National Bank, the state-controlled financier that’s quickly grown to become the largest and one of the most profitable banks in the Middle East. The Qatari bank displaced Singapore’s Oversea Chinese Banking Corp, which slipped to No. 2 on the list after being in the top spot for the past two years. Among the Canadian banks. Royal Bank and Scotia saw their ranking improve, while CIBC and TD slipped. In TD’s case, the bank slipped from 4th in the world to 8th. A particular source of strength for Canadian lenders is how big their Tier 1 capital ratios are. That’s the financial term for a lender’s cash reserves and how many of its own shares it owns — both of which are valuable assets to have act as shock absorbers if and when the economy hits a rough patch. “Every year, our stress tests tell us we’re stronger than the previous year,” Toronto-Dominion bank president Ed Clark told the magazine. “You don’t have to go out on the risk curve to look after the shareholder, and it’s a foolish bet to do that,” he said. Although they continue to compare favourably internationally, Canadian banks aren’t immune to the signs of slowdown in the global and domestic economies. Ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P each downgraded their outlooks for most of Canada’s major lenders late in the year. And official data shows Canadians’ debt loads continue to tick alarmingly high, a trend that could make the banks who loaned out all that debt vulnerable. Another eye-opening placement on the list is U.S lender Citibank. Bloomberg Markets ranked America’s biggest lender in fifth overall. Citi’s presence so high on the list is significant because it wasn’t that long ago — 2008 to be precise — that the bank was saved from bankruptcy thanks to a $45 billion US bailout from the U.S. government. Citi was disqualified from Bloomberg’s rankings as recently as last year because it failed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s so-called “stress test” of banks that may be vulnerable to financial shocks.

30 марта 2013, 22:09

Political Fallout Begins: Former Cyprus President Named In Loan Write-Offs Leading To Banking Insolvency

A few days ago, when news hit that Cyprus has begun investigating who the people were who had managed to pull cash out of nation's insolvent banks, both during the capital control "blackout" period and previously, we asked "how much longer will the rule of law remain in Cyprus once full blown class warfare is unleashed, and the 99% are generously handed the list of the 1% who were "informed" enough to pull their money from the flaming sovereign equivalent of Bernie Madoff, while every other uninsured depositor is facing losses of up to 80%, and soon 100%?" We may get the answer much sooner than expected, as the first iteration of this list: one naming the beneficiaries of millions of loans written off by the now insolvent Cyprus banks and therefore indirectly responsible for the "impairment" of the banks' depositors, was released yesterday by Greece's daily Ethnos newspaper. But what virtually assures substantial political fallout is that among the people listed is Cyprus' former president, George Vassiliou. Kathimerini summarized the situation as follows: A list of Cypriot companies and politicians that allegedly had millions of euros in loans written off by the three Cypriot lenders at a center of an unprecedented banking crisis on the Mediterranean island has been forward to Cyprus's parliamentary ethics committee after its publication in Greece's daily Ethnos newspaper.   According to the revelations, Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) and Hellenic Bank -- which were earlier this week acquired by Greece's Piraeus Bank -- has forgiven companies, MPs and local authority officials millions of euros in loans over the past five years. The list reportedly features the names of politicians from all Cypriot parties except Social Democracy (EDEK) and the Social Ecology Movement (KKO). Readers may or may not be shocked to learn that corruption and cronyism, in broad terms, was alive and well in Cyprus in the months and years leading to the failure of the local banking system with its publicly elected politicians at the very forefront: According to Ethnos, Bank of Cyprus wrote off the 2.8-million-euro loan of a hotel with ties to the communist-rooted Progressive Party (AKEL) and forgave significant portions of many other loans. For instance a national labor union is said to have been forgiven 193,000 euros of a 554,000-euro loan. An unnamed company was forgiven 110,000 euros from a 1.83-million-euro loan, a prominent deputy of the centrist Democratic Rally (DISY) party saw 101,000 euros of a 168,000-euro loan written off and a company owned by the brother of a former minister of the conservative Democratic Party (DIKO) had 1.28 million euros of a 1.59-million-euro loan written off. The list refers to several other MPs and the mayor of large city who allegedly had significant portions of their loans forgiven by Bank of Cyprus. Companies linked to a member of the bank's board, to the daughter-in-law of a DIKO deputy and several others also appear to have been offered significant loan relief by the Bank of Cyprus.   As for Laiki Bank, it is said to have written off several loans taken out by MPs of AKEL and DISY. The bank also appears to have written off 5.8 million US dollars in debt from a company whose majority shareholder is said to be a well-known Cypriot politician. The ex wife of a senior ministry official and a company owned by a local ambassador also appear to have been facilitated. Today, as the fallout avalanche from the release of the list begins to accelerate, we get even more information courtesy of Cyprus-Mail, which names none other than a company majority-owned by the former president, as being a direct beneficiary of the broke banks' depositor-funded generosity: The government yesterday reaffirmed its intention to fully investigate the banking sector, as a list surfaced with names of current and former state officials who allegedly had their loans written off by banks.   The list, published in Greece, contains the names of former and current MPs as well as other prominent individuals, including former president George Vassiliou. According to the report, Vassiliou held a 51 per cent stake in a company that agreed to have $5.8 million written off. And now that Cyprus is broke and facing a depression it is probably a good time to do some serious Monday Morning quater-bailouting: The government said the matter would be investigated as part of a wider probe into what caused the collapse of the island’s economy and banking system.   Three former Supreme Court judges were appointed on Thursday to look into the debacle.   Their mandate includes the investigation of the “the events and decisions relating to the provision or write off or reduction of loans or the removal of guarantees or banks affording other concessions, in Cyprus and abroad.”   The government said it would handle the matter with full transparency and would not hesitate to hold anyone accountable as long as any improprieties were substantiated. Sure enough, in order to avoid being held "accountable" the explanations have begun. Enter the former president: Former president Vassillou said his stake in the company, which was operated by his former son-in-law, was acquired after he provided guarantees against its large obligations.   The company, ERE (Middle East) Ltd owed Laiki $23,988,542 and €1,081,672, including interest, the former president said in a written statement.   The amounts had been also guaranteed by four other people who eventually refused to honour their obligations and were taken to court.   Vassiliou said that despite his share being much smaller, he agreed to pay Laiki $21 million and settle the debt.   Based on the agreement, Vassiliou paid $15 million while the balance was going to be settled in two instalments of €3 million in 2012 and 2014.   “In return, Laiki was to relieve me of the old interest, something that is a usual and long-standing practice,” Vassiliou said.   Because the 2012 instalment was linked to the return of a guarantee as soon as a – still pending -- project was completed in Qatar, it had been agreed for the payment to be pushed back until then, Vassiliou said.   The former president said he would wait for the findings of the attorney-general. Other politicians have decided that the best defense is a strong offense: DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou, whose name was also on the list, said he was suing the media outlets responsible, and the Central Bank of Cyprus.   Prodromou denied ever having a loan written off, saying the case in question concerned a forgery on his bank account.   “The person responsible for the forgery was brought before court and convicted,” Prodromou said. “The bank recognised part of the responsibility for the charges through forgery and agreed to share the loss.”   AKEL-linked trade union PEO was also included in the list over a €3.0 million loan. Needless to say, everyone else on the list is also coming up with a bevy of excuses: Former DISY MP Sofoklis Hadjiyiannis said his case concerned interest and other charges that were added on illegally after he settled his debt to the bank.   AKEL MP Nicos Katsourides was also caught up in the affair after he was linked with a company that allegedly had a debt written off. Katsourides said neither he nor any family member had any relation with the company’s share structure although his son had been employed by the outfit at some point in the past.   Katsourides said he had contacted the attorney-general and asked him to hand the list over to the investigating commission looking into the economic debacle.   DISY MP Soteris Sampson also denied the allegations, saying he would make public his bank transactions as soon as they were provided by the bank.   Former agriculture minister Timis Efthymiou said his obligations to the Bank of Cyprus stemming from him being a shareholder in a company “have been met by paying off a loan within the framework of a legal settlement with the bank in 2008.” And so on. What the common theme here is that the very same Members of Parliament who were so vocal in rejecting the insured depositors' impairment just to save their skins from a public mutiny (but so quick to sacrifice the wealthier citizens and small and medium corporations to a haircut that may be as deposit large as 100%), did everything in their power to avoid a vote on the final bank "resolution" which effectively handed over the country's sovereignty into the hands of the Troika and its liquidators, but not before they themselves were among the key beneficiaries of the impairments on the banking system's asset side. It is these bad assets and impaired losses, as well as investing money in Greek bonds, and other worthless "assets", that ultimately ended up forcing the restructuring of the bank and the cram up of the liability side up to and including the unsecured loans known as deposits. Perhaps if the Cypriot public wants to find a scapegoat to its troubles, it should focus its anger not only at the Russian Oligarchs and the Troika, but to those who were most complicit in betraying the public's trust: the same politicians who were elected to protect their citizens and the country's constitution (flagrantly abused as per yesterday's revelations), including the very president of the nation. That is, of course, if the local apathetic population has not been zombified too much to even care about why billions in wealth was just confiscated from it. Because if that is indeed the case, they, and everyone else who just sits idly by and does nothing as the global banking syndicate appropriates ever more middle-class wealth, deserves everything coming their way.

05 марта 2013, 22:38

US proposes 'toughest sanctions yet' against North Korea

UN security council urged to pass resolution drafted by US and China that would target bank accounts of senior regime figuresThe UN security council is considering imposing some of the toughest sanctions yet conceived against North Korea as senior diplomats from the 15 council member nations began discussions on a draft resolution framed by the US and China that would seek to deflect Pyongyang from its belligerent nuclear path.Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said the draft sanctions resolution that she circulated to the security council was exceptional in its "breadth and scope". It would hit senior figures within the North Korean regime where it hurts them most – their pockets – by targeting for the first time illicit banking activities and movements of capital, she said.In a statement delivered to the security council, Rice said the sanctions would target the "illicit activities of North Korean diplomatic personnel, North Korean banking relationships, illicit transfers of bulk cash and new travel restrictions". She said the sanctions would "significantly impede North Korea's ability to develop further its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs … and demonstrate clearly to North Korea the continued costs of its provocations."Should the resolution be agreed, it would impose the fourth round of sanctions on the North Korean regime. It will now go before diplomatic and technical experts from the relevant security council member countries for detailed fine tuning, before being rushed to a vote as early as the end of this week.Rice said the proposals would ensure that "North Korea will be subject to some of the toughest sanctions imposed by the United Nations".Western diplomats are relatively confident about the passage of the sanctions through the security council because of Beijing's willingness to support it. China is the traditional ally and major trading partner of North Korea's, but it joined the US and other western powers in expressing its alarm and displeasure after the regime carried out its third test of a nuclear device on 12 February.The underground test was said by Pyongyang to be focused on the development of a "miniaturized" nuclear weapon that could be attached to missiles able to reach the US. Nuclear weapons experts, however, remain skeptical that North Korea has succeeded in achieving that capability.The leadership of Kim Jong-un has responded with trademark bluster to the threats of tightened sanctions. Hours before the UN security council convened, the regime threatened to nullify the armistice that has held between North and South Korea since 1953. The three-year Korean war has never technically ended, only suspended, and the threat to stop the truce has been a much-deployed – though not as yet followed-through – intimidation.On Tuesday, the supreme command of the Korean People's Army said it would carry out "surgical strikes" to reunify the peninsula, and made reference to a "precision nuclear striking tool".The regime's anger has been piqued not just by the impending sanctions but by the latest US military exercises with South Korea. The drills happen every year, prompting an annual ritual of recriminations and counter-recriminations.The new US secretary of state, John Kerry, delivered a direct message to Kim from Qatar. He emphasized that Washington's preference was "not to brandish threats to each other; it's to get to the table".He said it was "very easy for Kim Jong-un to prove his good intent here. Just don't fire the next missile, don't have the next test. Just say you're ready to talk."The hope within the security council is that by affecting the personal finances of senior members of the Kim regime, sanctions might dissuade them from pursuing the nuclear tests.North KoreaUS foreign policyUnited StatesChinaUnited NationsNuclear weaponsEd Pilkingtonguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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14 января 2013, 08:47

Study Suggests How Climate Damage Could Be Largely Avoided

* 20-65 pct of adverse climate impacts could be avoided * Emissions need to peak in 2016, fall by 5 pct/yr to 2050 By Nina Chestney LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. It found 20 to 65 percent of the adverse impacts by the end of this century could be avoided. "Our research clearly identifies the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions - less severe impacts on flooding and crops are two areas of particular benefit," said Nigel Arnell, director of the University of Reading's Walker Institute, which led the study. In 2010, governments agreed to curb emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C, but current emissions reduction targets are on track to lead to a temperature rise of 4 degrees or more by 2100. The World Bank has warned more extreme weather will become the "new normal" if global temperature rises by 4 degrees. Extreme heatwaves could devastate areas from the Middle East to the United States, while sea levels could rise by up to 91 cm (3 feet), flooding cities in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, the bank has said. The latest research involved scientists from British institutions including the University of Reading, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, as well as Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It examined a range of emissions-cut scenarios and their impact on factors including flooding, drought, water availability and crop productivity. The strictest scenario kept global temperature rise to 2 degrees C with emissions peaking in 2016 and declining by 5 percent a year to 2050. FLOODING Adverse effects such as declining crop productivity and exposure to river flooding could be reduced by 40 to 65 percent by 2100 if warming is limited to 2 degrees, the study said. Global average sea level rise could be reduced to 30cm (12 inches) by 2100, compared to 47-55cm (18-22 inches) if no action to cut emissions is taken, it said. Some adverse climate impacts could also be delayed by many decades. The global productivity of spring wheat could drop by 20 percent by the 2050s, but the fall in yield could be delayed until 2100 if strict emissions curbs were enforced. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions won't avoid the impacts of climate change altogether of course, but our research shows it will buy time to make things like buildings, transport systems and agriculture more resilient to climate change," Arnell said. About 190 nations are aiming to sign a deal by 2015 which will legally bind countries to make ambitious emissions cuts but it will not come into force until 2020. U.N. climate negotiations in Qatar in December ended with little progress on emissions cuts. "This research helps us quantify the benefits of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C and underlines why it's vital we stick with the U.N. climate change negotiations and secure a global legally binding deal by 2015," said Edward Davey, Britain's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The study can be viewed at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1793 (Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Pravin Char)

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14 января 2013, 08:47

Study Suggests How Climate Damage Could Be Largely Avoided

* 20-65 pct of adverse climate impacts could be avoided * Emissions need to peak in 2016, fall by 5 pct/yr to 2050 By Nina Chestney LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. It found 20 to 65 percent of the adverse impacts by the end of this century could be avoided. "Our research clearly identifies the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions - less severe impacts on flooding and crops are two areas of particular benefit," said Nigel Arnell, director of the University of Reading's Walker Institute, which led the study. In 2010, governments agreed to curb emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C, but current emissions reduction targets are on track to lead to a temperature rise of 4 degrees or more by 2100. The World Bank has warned more extreme weather will become the "new normal" if global temperature rises by 4 degrees. Extreme heatwaves could devastate areas from the Middle East to the United States, while sea levels could rise by up to 91 cm (3 feet), flooding cities in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, the bank has said. The latest research involved scientists from British institutions including the University of Reading, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, as well as Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It examined a range of emissions-cut scenarios and their impact on factors including flooding, drought, water availability and crop productivity. The strictest scenario kept global temperature rise to 2 degrees C with emissions peaking in 2016 and declining by 5 percent a year to 2050. FLOODING Adverse effects such as declining crop productivity and exposure to river flooding could be reduced by 40 to 65 percent by 2100 if warming is limited to 2 degrees, the study said. Global average sea level rise could be reduced to 30cm (12 inches) by 2100, compared to 47-55cm (18-22 inches) if no action to cut emissions is taken, it said. Some adverse climate impacts could also be delayed by many decades. The global productivity of spring wheat could drop by 20 percent by the 2050s, but the fall in yield could be delayed until 2100 if strict emissions curbs were enforced. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions won't avoid the impacts of climate change altogether of course, but our research shows it will buy time to make things like buildings, transport systems and agriculture more resilient to climate change," Arnell said. About 190 nations are aiming to sign a deal by 2015 which will legally bind countries to make ambitious emissions cuts but it will not come into force until 2020. U.N. climate negotiations in Qatar in December ended with little progress on emissions cuts. "This research helps us quantify the benefits of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C and underlines why it's vital we stick with the U.N. climate change negotiations and secure a global legally binding deal by 2015," said Edward Davey, Britain's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The study can be viewed at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1793 (Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Pravin Char)

23 октября 2012, 22:54

Qatari emir's visit to Gaza is a boost for Hamas

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes first Arab leader in years to visit the impoverished coastal Gaza stripSheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is used to basking in the limelight. But when the emir of Qatar arrived in Gaza on Tuesday – the first Arab leader in years to visit the impoverished coastal strip – he was hailed for breaking its siege, demonstrating his country's huge and growing influence in the Middle East.Palestinians rolled out the red carpet for the emir as his black Mercedes bumped along a rutted main road that he has promised to rebuild, past white and maroon Qatari flags, the song Thank You, Qatar playing endlessly on local radio and TV.Sheikh Hamad flew to Egypt and crossed the border into Gaza, a move billed as breaking the blockade in force since the Islamists of Hamas took power in 2007. It also underlined the ability of the tiny, fabulously rich Gulf state to punch above its weight internationally.He arrived with 90 tonnes of aid and pledged $400m (£250m) to invest in housing and infrastructure to replace property damaged in the 2008-09 war with Israel.Flanked by his wife, the elegant and high-profile Sheikha Mozah, he spoke to a large crowd at Gaza's Islamic University, the biggest event of a six-hour stay.The last head of state to visit the strip was King Abdullah of Jordan, who went there in 1999 for talks with then Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.Predictably, the brief royal visit was the top news item on al-Jazeera, the satellite TV channel owned by the emir's family and which has been an unabashed and influential cheerleader for the uprisings of the Arab spring from Tunisia to Syria.Qatar's ambitious move was a stunning boost for Hamas, shunned by Israel, the US and western countries as a terrorist organisation. Ismail Haniyeh, its deposed prime minister, called it a historic event that had broken the "unjust blockade"."The visit gives Hamas legitimacy in the Arab world and internationally," said Mkhaimar Abusada, an independent analyst at Gaza's al-Azhar university. It was further striking evidence that Qatar, whose per-capita income is now the highest in the world, is in effect using its enormous oil and gas riches and close ties to Islamist organisations to expand its regional influence in the wake of its involvement in the uprisings against Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad in Syria."The emir is confirming that Qatar is the principal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt and everywhere else," said Ahmed Asfahani, the respected al-Hayat newspaper columnist. "Qatar is using the Brotherhood to promote its own interests. It also shows that Qatar is trying to replace Iran as a major player on the Palestinian issue."Observers in the region also see the visit in part as a reward to Hamas for ending its support for Assad. Until a few months ago, the movement's exiled leadership was based in Damascus, helping bolster Syria's credentials as a key member of the "axis of resistance" confronting Israel, along with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.But its veteran leader, Khalid Mish'al, decamped to Doha. And Haniyeh came out in open support of the right of the Syrian people to oppose Assad.Mahmoud Abbas, the western-backed Palestinian president and leader of Fatah, had let it be known from his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah that he was furious about the visit, which plays into the hands of his bitterest rival. "Nobody's happy about it," said one Palestinian source. "It definitely makes a statement. And of course there is a track record of Arab regimes playing into intra-Palestinian politics."The PLO welcomed any help with reconstruction in Gaza, but called on "all Arab brethren to … use their leverage to ensure an end to the division and the policy of creating a separatist entity in the Gaza Strip, as [this] principally serves the Israeli agenda." There is also an unspoken fear of eroding the claim of Abbas's Palestinian Authority to be the sole representative of the Palestinians.Israel angrily condemned the Qatari visit as well. "We find it weird that the emir doesn't support all of the Palestinians but sides with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority [in the West Bank] which he has never visited," said its foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor. "The emir has chosen his camp and it is not good."In the background, it is possible to discern a new pattern of relations emerging in a political landscape transformed by the Arab spring in which a key player is the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.In the era of Hosni Mubarak, Qatar was often at loggerheads with Egypt, which, like many other Arab governments, hated al-Jazeera and saw it as a disruptive instrument of Qatari policy. Even now, Doha is being more radical than Cairo. Formally, Egypt considers Abbas as the representative of Palestinians and Gaza as under PA authority (or that the end state of Palestinian reconciliation should be a West Bank and Gaza united under PA control). The emir called publicly for efforts to promote reconciliation between the Palestinian rivals to confront Israel. "It will be interesting to see if Qatar is now going to play a more active role in mediating between Hamas and Fatah, or even Hamas and Israel," said Abusada.Doha has won admiration and irritation in equal measure in the Middle East and beyond. Uniquely, it maintains cordial, if low-key, relations with Israel as well as Iran, hated by other Gulf Arabs. It is also home to a large US air base. Its wealth speaks eloquently. In September, it announced plans to invest $18bn over five years in Egypt. Its aid also helped reconstruction in south Lebanon after the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. At that time, the emir worked closely with Assad, only to turn against him when the Syrian uprising began 19 months ago. In Libya last year, Qatar bankrolled the anti-Gaddafi rebels but channelled resources through Islamist brigades only to face criticism later that it was behaving in a manipulative manner. Now Qatar has become a key supporter of the armed Syrian opposition, amid growing concern in the west that the weapons it pays for are reaching jihadi-type groups rather than democratic forces.Among its other accomplishments, Qatar is to host the 2022 World Cup, having defeated bidders including the US and Japan. Following intense lobbying it also recently managed to join La Francophonie – the 57-member bloc of French-speaking nations – as an associate member. French is barely spoken in Qatar but it insists it is committed to promoting use of the language.GazaQatarPalestinian territoriesMiddle East and North AfricaIan BlackHarriet Sherwoodguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

28 сентября 2012, 20:04

Турецкий Denizbank перешел к Сбербанку

Франко-бельгийская группа Dexia объявила о закрытии сделки по продаже 99,85% акций турецкого банка Denizbank Сбербанку России. Базовая сумма сделки составила 2,79 млрд евро. Кроме того, Сбербанк до конца 2012г. доплатит Dexia сумму, равную величине, на которую выросла стоимость чистых активов Denizbank в период с 1 января по 28 сентября 2012г. В Dexia ожидают, что общие поступления от продажи турецкого подразделения составят 3,02 млрд евро, говорится в сообщении группы. О подписании соглашения с франко-бельгийской банковской группой Dexia глава Сбербанка Герман Греф сообщил в июне 2012г. Тогда предполагалось, что сделка будет закрыта в четвертом квартале 2012г. После покупки Denizbank доля "зарубежья" в общей прибыли Сбербанка должна вырасти до 7-8%, отметил Г.Греф. Сбербанк, рассматривающий покупку и создание дочерних банковских структур за рубежом не только как метод наращивания рыночной капитализации, но и как возможность получения доступа к новым банковским технологиям, заинтересовался турецким Denizbank осенью 2011г. Именно тогда впервые появилась информация, что банк подыскивает инвестконсультантов для переговоров с Dexia. На приобретение Denizbank в то время претендовали также британская группа HSBC и крупнейший банк стран Персидского залива - Qatar National Bank. Однако затем HSBC вышла из борьбы. Сбербанк же тем временем усилил свои позиции на Балканах, купив за 505 млн евро 100% акций австрийского Volksbank International AG, владеющего банковскими активами в Боснии и Герцеговине, Хорватии, Сербии, Словении и ряде других стран. По мнению экспертов, причиной, по которой владеющая Denizbank с 2006г. Dexia решилась с ним расстаться, стали значительные финансовые трудности франко-бельгийской банковской группы. В феврале 2012г. стало известно, что власти Бельгии и Франции договорились выступить гарантами по новой кредитной линии в размере 17 млрд евро бельгийско-французскому финансовому институту Dexia N.V./S.A., проблемный розничный бизнес которого (Dexia Bank Belgium) был ранее национализирован за 4 млрд евро (5,5 млрд долл.). До этого банк Dexia сообщил о чистом убытке по итогам 2011г. в размере 11,6 млрд евро. Denizbank является одним из крупнейших игроков на банковском рынке Турции и имеет здесь 588 отделений. Банку также принадлежат активы в Бахрейне, австрийский банк DenizBank A.G. и российский Denizbank Moscow. ОАО "Сбербанк России" - крупнейший банк в России, Центральной и Восточной Европе, на долю которого приходится около 30% активов российской банковской системы. Он насчитывает около 240 тыс. сотрудников. Учредителем и главным акционером Сбербанка является Центральный банк РФ, владеющий свыше 60% голосующих акций. Другими акционерами банка являются более 245 тыс. физических и юридических лиц. Банк имеет разветвленную филиальную сеть в России: 17 территориальных банков, около 20 тыс. отделений и внутренних структурных подразделений, а также дочерние банки в Казахстане, на Украине и в Белоруссии, филиал в Индии, представительства в Германии и Китае. Чистая прибыль ОАО "Сбербанк России" за 2011г. по международным стандартам финансовой отчетности выросла в 1,7 раза по сравнению с 2010г. и составила 315,9 млрд руб.

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11 сентября 2012, 12:00

Strengthening Awareness and Building Capacity Through the Deauville Action Plan on Asset Recovery

AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY: Leonard McCarthy, Integrity Vice President, The World Bank Group Arab Forum on Asset Recovery Doha, Qatar September 11, 2012   Your Excellencies, esteemed guests, and ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) initiative – and on behalf of the World Bank Group – it is a great pleasure to join in welcoming you to this important conference. And it is an honor to salute the foundation of the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery. It is significant that the word “justice” is central  in the logo for this Forum – symbolizing the moral, legal and social imperatives that inspire this event. Justice will not be complete until the funds looted by corrupted officials have been returned to the people to whom they rightfully belong. The title of our gathering, the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery, has more than symbolic significance. This must be an Arab Forum on the imperative of asset recovery. This is an opportunity for the countries of the Arab world to take ownership of this priority. Restoration of the wealth they truly own is a vital factor in restoring social cohesion among the countries of the Arab Spring In a strong signal of determination, the Arab world has committed itself to taking this mission forward. By following through, the Arab community will “raise the bar” for good governance in the countries where democracy is now taking root. The return of these stolen assets is – obviously – not an Arab-only issue. This Forum is the place for partnership and collective action – bringing together the G8, the Deauville Partners, and officials from throughout this region to coordinate our action-steps. This forum convenes at a critical moment: when public expectations are high, and when the thirst for justice is acute – but when the actual return of assets remains limited. Although we have made progress, the public has elevated expectations for quick and decisive action. The same social media that helped propel the Arab Spring are now monitoring the actions of the region’s new governments – and are watching what we do here this week. Some of today’s public expectations for speed may be hard to meet – yet the demand for accountability is surely legitimate. For countries in transition, managing public expectations will be difficult. No one knows better than they do that their public legitimacy is at stake as they seek to rectify historical abuses. Achieving results can be accomplished, because the legal and institutional frameworks that now exist are adequate to the task – even if they can be further strengthened. The key factor that is missing, however, is the technical capacity to use those frameworks as effectively as possible. In this context, the StAR initiative is honored to be one of the co-convenors of this conference. As a joint initiative of two global bodies – the World Bank and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime – we can deliver knowledge and guidance about worldwide best practices, uniting expertise in law enforcement, legal processes and judicial procedures. As you may know, StAR’s work is built atop three pillars:          advocacy;          partnerships to foster collective responsibility and promote action; and          technical support, to create channels for information-sharing, and to build capacity on asset recovery. StAR is ready to help you in the development of a coordinated strategy and operational steps – including improving domestic coordination; integrating and improving mutual legal assistance approaches; and providing training programs for practitioners. We can serve as a facilitator for governments, in all aspects of asset recovery. Through an active “quiet diplomacy,” StAR has been engaged with Arab countries in transition – including Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – in seeking the return of assets from various jurisdictions, most represented here today. What the Forum can ultimately deliver belongs first and foremost to all of you. Both the Deauville process and other international fora – not least the Conference of State Parties of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, convened in Marrakesh last year – have already provided clear roadmaps. Vital and necessary steps have already been taken. Still, we need to collectively change gears and to make concrete progress on international cooperation in pursuing ongoing cases. From the StAR perspective, allow me to add some ideas about the way forward. This Forum must be an opportunity to “raise the bar,” operationally. We need to ensure that – there will be the appropriate depth of dialogue among policymakers, criminal-justice practitioners and public advocates. The test will be the actual return of stolen assets. We hear assertions that the legal frameworks are now in place and that practitioners are actively mobilized. Results, however, are still limited. Western and regional financial centers should take a more pro-active approach. Taking a “wait and see” attitude is too passive, especially for countries that have adopted stronger anti-money-laundering laws. Take action on your own; open your own proceedings; pro-actively reach out to transition countries. Make sure that all the needed resources are mobilized to conduct your own investigations and to reply swiftly to requests for assistance. Of course, financial centers can only conduct successful proceedings if they receive evidence of the illegal origin of the assets. The transition countries requesting asset-tracing, seizure and recovery must be more pro-active in bringing evidence, seeking requests and closing the gap – linking specific assets to specific criminal behaviors. We often hear that mutual legal assistance processes are broken. This is an exaggeration.  Due process is, of course, critical.  But once the legal process has run its course, with all its safeguards met, stolen assets must be returned. Our experience is this: What is too often described as excessive bureaucratic delay is actually a reflection of a lack of mutual understanding – and a lack of effort by practitioners (on both sides) to engage their counterparts before filing requests for assistance. Such a full engagement will only happen if practitioners are strongly supported and encouraged in “going the extra mile”. We have a unique opportunity here this week. Policymakers and international institutions can reinvigorate the political will to achieve results. We can identify remaining barriers and begin to remove them. We can build trust and improved understanding among practitioners managing the cases. In practical terms:          We can examine where we all stand in using the international cooperation and confiscation frameworks – and we can be creative in how we use and improve them.           We can make sure that domestic coordination and exchange of information is effective – and we can identify the remaining gaps.          We can identify technical-assistance needs and address them in a coordinated fashion.          And we can discuss, bilaterally, actual international cooperation cases, to agree on priorities and action plans. Success in resolving cases and returning assets will define our success. As you prepare to take advantage of the resources that this conference brings together, StAR will mobilize all its expertise to support you, helping build trust among practitioners through quiet diplomacy. I am confident that this conference will honor the aspirations of the people who have fought so hard to win their freedom. . . and that the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery will fulfill the hopes of people everywhere who yearn to see that justice will be done. Thank you very much.

30 августа 2012, 22:36

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