“JAM yesterday, jam tomorrow, but no jam today.” That was a shareholder’s complaint at the recent results presentation of Investec, a specialist bank that was founded in South Africa and now operates globally. The lament is a familiar one to investors in many of Africa’s fastest-growing banks. The region’s lenders are promising spectacular returns

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ASKED in 2007 why his bank kept making risky loans even as markets looked bubbly, Chuck Prince, then head of Citigroup, said that “as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance.” The same beat that beguiled Mr Prince then (he was turfed out months later when the music abruptly stopped) threatens to trap private equity now.

The

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Investors looking for Spanish property will be pleased to see that tourism in the country is experiencing a boost from Russia. The Agence France Presse reported that the Eastern Europeans are heading to Spain in their droves, drawn by the sandy beaches, hot climate, history and culture the country can offer.

Roman Gavrilenko, a 26-year-old...

IF THE financial markets had cast all the votes, Mario Monti, Italy’s outgoing prime minister, would have romped to victory in this week’s general election. Instead ordinary Italians ranked him fourth, a long way behind a party run by a comedian, Beppe Grillo.

The relationship between markets and democracies is an uneasy one. Voters resent the idea

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Still on the podium

LEAVING the stage is not always easy for Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). At the Boao Forum (a pow-wow for the powerful) last year, journalists mobbed the platform after he spoke, anxious to catch any titbit that might fall from his lips. One reporter even fell off the stage in

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It is hoped the Estonian property market will have a change of fortune in the future, after plans to create a mortgage bond market in the country were revealed. Bloomberg reported that the local unit of Stockholm-based Swedbank AB made the proposals to reduce borrowing costs and revive capital markets. While an official decision has yet to be...
Flare apparent

THE shale gas billowing out of American soil is a source of concern as well as cheap energy. Environmentalists worry that fracking, the technique for dislodging gas from shale beds, may pollute the air and local water supplies. The glut of natural gas has a less likely set of victims, too. Instead of banking handsome profits, many of

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Fractional ownership is growing in popularity and is being heralded as one way to help revive the Italian property market. The Global Property Guide reported that more and more people are looking to move to the Mediterranean country, especially in retirement, but with the financial crisis meaning many are unable to raise the money for a deposit,...

Spanish bad bank Sareb has reduced its number of "doubtful" property loans on its balance sheet to just 10.4 per cent. Spain's central bank revealed that the bank was able to cut its balance-sheet liabilities because 'group one' institutions - BFA-Bankia, Catalunya Banc, Nova Caixa Galicia Bank-Banco Gallego and Banco de Valencia -...

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