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11.10.2011
Private Equity: Opportunities in turbulent times
Abstract: The first half of 2011 was marked by a sense of optimism in the private equity industry – especially in Germany. This confidence was borne of the strong performance of the corporate sector to date, the increasing availability of borrowing, and the cash flows earned from successful exits. However, the plunge in share prices since the beginning of August triggered a more sceptical assessment of general growth prospects. The fragile state of the economy will hit portfolio companies’ profits and make lucrative exits more difficult. However, this situation also presents opportunities. Private equity funds that are launched in economically challenging times usually generate the highest rates of return.
Topics: Banking; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic policy; Emerging markets; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; IMF / World Bank; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Real econ. trends; SMEs; Technology and innovation
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22.09.2011
Solvency II and Basel III: Reciprocal effects should not be ignored
Abstract: The new capital and liquidity rules for banks (Basel III) and the new capital requirements for insurance companies (Solvency II) are set to be introduced in January 2013. Since insurers are major institutional investors – in bank bonds, among other things – there may well be some reciprocal effects between these two sets of regulations when they are implemented. As a principle, Solvency II gives preferential treatment to bonds with good credit ratings and short maturities. The new Basel III liquidity requirements oblige banks to place their funding on a more stable, long-term footing. As a consequence, these institutions will have to issue more – and different – long-term bonds. At first glance, this appears to be diametrically opposed to the incentives that Solvency II creates for insurance companies. A closer look at the main types of investors in bank bonds and the various incentives that will affect the investment decisions made by insurers however reveals that there will be changes in asset allocation, but the disintegration of a whole investor base is not expected. Nonetheless, the precise nature of the reciprocal effects between Basel III and Solvency II should be examined before these rules are finally adopted.
Topics: Banking; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Supervision and regulation
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16.09.2011
China – Not really a white knight for the eurozone
Abstract: Recent media reports put a lot of emphasis on the role China could play in assisting to resolve the eurozone debt crisis. In our view, however, hopes pinned on China might be overdone. The amount needed when looking at estimated refinancing needs for 2012 is huge, amounting to EUR 730 bn for the GIIPS countries. Even if China were willing to increase its investments in euro assets a realistic number would be around EUR 150 bn for 2012. Risk aversion coupled with potentially hostile domestic public opinion make substantially increased – and unconditional – Chinese investment in the eurozone unlikely in the near term.
Topics: Asia; Emerging markets; EMU; Global financial markets
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16.09.2011
'I'm an Austrian in economics'
Abstract: Modern macro- and financial economics are based on the belief that economic agents always hold rational expectations and that markets are always efficient, in other words, that the earth is flat. We now find out that this is not true. There are elements of irrationality and inefficiencies in the behavior of people and markets. Therefore we need to dump the flat-earth theories promising that economic and financial outcomes can be planned with a high degree of certainty and need to look at other theories that accept the limits of our knowledge about the future. A revival of Austrian economics could be a good start for such a research programme.
Topics: Business cycle; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic growth; Economic policy; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation
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12.09.2011
CMBS: Refinancing risks have not become smaller
Abstract: One of the factors cited as having triggered the economic crisis is the housing market bubbles in the United States and Europe. However, one factor frequently overlooked is that many commercial real estate markets had also shown signs of overheating before the crisis: the office and retail property markets had witnessed a largely debt-financed investment boom up to 2007 – similar to the housing markets. The trend is now about to boomerang, for numerous portfolios are currently up for refinancing. It is not going to be an easy job – neither in Europe nor in the US.
Topics: Capital markets; Commercial real estate; Global financial markets; International financial system; Supervision and regulation
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07.09.2011
Emerging markets banks: Strong growth potential
Abstract: Emerging market economies are not only gaining in importance in the real economy, but the strong economic catch-up is mirrored in the banking sector. The fact that nine of the world’s 30 largest banks by market capitalisation are located in EMs highlights the shifting balance in global banking markets. Our simple forecast model shows that over the next five years private sector credit is expected to expand by 12% per year on average (in nominal terms), with Russia, Korea, Argentina, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, the Czech Republic, Romania, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia expanding at an above-average speed.
Topics: Africa; Asia; Banking; Capital markets; Eastern Europe; Economic growth; Emerging markets; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; LatAm; Macroeconomics; Middle East
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25.08.2011
Stabilising PMI in China?
Topics: Asia; Business cycle; Emerging markets; Global financial markets; Macroeconomics
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18.08.2011
Slower growth in China: How much of a drag on the global economy?
Abstract: China’s expected growth slowdown - from 10.3% yoy in 2010 to 8,9% this year and 8.3% in 2012 - will impact the global economy in a number of ways: Chinese demand for G3 exports will likely slow to an average of 15% in 2011 and to 7% in 2012. Adding indirect effects like slowing investment, rising unemployment and weaker consumption suggest that Japan and Germany would be hit harder than the US. Furthermore, growth in commodity prices would slow to 6-8% in 2011-12. Reduced inflationary pressures in both DM and EM economies would be a clear benefit, but global stock markets would be vulnerable to lower Chinese growth given that commodity-linked companies account for 20% of the MSCI-World index and around one third of the index is accounted for by companies which derive substantial revenues from China.
Topics: Asia; Economic growth; Emerging markets; Exchange rates; Global financial markets; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities
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17.08.2011
Australian Carbon Scheme
Abstract: Australia is one of the biggest carbon emitters per person. However, releasing carbon into the atmosphere is free in Australia at the moment. Undoubtedly, putting a price on carbon emissions is thus the right thing to do. Australia is proposing a hybrid carbon price, starting with an interim fixed price before switching to an emissions trading scheme. Using a transitional carbon tax can be reasonable as a tax is easy to implement and might help liable entities to warm to the idea of a carbon price. However, transition to a more sophisticated and efficient trading scheme should be guaranteed.
Topics: Environmental protection; Global financial markets; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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12.08.2011
Bank funding of residential mortgages in the EU
Abstract: The development of bank funding before and during the crisis has highlighted its importance for financial intermediation and credit provision in an economy. Given its importance for banks and households, mortgage finance is of particular importance here, not least with an eye to financial stability issues. This paper provides an overview of banks’ funding of residential mortgages in Europe, taking a close look at the structure of funding instruments and their potential effects on financial stability.
Topics: Banking; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic policy; European issues; European policy issues; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Real estate; Residential real estate
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