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QFinance
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QFINANCE is a unique collaboration of more than 300 of the world’s leading practitioners and visionaries in finance and financial management, covering key aspects of finance including risk and cash-flow management, operations, macro issues, regulation, auditing, and raising capital.

Russia’s Privatisation Drive: Roadblocks Ahead?

Date: 13 May 2013

On paper, Russian President Vladimir Putin is fully committed to the privatisation of state assets. In May last year, he signed a decree calling for the sale of all state holdings in firms – outside of the defence and energy industries – by 2016. But since then, the pace of Russian privatisation has been languid at best. Part of the problem has been opposition from avowed statists, who count a close ally and adviser to Putin among their ranks.

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A Major Rethink For Japan’s Age-Old Problem?

Date: 25 April 2013

Since 2000, Japan has managed to offset its shrinking labour force with increased worker productivity – at a rate higher than most other advanced economies. But, Japan’s productivity gains are soon reaching its limits and the nation must once again find new solutions to maintain economic progress amidst the world’s fastest aging population.

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Hugo Chavez’s Legacy: A Socialist Economy In Disrepair

Date: 14 March 2013

When examining the Venezuelan economy, there is no doubt that the poor did rather better under Chavez's regime than they had done under, what Chavez termed, "the rotten elites" that had ruled the country in the two decades prior. However, Chavez’s legacy, to any economically literate person, is to have bequeathed Venezuelans an economy that could hardly be in more of a mess. 

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Asian Sovereign Bonds: The New ‘Safe Havens’?

Date: 18 February 2013

As U.S. and European markets continue to sputter amid the global economic uncertainty, emerging market bonds in Asia have been quietly gaining favour as alternative safe havens – with relatively strong security, yet attractive yields. Experts however are worried whether a massive surge of money may end in a crash; though, for the moment at least, Asian sovereign bonds are showing surprising resilience.

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Global Warming: The Greatest Threat To Arab Economies?

Date: 18 January 2013

The World Bank has produced a massive 450 page report on the potentially devastating impact climate change is likely to have on Arab countries. This matters to everyone and not just from the standpoint that we should all empathize with and seek to relief suffering. The harsher the conditions get, the more restive and radical the populations of Arab states are likely to become, with hugely destabilizing consequences for all of us.

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The Mystery Of Apple’s Crashing Stock Price

Date: 13 December 2012

Since reaching an all-time high of $705 during trading on September 21, Apple Inc’s stock price fell to  $529 on December 10 before recovering to $539 on December 12. Are Apple’s shares really sliding towards a ‘Death Cross’, as some analysts have claimed, or is there a pragmatic explanation behind the drop in stock price of the world’s most valuable company?

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Is BP Playing Russian Roulette For Arctic Oil?

Date: 30 November 2012

BP’s quest to drill for oil in Russia’s arctic region has thus far been a roller coaster ride of corporate cobwebs and political power plays. Yet despite facing incredible difficulties in pursuing Russian ventures, BP is clearly convinced that the stakes are high enough and the likely returns strong enough to make the hassle worthwhile.

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The Rise of the Asian Financial Powerhouse

Date: 13 November 2012

Asia, as a whole, has witnessed tremendous growth in the past decades and city-states such as Hong Kong and Singapore have since joined the ranks of advanced economies. Asian giants are not only home to the largest number of millionaires in the world; Asian millionaires are also becoming increasingly wealthier. With US and European economics stuck in doldrums, could it be Asia’s turn to shine now? 

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Bernanke’s Great Deception: Is The Federal Reserve Waging A War On Savers & Pensioners?

Date: 8 November 2012

The Federal Reserve’s strategy of holding interest rates near zero to spur the economy has had its share of critics – especially since it caused a massive transfer of wealth from savers to spenders, while many middle class pensioners, who were relying on fixed interest returns, have been forced out of "safe" investments and into riskier investments. Yet, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is now attempting to redefine what we mean by “savings”, so as to continue dishing out ultra-low interest rates, while savers are made to suffer. 

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Australia’s Resource Boom: From Blessing To Curse

Date: 30 October 2012

Over the last decade, the Australian economy has experienced a boom on the back of the rise of Asia – with Chinese demand for Australian commodities in particular spurring economic growth. Yet, with emerging market growth in Asia having now slowed down, Australia’s abundance of resources is transforming from being a blessing to a curse. 

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Making Sense of China’s Mixed Signals

Date: 17 October 2012

The Chinese economy is no longer blistering hot but it has been sending out mixed signals about its state of health. From deteriorating manufacturing output and falling prices to unexpected rebounds the following month, how can we make sense of Chinese contradicting economic reports?

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London: Backseat Or Centre-Stage Role In RMB Internationalisation?

Date: 20 September 2012

China is already the world’s second largest economy but its currency, the renminbi, is barely traded internationally. Unlike reserve currencies such as the US dollar, and despite China's emerging position as a global economic powerhouse, the Chinese currency is hardly used in international trade and scarcely held by foreigners. This is gradually changing but the City of London is probably being optimistic if it thinks it can grab a significant portion of that trade.

 

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How New Regulations Are Forcing Hedge Funds To ‘Open Their Kimonos’

Date: 11 September 2012

For the first time ever last month, U.S. hedge funds, with assets of more than $5 billion, were forced to complete a 42-page Form PF providing details of methodologies, the sort of assets they hold, the sort of assets they are short-selling and details of their equity investors and borrowings; And while hedge fund managers have complained that trading and strategic secrets may be leaked to rival firms, the new regulations also cast a new light on what was a highly-secretive, and influential, industry.

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Britain’s Massive Pension Debt: An Impossible Dilemma For The Government?

Date: 28 August 2012

By 2040, the U.K.’s debt-to-GDP ratio is likely to reach over 400 percent if the government chooses to continue on its present path. But even as the present government attempts to scale back on a number of welfare benefits – particularly pension benefits – to reduce its debt, public opposition means that they must seek other alternatives; and try to strike a balance between the nation’s debt and public welfare.

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Is France’s Socialist Fairytale Unravelling?

Date: 10 August 2012

French President François Hollande may have achieved a remarkable series of political victories – at home and in Europe – since his election in May, but his pre-election promises are now threatening to destroy Europe’s second-largest economy. Under Hollande, France is now headed for a 400 percent debt to GDP ratio; and even if it were somehow, incredibly, manages to reverse course and embrace the most stringent austerity, it would still hit 200 percent debt to GDP by 2040.

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Who Watches The Financial Watchdogs In The UK?

Date: 25 June 2012

The recent appointment of John Griffith-Jones, the senior partner of KPMG, as chairman-designate of the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. is troubling. Rather than properly investigating the causes of the banking and financial crisis, dealing with the culprits, and instituting fundamental reforms, the U.K. government’s appears set to just bury the truth and paper over the cracks in the hope of a recovery.

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The Bane Of Spain: How The Property Market ‘Broke’ The Economy

Date: 1 June 2012

The crisis growing within Spanish banks at the moment appear to have its roots in the country’s property market. Some 80 billion euros worth of loans by Spanish banks to the country's broken construction and real estate sectors are now considered near worthless – being at serious risk of default – while  the drying up of credit also means that fewer people are able to afford homes.

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What the West Can Learn From Islamic Banking

Date: 16 May 2012

Across the Middle East and South-East Asia, Islamic financial institutions hold aggregated assets estimated to be worth $50 billion. To some, this cash-rich sector represents a huge opportunity for growth and investment. But perhaps, what Islamic banks can really offer is a set of guiding principles that can enhance financial stability, four years after the crisis. 

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Silver Lining In The Greek Tragedy

Date: 11 May 2012

Greece may not be the basket case that the rest of Europe seems to believe it is. Against the bleak picture commonly propagated by the media, the Greek state actually possesses numerous positive factors in its economy, including: a massive amount of real estate, and huge savings that can be generated simply by shrinking its public sector.

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