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Germany Monitor

In the "Germany Monitor" series we address political and structural issues which have great significance for Germany. These include commentaries on elections and political decisions, as well as technology and industry issues, and macro-economic topics which go beyond the business cycle matters addressed in "Focus Germany".

96 (71-80)
June 14, 2013
ASEAN, a bloc of 10 nations with an aggregate economic size of USD 2.3 tr, is preparing to go through profound changes. Already today, ASEAN is the 3rd pillar of growth in Asia in addition to China and India, with average GDP growth over the past 15 years at around 6% p.a. The region’s prospects will be much enhanced by an ambitious integration effort which seeks to achieve a single market and production base. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)'s envisaged launch at the end of 2015 will be a potential game changer for ASEAN. [more]
71
June 10, 2013
This study reviews how Japanese banks have responded to the adverse macroeconomic environment during the past ten to twenty years. The experience of Japanese banks provides some valuable insights into the effect of a prolonged phase of low interest rates on bank balance sheets and profitability. Banks have adapted both the cost and income drivers of their business. Profitability and efficiency gains have been limited though. While Japanese banks have reduced their bad loan problem, they have also become increasingly exposed to their home sovereign. [more]
72
May 10, 2013
Region:
Demographic change has come far as an issue for medium-sized businesses. When it comes to the necessary investments, for example in further training, large family businesses are more advanced than small and medium-sized enterprises. Even though there is no threat of a general deficit in candidates for succession in the foreseeable future, succession arrangements need to be prioritised in many businesses as the number of companies ready for transfer is set to rise. Regardless of whether family succession or an external solution is chosen, transfers are often associated with significant risks. The economic and financial position of the company, the market environment and financial conditions play just as much a role as the motivation, interests and values of those involved. Given the complexity of the transfer and its huge importance in the company's history, experts recommend transfer management in which all the necessary steps are planned and implemented at an early stage. [more]
73
May 3, 2013
With banks searching for sources of income and growth and the relationship of trust with their customers being redefined, pricing is a key issue in retail banking. Price-setting calculations for retail financial products can be quite complex and one crucial factor for success is the capacity to identify and collate all necessary information to take sound decisions on this basis. While the range of analytical options has grown considerably in recent years, the challenge banks are facing is to use them intelligently to develop client-oriented offers. To complement their pricing, banks also need convincing strategies to communicate the prices and value-propositions of their products. [more]
74
January 25, 2013
In this study, we analyse some of the political and economic consequences of the Arab Spring and assess opportunities and challenges for the affected countries. Political instability has taken a toll on the region’s economies. There has been a sharp slowdown in economic activity, deteriorating external and fiscal accounts and decreasing FX reserves. The long-term challenges for the region remain as pressing as ever: high unemployment (especially among the youth), inefficient subsidy regimes and low trade diversification, among others. Expectations for rapid improvement after the Arab Spring will be disappointed, but there is a chance that less oppressive governments will be more responsive to their peoples’ demands and thus at least attempt to tackle those problems. [more]
75
January 16, 2013
Region:
Analyst:
Electrical equipment in the health sector is an important factor for macroeconomic development worldwide. Modern electromedicine boosts the efficiency of healthcare processes, improves the health of the general population, reduces the time spent by patients in hospital and cuts the cost of care. High-quality products should enable the German electromedicine sector to maintain its world market-leading position – despite growing price competition. Accordingly, we expect real sales growth of 5% yoy in both 2012 and 2013. [more]
76
January 16, 2013
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code comprise an important broadening of the international reach of the U.S. tax system. This law is aimed at countering tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents who receive earnings from assets held offshore. Currently a growing number of Intergovernmental Agreements between the United States and partner countries are being negotiated to overcome the conflict of laws issues raised by the application of FATCA as well as to simplify implementation and reduce compliance costs. [more]
77
January 7, 2013
Region:
We are going through a period of structural change – including when it comes to knowledge as a resource. The emerging knowledge economy is gaining ground around the globe. Read on to discover how much (more) knowledge is being produced, what trends are evident in relation to investment in knowledge, how money is made from knowledge, what are the products of the knowledge economy, and who are the main players in this knowledge revolution and knowledge economy. You will also find out what opportunities the emerging knowledge economy offers for companies and regions. [more]
78
January 4, 2013
Region:
National elections will be held in Germany in the autumn of 2013. The election campaign will be shaped, above all, by personality issues, second by the stance towards the euro crisis, and third by some modest domestic social policy issues. Steinbrück receives good ratings for tax issues and leads over Merkel on social issues but Chancellor Merkel benefits from a solid economy and her stance on euro politics, reflected in her high popularity. Steinbrück and the Greens are outspoken on stricter banking regulation and a separation of investment banking from commercial banking. Merkel and her coalition have kept a low profile on this issue so far but the banks will remain under scrutiny. [more]
79
December 20, 2012
Region:
The rise of mobile and online payments opens up new opportunities, but of course also presents new risks for financial services providers. A lot of attention is currently paid to the (walled garden) strategies of new competitors such as Google, Apple or PayPal. They are increasingly putting out their feelers in segments outside of their own territory, e.g. the market for (mobile) payments. Those financial services providers who do not modernise their upstream and downstream value chains or subject them to the transformation process required for the digital network architecture could suffer painful losses over the medium term. Our paper draws four scenarios on how the market share of banks might develop in about three to five years’ time, with a particular focus on the European market. [more]
80
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