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投行的快乐和苦恼

并非所有地方的投行环境都是那么令人生畏——至少在东方不是。汤姆森金融(Thomson Financial)称,今年到目前为止,亚太地区(日本除外)的交易规模比去年同期增长了40%。市场的复苏令证券交易业务大获其利。第三季度,在全球其它市场局面相当糟糕的情况下,花旗集团(Citigroup)在亚太地区赚取了11亿美元的净利润,仅略少于2002年全年的贡献。美国银行(Bank of America)持有的中国建设银行(CCB)股份在第三季度增值达42亿美元。虽然人们感觉不到,但这一收益在规模上要远远大于同一季度14.6亿美元的交易损失。

It’s not all grim in investment banking ? at least not out east. Asia Pacific ex-Japan deal sizes are up 40 per cent year-to-date, according to Thomson Financial. Resurgent markets are benefiting securities trading. In an otherwise ugly third quarter, Citigroup generated net earnings of $1.1bn in the region ? not far short of the entire 2002 contribution. Bank of America’s stake in China Construction Bank was worth an extra $4.2bn over the course of the third quarter. That dwarfs the $1.46bn of trading losses racked up in the same quarter, in magnitude if not perception.

即便在全球情况普遍不错的时候,亚洲业务的盈利表现也更胜一筹。以高盛(Goldman Sachs)为例,该银行去年的税前收益有28%来自亚洲,相比之下只有21%来自欧洲。这一增长部分源自中国规模巨大的私有化交易。不过,该行一些最大的客户也来自亚洲:国家支持的投资机构,如活跃在全球舞台上的新加坡政府投资公司(GIC)和淡马锡(Temasek)。亚洲中产阶级的崛起,意味着即使那些传统上专注于批发服务的银行也在增加人手。苏格兰皇家银行(Royal Bank of Scotland)计划,到2010年,其收入的10%来自亚洲。

Even when times are universally good, Asia punches above its weight in terms of profitability. Take Goldman Sachs, which last year derived 28 per cent of pre-tax earnings from Asia compared with just 21 per cent in Europe. Part of the growth is due to China’s mega-privatisations. But Asia is also home to some of the bank’s biggest-spending clients: state-backed investment agencies such as Singapore’s GIC and Temasek, which are active on the global stage. The emergence of Asian middle classes means even banks traditionally focused on wholesale services are beefing up. Royal Bank of Scotland is targeting 10 per cent of revenues from Asia by 2010.

越来越依赖亚洲并非没有风险——在1997至1998年的金融危机和随后的非典危机中见证了市场崩溃的人可以证实这一点。中国的股票发行更多的是选择在上海进行,而不是自由开放的香港——在上海,只有很少几家国际承销商和交易商得到了牌照。亚洲的政策制定者可以破坏有利可图的业务:例如,印度政府上周就宣布限制参与凭证(participatory note)的使用。但是,亚洲狂欢年的真正麻烦在于,奖金池是全球性的。亚洲的IPO从业人员已经开始抱怨,西方机构分得的蛋糕太大了。

A growing dependence on Asia is not without risks ? as those who watched markets flounder during the financial crisis of 1997-98 and the subsequent Sars virus could testify. More Chinese equity offerings are taking place in Shanghai, where only a handful of international underwriters and traders are licensed, rather than in free-for-all Hong Kong. Regional policy makers can pull the rug from under lucrative business lines, as seen last week when India restricted the use of participatory notes.

But the real downside to a cracking year in Asia is that bonus pools are global. Asian IPO toilers are starting to moanthat too big a share of the spoils ends up in pockets back west.


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