An ancient Indian proverb states that we can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust the sails. As such, the Indian life insurance industry has been doing just that: innovating and changing to remain both competitive and compliant
Life insurance has been a major growth frontier in India – with some re-adjustments – over the past 13 years. In 2000, the government instituted widespread reform of the sector in order to boost private sector participation after almost half a century...
Economic growth has increased prosperity in Colombia, but legislators are keen that employees begin putting money aside for the future. Miguel Largacha Martinez, CEO of leading pension fund manager Porvenir, spoke to World Finance about the importance of this growing industry
As Colombia develops into a leading and stable economy and its industries continue to boom, the country’s workforce will begin to enjoy the financial benefits that such growth entails. However, with the spoils of sustained financial growth comes the add...
An increasing number of Peruvians are living longer, and the South American country has been experiencing a phenomenal period of growth. With that in mind, the demand for pensions has affected new regulations
In Peru there have been many challenges in the pension sector, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis, but they have been overcome through a mixture of reform and forward planning. Renzo Ricci, CEO of the leading private pension fund administrat...
Chilean pension fund management company AFP Capital encourages voluntary pension savings, and focuses its advisory efforts on independent workers, young people and women
For most developed or developing countries’ pension systems, it is increasingly essential that certain problems are addressed – problems caused by increased life expectancies and aggravated by periods of non-contribution (due to temporary unemployment...
The Mario Negri Pension Fund was created in 1956 and is still successful today, which should give some indication of its willingness to adapt to the times
The Mario Negri Pension Fund was initially constituted in Italy in 1956, was legally recognised in 1957 and, in 1960, adopted its current name ‘Mario Negri’. The fund administers pensions to managers employed in the commercial, transportation and ship...
Workers in South Africa’s volatile mining industry have had a lot to complain about in recent years. Pension funds Sentinel and the Mine Employees Pension Fund show how workers in the industry can make sure their futures are financially secure
With much of South Africa’s economy depending on the country’s rich natural resources, the mining industry is the centrepiece of Africa’s most developed nation. The country is blessed in particular with large amounts of diamonds and gold, as well as...
The ongoing battle over the pension system in the Czech Republic has meant the responsibility of savings has now fallen out of the government’s hands
KB Pension Company (KBPC) is entirely owned by Komerční Banka, one of the largest banks on the Czech market and a member of the Société Générale group. With more than 570,000 participants, KBPC is among the most prominent pension companies in the Cz...
As life expectancy continues to rise throughout Germany, securing a stable pension scheme has never been more important than in today’s frequently changing financial markets
In Germany, members of the liberal professions – organised in associations such as physicians, dentists, veterinary surgeons, auditors and lawyers – are not insured under the statutory pension insurance scheme, but under pension schemes with their own...
Brazil’s public pension system is unsustainable and needs new reform. More and more companies are turning to voluntary funds for their employees. As Brazil’s oldest multi-sponsored pension fund, HSBC Fundos de Pensão leads the way
Brazil is home to one of the world’s most bloated public pensions systems. The country spends more than 13 percentage points of its GDP on pensions, and there are 35 pensioners for every 100 contributing workers. This is more than any G7 member except f...
Korean pension fund makes mark on international market; enjoys yields
The national pension fund administered by the National Pension Service is reported to be entering a phase of significant expansion. Much of the increase is expected to be in the overseas investments that are within the fund, with the goal of achieving bot...
While few countries’ pension funds remained unaffected, the US suffered the worst knock-on effects of all
US pension plans make up more than 60 percent of all pension assets worldwide. The crisis resulted in company pension funds becoming massively underfunded, forcing workers to reassess their retirement funding plans, often radically. While many people ce...
Pension funds dominate the globe’s financial markets as they continue to shape industrial security, community progress and the nations’ wealth. World Finance recognises those funds sustaining great achievements in the magazine’s Global Pension Funds Awards, 2012
Canadian pension funds have been hitting the news aplenty with their recent growth in size and strength. They have emerged from the 2008/09 economic crisis as some of the largest players on the global stage, second in size only to sovereign wealth funds. ...
PKO BP Bankowy PTE is one of the major pension funds success stories in Poland, redefining quality services to pension fund management
PKO BP Bankowy Powszechne Towarzystwo Emerytalne (PKO BP Bankowy PTE) runs the pension fund PKO BP Bankowy OFE within the PKO Bank Polski Capital Group. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of PKO Bank Polski, which is one of the most seasoned participants o...
A growing fund, PBZ Croatia osiguranje is displaying authority in pension assets
World Finance speaks with Dubravko Stima, President of the PBZ Croatia osiguranje management board What defines PBZ Croatia osiguranje’s pension fund? PBZ Croatia osiguranje d.d. was founded in 2001 as a compulsory pension fund management company...
In the face of high volatility, AFP has adapted to the unfavourable market conditions between 2008 and 2011
In 1981, Chile created its privatised compulsory individual pension system. In that same year, AFP Habitat initiated operations with the goal of achieving the best investment returns on the pension contributions accumulated by its clients during their act...
European countries are scrambling to raise every last penny of funds through taxes. But some countries may have gone too far...
Though all business taxes in Belgium can be paid online with little effort and preparation, the rates are still sky-high at 57.7 percent, including a staggering 50.8 percent total rate on profits only in social security contributions.
In Belarus, a company spends up to 338 hours annually preparing for and paying ten different taxes and duties. The total tax rate has incredibly been lowered to 60.7 percent, from 117.5 percent in 2008.
A company in France pays seven different taxes and duties, the sum of which can amount to 65.7 percent of profits; though President François Hollande has announced a wave of business tax rate cuts coming up.
A business in Estonia pays 67.3 percent of profits in tax, 37.2 percent exclusively in social security contributions. The country has gone against the grain in Europe by raising businesses taxes from 48.6 percent in 2008 to the current rates.
While corporate income tax (IRES) in Italy is limited to 38 percent of taxable profit, a company operating in Italy can expect to pay 14 other taxes and duties, including social security contributions, bringing their total payable tax to 68.7 percent of profits, according to the World Bank.
Norway taxes motor fuels twice, with a road use tax and a CO2 emissions tax. Combined with strikes in the energy sector that have curbed output, the price of gas at a local pump has soared to $10.12 per gallon.
Though Turkey sits on the Suez Canal and neighbours many oil rich countries, the price of a gallon of average gas clocks in at $9.41 in Turkish pumps, because of a 60 percent share of taxes.
Like Turkey, Israel is surrounded by oil-rich neighbours, but drills very little itself. Gas prices are controlled by the government, so about half of the $9.28 per gallon goes to taxes.
There are few gas stations in Hong Kong, but the ones available charge up to 76 percent more per gallon than mainland China, where the government caps the cost of fuel. A gallon at the pumps will cost around $8.61 on the island.
Expensive labour costs make the Dutch petrol prices the dearest in Europe, at $8.26 per gallon; though the 57 percent tax add-ons don’t help.
8 February 2007
HSBC warns of subprime mortgage losses
2 April 2007
New Century goes bus
14 September 2007
Wholesale markets have dried up
17 March 2008
Rescue of Bear Stearns
7 September 2008
Rescue of Fannie Mae
15 September 2008
Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy
3 October 2008
US congress approves $700bn bailout
14 February 2009
$787bn stimulus approved by congress
The effects of the current financial crisis are global and irrefutable. With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the domino effect of irresponsible public monetary policies, huge levels of unsustainable debt, and a deregulated financial sector, has escalated to the point where no corner of the globe has been left untouched.
Syria and Egypt launch an attack on Israel on Yom Kippur and set off a twenty day war;
US President Carter creates Department of Energy, which develops the US strategic petroleum reserve
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used their oil reserves as a weapon with the Arab Oil Embargo against those who supported Israel. By January 1974, world oil prices were four times higher than they were at the start of the crisis, especially in the US, and the shock led to a huge drop in the stock market with NYSE losing $97bn in just six weeks. The embargo lasted five months, and the effects are still seen today.
1923 – 1924
The trouble began when Germany missed a repatriation payment, worth about one third of the German deficit in this period. Inflation was already high but by 1923 it was raging. Prices doubled within hours, and by late 1923, it cost 200bn marks to buy a single loaf of bread. People burned money as it was cheaper than buying firewood. Germany eventually regained control of its economy when it introduced the Rentenmark into circulation in 1923, and then the Reichmark in 1924.
The Great Crash
Recovery and Recession
After the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, the 1930s saw the biggest economic slump of all time. The stock market crashed on 29 October 1929, and optimism and decadent living tumbled along with the figures. The GDP fell from $103.6bn in 1929, to $66bn in 1934 and the subsequent years of recovery were the most dramatic in US history.
Otto Heinze and his brother Augustus Heinze bought shares of United Copper.
The stock market was already cautious over the tight money supply, but the US was thrown into a depression after the stock market fell nearly 50 percent from its peak in 1906. The Heinze brothers thought they could influence market shares but ended up bankrupting lenders that provided the financing to buy the stock. A chain reaction left nine institutions bankrupt. By February 1908, the panic was over and the government created the Federal Reserve system, to prevent banks from exercising too much control over the economy.