International

KPMG Chief Calls for Global Awareness

Stephen Butler, chairman of KPMG Interntational, stressed the need for the accounting world to think more broadly in terms of doing business internationally and thinking of invisible borders outside of the United States.The message was given on before the International Relations Council in Kansas City, MO.

Global Accounting Association Opens Doors To China

The Affiliated Conference of Practicing Accountants (ACPA) International, an association of individual accounting and business consulting firms, announces that a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding between ACPA International and the Shaanxi Institute of CPAs has officially been signed and marks the first formal agreement between the Shaanxi Institute and any group of accounting firms from the outside world. The memo represents more than 100 firms of all sizes in China and over 80 ACPA member firms from around the world.

Accounting Conference to be Held in London

Interested in taking a trip to London? Now is your chance if you attend the upcoming international accounting conference sponsored by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers. This high-level conference will focus on the latest developments in U.S., SEC, European and international accounting issues. The event will be held Nov.

Results of Global Session Provide Direction

The first session of a new meeting series to improve international financial disclosure was held last month. The session, “Towards Greater Financial Disclosure,” united business leaders, academia, regulators, government officials, accounting industry experts and financial institutions from Asia, Europe and North America.
Technology

PWC Survey Reveals E-Commerce is key to Economic Growth in Asia Pacific

Small- and medium-sized companies' use of electronic commerce is key to economic growth in Asia Pacific, according to the results an international survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Visa International Reorganizes

Visa International promises a kinder, gentler service attitude for banks. This comes after the large corporate giant was blasted for not giving bank owners “autonomy.” Visa reorganizes this month to better serve clients.Citigroup Inc. sent a strong message earlier this year to the credit card company. The number one financial services company pulled business away from Visa and sent it packing to MasterCard. The reason?

Overseas Investments Reach New Heights

According to the United Nations, companies in the United States are investing more of their money overseas in amounts totaling more than $640 billion this past year. The U.N. expects investments to go even higher this year.The reason for the surge is due, in part, to an increase in U.S. mergers and acquisitions, as well as developing relationships with countries who need an influx of cash.Among Asian countries, China was the most popular investment source, reaping approximately $45.5 billion last year. However, Russia experienced a decrease in investments by 60 percent.

KPMG Unveils Compensation Survey For Canada

KPMG LLP Canada will disclose the results of its annual nation-wide Salary Survey and TSE 300 Compensation Survey tomorrow at a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning in Toronto. The survey looks at trends across many industries in Canada and breaks compensation information down by job, geographic region, and company revenue.According to the survey, salaries are higher than predicted a year ago, in most areas, with the highest salary increases occurring in the professional and business services.

Thailand Banking System Could Take Two More Years to Stabilize

It could take at least two more years for Thailand to stabilize its unsteady banking system according to a senior U.S. bank official. Thai banks have reported one of the highest, non-performing loan rates at 47 percent in the region. However, this rate is expected to decrease below 30 percent during the next year as a result of write-offs and restructuring. The devaluation of the baht currency in July 1997 and the economic crisis in Asia that followed were the contributing factors that led Thailand's banking system into its current state of weakness.

Swiss Bank Strengthens its Position as World's Largest Asset Manager

Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) has made a move to strengthen its position as the world's largest asset manager by agreeing to acquire independent money manager Global Asset Management (GAM). Reports indicate USB will purchase GAM for as much as $675 million.

WORLDWIDE MEETING SERIES LAUNCHED TODAY

Today, at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, the first session of a new meeting series to improve international financial disclosure will be held.

Strong Global Economy Moves Bank of England to Raise Rates

Strong economic conditions and global demand were cited as key factors in the Bank of England's decision to raise Britain's short-term interest rate on Wednesday. The Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised Britain's short-term rate by 0.25 percent, moving it from 5.00 to 5.25 percent.The nine member MPC is said to have based their decision on rising retail sales, continued housing price increases and favorable labor market conditions. Various independent surveys reviewed by the committee reported marked increases in economic confidence measures.

Russian Bank Under Investigation By The IMF

The Russian central bank received its first $640 million loan installment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but will the bank receive future installments on the $4.5 billion loan?It depends on what the IMF and PricewaterhouseCoopers uncover in their joint investigation of the bank. The investigation coincides with allegations that Russians may have illegally diverted up to $10 billion through the Bank of New York.
Technology

Regions Outside of the U.S. Have Greatest E-Commerce Potential

Regions located outside of the United States have the greatest potential for e-commerce growth according to research conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC). The IDC Report revealed that nearly 60 percent of the world’s online audience is located outside of the United States, with this group expected to generate almost 46 percent of global Internet spending by 2003.IDC’s research showed that e-commerce is strong in Western Europe where the adoption of the Euro is said to be increasing Internet sales.
A&A

European Banks Offering Online Services Nearly Doubles

European financial institutions are turning to the low-cost alternative of Web-based accounts to gain market share.A report on deregulation and restructuring in the region revealed the number of European online banking sites nearly doubled in the last six months, climbing to 1,265 from 703. By way of comparison, the number of U.S.

Japanese Banks Announce Alliance

Share prices soared on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday after three Japanese banks announced an alliance that would create the world's largest banking group.

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