INVESTMENT BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: US investment banks trample European peers in market share; Standard Chartered to cut $700m in costs

And banks in Zimbabwe have started trading new currency.

From Bloomberg: U.S. banks trampled over their European rivals in 2018, gaining ground and holding five of the top six spots in rankings for both markets. Europe’s investment banks had reclaimed some share in 2017 but failed to maintain it, mostly as a harsher trading environment in last year’s second half hurt them more than it did U.S. peers.

Most of Europe’s largest banks are carrying out restructuring programs that have spurred departures of top talent and some clients. Pressure to cut costs is heightened there as interest rates remain negative, squeezing lending margins, and as financial markets remain fragmented.

From Reuters: Standard Chartered PLC has unveiled plans to double returns and dividends in three years by cutting $700m in costs and boosting income. Chief Executive Bill Winters now aims to achieve a return on tangible equity (RoTE) of at least 10% by 2021 despite only reaching 5.1% last year, short of the 8% by 2018 goal he set himself three years ago.

StanChart, which makes most of its revenue in Asia, has seen its fortunes slump as restructuring under Winters repaired a balance sheet hit by excessive lending in the previous decade, but left the bank struggling to lift profit.

From CNBC: Zimbabwe's commercial banks started trading the RTGS dollar on Monday. The country ditched a dollar peg for its surrogate bond notes and electronic dollars to merge into the RTGS dollar in an effort to revive a crippled economy and address a cash crunch that has undermined President Emmerson Mnangagwa's efforts attract foreign investment.

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