Euro Debt Optimism, ’Financial Safety’ Debate: Compliance

The worst of Europe’s debt crisis is over in the eyes of most international investors, a shift in sentiment reflected by increased demand for the region’s financial assets.

Fifty-seven percent of the investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers said in a poll conducted last week that Europe’s bond markets have ceased deteriorating. This marks the first time in two years a majority among those polled has declared an end to the sell-off that roiled the euro area and raised doubts over the currency’s existence.

While previous Davos meetings debated the survival of the euro, this year’s optimism is shifting the Davos debates away from the European crisis.

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Special Section: Davos Forum

Gorman Sees Better Year for Fixed Income, Commodities

James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, talked about the outlook for the bank and the financial-services industry, including restoring trust in the banking industry.

He spoke with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

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Davos Bankers Jenkins, Flint Clash With Singer in Safety Debate

Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins and HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Douglas Flint said the financial system’s safety has improved in the past five years, splitting delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The two British bankers debated Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge-fund manager who runs New York-based Elliott Management Corp., and Stanford University professor Anat Admati.

Since the financial crisis, Davos has become a yearly sparring match between bankers and their critics. In a poll at the end of yesterday’s discussion, about 62 percent of the audience said financial markets are safer.

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Separately, Singer said derivatives have been a “net negative” for society and that the touted hedging benefits have been overstated by financial companies.

Nigeria Bourse CEO Says Close to Hiring Advisers for Share Sale

The Nigerian Stock Exchange is close to hiring external advisers as it prepares to distribute shares to its members and hold an initial public offering, absent “legislative issues,” Chief Executive Officer Oscar Onyema said yesterday at Davos.

Onyema is seeking to boost trading in stocks after a 47 percent rally in the market’s all-share index last year as the exchange of Africa’s most populous country targets a $1 trillion market value by 2016 from the current $84 billion estimated by Bloomberg.

The bourse intends to list global depositary receipts this year and has identified about 20 companies that domestic investors would like to trade, said Onyema.

Comings and Goings

Mizuho’s Sato to Quit as Bank Unit Chief After Loan Probe

Mizuho Financial Group Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Yasuhiro Sato will step down as head of the lending arm of Japan’s third-biggest bank following a regulatory probe into loans to crime groups.

Nobuhide Hayashi will replace Sato as CEO of the Mizuho Bank Ltd. unit on April 1, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Sato will remain CEO of the parent company. Hayashi is currently deputy president of the banking arm.

Japanese regulators last month ordered a second round of penalties against Mizuho after it failed to stop 200 million yen ($1.9 million) in credit extended to members of criminal syndicates and then filed an incorrect report on the matter.

Sato, 61, earlier told reporters he wouldn’t step down. He said at a briefing today that this was because he had yet to ask Hayashi to take over or seek approval from directors. He also said he has no plan to resign as group CEO.

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Bank Bailout Chief Kashkari Will Run for California Governor

Neel Kashkari, who managed the $700 billion rescue of the U.S. banking system, said he’s running for governor of California in a bid to unseat Democrat Jerry Brown, 75, who has yet to declare his candidacy.

Kashkari, 40, had worked at Goldman Sachs when then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked him to manage the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, when U.S. banks were on the brink of collapse.

After leaving the Treasury Department in 2009, he worked at Pacific Investment Management Co., which he left a year ago.

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