South Africa structured product boom raises concerns

Issuance gallops ahead amid higher rates and weak rand, but some are wary

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Which way next? The market's explosive growth has led some to fear it is racing ahead of itself

Nick Leeson, the rogue trader who bankrupted British merchant bank Barings in the 1990s, knows a thing or two about operational risk. He tells the story of a risk manager at a bank in South Africa who paid a routine visit to a trader last year to flag some concerns over the risk management of the bank's structured products book.

What she found probably alarmed her more than the trades in question: the trader's desk was littered with scribbled post-it notes and hastily written diary entries.

"It

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