Comment - All Articles

  • No goody new shoes

    I had a hole in the sole of my banker’s brogues which in this, the wettest January since records began, was another deterrent to walking out for a client lunch in the first month of the year. There are other deterrents, namely having no clients to speak of, the hardship of Subsistence Broking in Austerity Britain and the surrender of the asset class I (notionally) broke. With the January sales drawing to a close, however, it was now or never on the new scoobies front so I limped gingerly round to the shoe shop on the corner to confront the problem foot-on.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • EM exit brings benefits

    It has been a trying week for emerging market bankers and issuers, but both fund flows and credit spreads indicate that it wasn’t a shocking one. And the flight from EM funds into the European periphery that has been underway for some time will benefit both markets.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Banks should try anything to build capital — just don’t be boring

    With a slew of FIG ECM deals on the way, bank fundraisings — especially in southern Europe — need to be quick, or elegant, or they will die.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Regulators must act on ABS before it is too late

    When Mario Draghi said — for the second time— that the ECB would consider buying ABS to boost Europe’s economic prospects, everyone took note. Everyone, it seems, except Europe’s regulators, who have shown a reluctance to change their anti-securitization tack. It is time for them to swallow some pride and roll back the harshest securitization regulation — before it is too late.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Peso devaluation dashes Argentine issuance hopes

    A plunging Argentine peso has dashed hopes that Argentina could again become a source of cross-border bonds this year, said bankers and analysts.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Ken and the art of M&A cycle maintenance

    The prospect of an IPO of one of the vibrant new forces in M&A advisory is further evidence of the return of big-ticket business, writes David Rothnie.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • MTN Leak: Luxury or budget?

    Would you rather live in a mansion or a horrible little flat? The answer is obvious, right? But UBS’s David Morland shocked Leak this week — he wants to live in a horrible little flat opposite a mansion.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Banks should try anything, as long as it’s not boring

    With a slew of FIG ECM deals on the way, bank fundraisings — especially in southern Europe — need to be quick, or elegant, or they will die.

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • MTN Leak: Luxury or budget?

    Would you rather live in a mansion or a horrible little flat? The answer is obvious, right? But UBS’s David Morland shocked Leak this week — he wants to live in a horrible little flat opposite a mansion.

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • CEEMEA needs to nuture the euro market this year

    The wave of CEEMEA sovereigns tapping the euro market before the volatility of this week was hailed by most as a temporary aberration from the norm. But issuers with large funding needs should take this opportunity to start nurturing this market more carefully and become regular issuers in both dollars and euros in the same way that the more sophisticated western SSA issuers operate.

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • No clouds in the sky for sukuk, just the usual January mist

    January may have been a wash out for Middle East bonds and sukuk issuers as well as the British public, but one of those groups still has every reason to hope that things will improve.

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • If in doubt, reach for the accent

    The start of a new year is tough on loans bankers, who have to content themselves with looking enviously at all the business their bond colleagues rack up in January. This year has been no different, with one of my old banking cronies recently feeling the impact of a lack of action.

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • It’s the regions’ time to shine

    A €1.4bn five year bond for the Autonomous Community of Madrid on Tuesday — its largest ever — shows that the new year rally in peripheral eurozone debt has extended from sovereign to regional issuers. With spreads over sovereigns reaching pre-crisis levels, it is time for other regional names to pull off some eye catching deals.

    • 28 Jan 2014
  • Regulators must act on securitization before it is too late

    When Mario Draghi said — for the second time— that the ECB would consider buying ABS to boost Europe’s economic prospects, everyone took note. Everyone, it seems, except Europe’s regulators, who have shown a reluctance to change their anti-securitization tack. It is time for them to swallow some pride and roll back the harshest securitization regulation — before it is too late.

    • 28 Jan 2014
  • Banks should try anything to build capital — just don’t be boring

    With a slew of FIG ECM deals on the way, bank fundraisings — especially in southern Europe — need to be quick, or elegant, or they will die.

    • 28 Jan 2014
  • MINT or skint? EM runs out of other markets to blame

    A few weeks ago the term MINT was popularised as the emerging markets’ swanky new image rebrand, one intended to take the place of BRICs, its solid sounding predecessor. But the sell off in emerging markets over the last few days — both in local currencies and credit — makes EM look crumbly, and this time there’s no one else to blame.

    • 28 Jan 2014
  • SFC should give Hong Kong Reits a (tax) break

    The Hong Kong securities regulator has published a proposal to make H-Reits more attractive, but its suggestions are unlikely to bring in new business. The regulator needs to act on tax if it really wants to take advantage of Mainland companies looking to list property overseas.

    • 28 Jan 2014
  • Priced out of Austria? Head for the Czech Republic

    It comes to something when after a long week at work, Munich’s bankers cannot unwind with a quick trip to the Austrian Alps. At 5pm on a Friday it is common to see suited men and women scurrying for their cars and making straight for the border on the A8.

    • 27 Jan 2014
  • A century from now

    While the bond desks were busy getting the full details on EDF's 100 year bond, Loan Ranger's thoughts last week turned to the world that the bond will expire in, and how even the best intentioned long term project finance loans can hope to compete.

    • 27 Jan 2014
  • The Lamb of Chancery Lane

    The Wolf of Wall Street? How does the Lamb of Chancery Lane sound? For sure, one is a comedy and the other a tragedy but I don’t know which. I saw the former at the cinema last night and while it bore no resemblance to my own experience in the City these past twenty-five years, I nonetheless felt compelled to indulge in my favourite conceit and examine the parallels between Leonardo di Caprio’s portrayal of lupine excess and my own encounter with ovine mediocrity.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • MTN Leak: Courting Leak

    What do dealing in MTNs and matchmaking have in common? We’re not quite sure, but that doesn’t stop RBC Capital Markets from doing both — Fergus “Cilla” Kiely and Peter Flanagan may be known as MTN dealers but they are also a dynamic dating team.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • As Warren Buffett says, stick with what you know

    Why someone would want to go to China for Chinese New Year, and take part in the largest annual human migration on the planet, is anyone’s guess.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • Standard Chartered lacking in corporate finance ambition

    As storm clouds gather around Standard Chartered, the bank is in danger of stagnating in corporate finance, says David Rothnie.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • UK can wait for sukuk but not forever

    A palpable sense of trepidation returned to Islamic finance practitioners this week on learning that the United Kingdom’s long demanded sukuk debut may not happen until at least October.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • Time to put up or shut up when lending in Russia

    Having the last laugh is satisfying — just ask Russia’s Siberian Coal Energy Co (Suek). The firm is on the verge of signing a hugely successful facility after almost all corners of the emerging market loan universe said that the deal would struggle because of its five year tenor — Suek’s third loan of this length since October 2011. The time has come for lenders to accept how things are, rather than grumbling about how they think they should be.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • Timing is everything

    The Spanish Treasury showed that timing is something on which it is a bit of an expert this week.

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • A plea for prudent perp issuance – opinion

    Asian borrowers have started selling perpetual bonds again, buoyed by hungry private bank buyers and at least a modicum of clarity around interest rates. But restraint is essential if they are to avoid a repeat of last year, when they pushed the perp structure to its limits and pulled the market down on their own heads.

    • 22 Jan 2014
  • Every second counts for Spain

    So far Europe's peripheral sovereigns have enjoyed a barnstorming start to the year's fundraising. But Spain is at risk of missing out if it does not act quickly.

    • 21 Jan 2014
  • Unitranche: a bespoke financing option for SMEs

    Unitranche debt is gaining traction among Europe’s mid-caps. On a continent where small and medium-sized companies have long been short on financing options, this can only be a good thing.

    • 21 Jan 2014
  • A plea for prudent perp issuance

    Asian borrowers have started selling perpetual bonds again, buoyed by hungry private bank buyers and at least a modicum of clarity around interest rates. But restraint is essential if they are to avoid a repeat of last year, when they pushed the perp structure to its limits and pulled the market down on their own heads.

    • 21 Jan 2014
  • A shake-up is underway among EM dealers

    The swathe of euro-denominated issuance that has started and is expected to continue in the emerging markets ought to boost the league table positions of some of the European banks that have been breaking into these regions.

    • 20 Jan 2014
  • A good day to bury Cades news

    In public relations timing is everything, but even the best laid plans of a top notch outfit like French SSA borrower, Cades can come a cropper when going up against the most titillating story of the year so far.

    • 20 Jan 2014
  • Is high yield highly strung?

    What was the main focus of chatter at BNP Paribas’s High Yield and Leveraged Finance Conference last week in London? The brochure said it was all about the state of the market, structuring trends, the outlook for private equity, and other such geeky delights. But away from the glitzy lights of the stage, there was something much more French occupying the minds of the conference delegates.

    • 20 Jan 2014
  • The shape I'm in

    The first law of sales-trading is that you can sit at your desk all day and do nothing but the minute you pop to the loo you will miss an order. Since Double O’Flynn my sidekick became Flyaway Flynn last week I am now more vulnerable than ever to this cruel but immutable rule. Either I need to patent some new form of seating which incorporates lavatorial facilities or I need to condition my notoriously incapacious bladder to withstand unbroken stints of equity salesmanship lasting almost 10 hours.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Nimble Nomura rises from bulge bracket burn-out

    For a bank that has spent much of its recent history being kicked by rivals, the Japanese firm enters 2014 in calmer waters, writes David Rothnie.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Record bond volumes in EM betray issuers’ boast of confidence

    At Euromoney Conferences’ Central and Eastern European Forum in Vienna this week, sovereign, bank and corporate funding officials explained why they felt that funding in 2014 in the capital markets would be a slam dunk. But the record high issuance levels from the emerging markets over the last two weeks reveal fears that they are less comfortable publicising.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • The smartest guys on the beach

    Ah, the holidays! I know everyone has only just got back but already I’m looking forward to the next break. Not for me, you understand: I’m always on holiday. No, I just can’t wait for everyone to get out of town again, and in two weeks’ time Chinese New Year will oblige.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • AT1 — blinded by the yield

    When did you last see a $25bn book for a perpetual non-call 10 year additional tier one capital deal with two triggers for temporary principal write-down, one based on the issuer’s capital ratio and the other based on the capital ratio of its parent group, both of them set at different levels?

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • MTN Leak: Winter shorts

    The US may be in a deep freeze but MTN desks have decided to bypass winter this year and head straight for summer instead.

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Dubai issuers should not dither

    Conditions for issuing bonds and sukuk in Dubai look great, but mid-way through January there is still barely a glimmer of a deal. Those borrowers that need to come to market this year would do well not to miss their chance.

    • 16 Jan 2014
  • Dubai's borrowers shouldn’t slouch in getting deals to market

    Conditions for issuing bonds and sukuk in Dubai look great, but mid-way through January there is still barely a glimmer of a deal. Those borrowers that need to come to market this year would do well not to miss their chance.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • Are initial price thoughts always necessary?

    Initial price thoughts are a useful price discovery tool in illiquid markets. But in core markets where liquidity is high, they can obfuscate how successful a deal has been. It is time to consider doing away with them where possible.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • Two steps forward, one step back for China’s IPO market

    The China Securities Regulatory Commission is up to its old tricks again, intervening to postpone an IPO that had been poised to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The CSRC’s actions suggest that it is not yet ready to give up control. Issuers might have to wait a little longer for a fully market-oriented China IPO market.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • Not just window shopping: January sales best for sovereigns

    January frontloading is traditional for sovereign issuers, but could be more important this year than ever. Investor demand and the prospect of rising rates mean savvy states should follow the lead of the first issuers of the year — and quickly.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • Not just window shopping: January sales best for sovereigns

    January frontloading is traditional for sovereign issuers, but could be more important this year than ever. Investor demand and the prospect of rising rates mean savvy states should follow the lead of the first issuers of the year — and quickly.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • Two steps forward, one step back for China’s IPO market - opinion

    The China Securities Regulatory Commission is up to its old tricks again, intervening to postpone an IPO that had been poised to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The CSRC’s actions suggest that it is not yet ready to give up control. Issuers might have to wait a little longer for a fully market-oriented China IPO market.

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • The Salvoni Christmas Challenge

    It’s well known that investment bankers are fans of adrenaline generating holidays, but Blog was particularly impressed to hear that one of our favourite SSA bankers decided that heading off to Whistler to embrace winter sports was just not adventurous enough.

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • The joy of bureaucracy

    Bureaucracy contains both good and bad. The bad parts are the pedantry, the endless forms, the waiting two weeks for something to be approved only to wait two more weeks to have the approval returned to you. The good parts are when a loans market colleague falls foul of The Man and tells it all to Loan Ranger in one, exasperated email.

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • 2014: The Year in Prospect

    I’m nothing if not predictable and so following the unremitting tedium of the last Naked Broker, “2013: The Year in Review” comes this leaden-footed and witlessly misprognosticating “2014: The Year in Prospect”. It’s a title from which I excised the adjectives ‘grim’ and ‘bleak’ because one of my new year’s resolutions was to adopt a more positive mental approach but already this initiative has dissipated, in fact even more quickly than my other commitment to lay off the booze.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • Crisis not over yet

    The capital markets could be forgiven for thinking that Christmas came a little late this week. Blowout deals for Ireland and Portugal — plus strong showings for banks and corporations in those countries throughout the periphery — suggest that the funding part of the eurozone debt crisis could be coming to an end.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • EBA wrong on covered bonds

    The European Commission has a very important decision to take by June 30 for the covered bond market and by extension, European banks.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • MTN Leak: The Chronicles of Hernia

    What could be more painful than a hernia? Watching 10 episodes of The X Factor back to back? A Justin Bieber concert? No, only one thing is worse — as RBC Capital Market’s Fergus Kiely told us this week.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • New Year, new IPOs, same old TaiTai

    It’s the start of the year and in keeping with tradition TaiTai and I have been jotting down a list of “improvements” that we think each of us needs to make. We then frame it and hang it outside our bedroom door and it acts as our New Year resolutions.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • Rothschild’s new partnership lays path for succession

    The emergence of a new global elite at the independent firm is an attempt to pave the way for continuity, not revolution, writes David Rothnie.

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • Peripheral Eurozone Debt Makes Positive Start To 2014

    Peripheral eurozone debt has made a strong start to 2014 and the positive momentum continued with Portugal tapping the capital markets for funds.

    • 09 Jan 2014
  • Top banks voted for by their peers

    EuroWeek polled the DCM and bond syndicate teams at leading banks to find out which of their rivals they thought had done the best job across all sectors and currencies through 2013. Here are the results. The borrowers’ poll to decide the top banks and the bankers’ vote on the top borrowers will take place in April and May, and the award winners will be revealed at the EuroWeek Bond Dinner in May.

    • 08 Jan 2014
  • Dual-currency IPOs just a gimmick? That’s a porky pie

    If market talk is to be believed, China’s largest pork producer Shuanghui International is thinking about becoming the first company to list in both Hong Kong dollars and RMB. It should take the idea seriously. There is more to be gained than just extra paperwork.

    • 07 Jan 2014
  • SSA borrowers should not fear yield pain in 2014

    Despite bumper books on some of the first deals of the year, sovereign, supranational and agency borrowers will be facing 2014 with a degree of trepidation. It’s set to be a year of painful readjustment to higher yields but issuers will just have to grin and bear it and such hikes will be beneficial for the market overall.

    • 07 Jan 2014
  • Luxembourg sukuk is good for UK

    The Luxembourg government’s introduction of a sukuk bill has raised the possibility that it might stump the United Kingdom’s bid to issue the first European sovereign Islamic paper. But rather than causing alarm among UK Islamic finance practitioners, this competition for the limelight should be celebrated as a win-win for the market.

    • 07 Jan 2014
  • Santa's little loan market helpers

    Trudging back to the office this rainy morning, Loan Ranger felt the customary dread that comes with returning to work after any extended period away from his desk.

    • 06 Jan 2014