Comment - All Articles

  • MiFID II's unfair beginning

    Countries that have not implemented MiFID II into their national frameworks have tilted the playing field, and it ought to be fixed. But ESMA is damned whatever it does.

    • 30 Jan 2018
  • The City must take control of its future, if government has no idea

    The inaction and silence from the UK government on Brexit means that the City should be focused on finding a mutually beneficial way to do business with the EU, rather than waiting for the government to take the lead.

    • 30 Jan 2018
  • Magic at the house of Morgan

    As Jamie Dimon signs on for another five years at the top of JP Morgan, what’s the secret sauce at the world’s top investment bank?

    • 30 Jan 2018
  • Indonesia high yield party: rampant — and unnerving

    Asia’s capital markets have started the year with a bang, but a market this good can’t last forever. The steady supply of new deals coming out at increasingly tight levels is a sign of clear frothiness in the market. Just take a look at the investor enthusiasm for low-rated Indonesian deals for an example of how bullish investors have become when they should be thinking twice.

    • 30 Jan 2018
  • Don’t ignore the GIFT that keeps on giving

    A recent syndication for Omani borrower Bank Sohar made market observers take notice, thanks to the presence of Axis Bank at the top group, reflecting Indian banks’ rising eagerness to provide liquidity for foreign currency deals. Yet the country rarely features in the roadshow schedule for fundraisings — an oversight that banks should rapidly correct.

    • 30 Jan 2018
  • Disciplined Draghi rises above it

    US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin’s perceived attempt to talk down the dollar on Wednesday drew the ire of ECB president Mario Draghi, but the latter's insistence on playing fair is going to make his job more difficult.

    • 25 Jan 2018
  • Kazakhs should open up with care

    Making Kazakh domestic assets Euroclearable is a laudable aim. But in its treatment of international investors, the country needs to be aspire to similarly high standards if it is to succeed in opening up capital markets.

    • 25 Jan 2018
  • Don’t ask me, I’m just a junior

    It is not always easy for bankers to keep up with the minutiae of their latest bonds. But one would hope they might at least know the size of these deals. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in China’s debt market.

    • 25 Jan 2018
  • Japanese banks eye Middle East investment banking prize

    Japanese banks have a spring in their step in the Middle East as they roll out expansion plans, but, asks David Rothnie, can they take on more established Western rivals?

    • 25 Jan 2018
  • Talk is cheap, resolutions are not

    Market participants should be following closely the tactics, if not the arguments, of investors that lost out in the Novo Banco retransfer two years ago.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • Cat bond law brings glimmer of clarity amid Brexit fog

    As London waits to see the Brexit deal that emerges for the UK’s financial services industry, one small part of the sector has quietly received a big legal boost.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • SSAs don't need Davos platitudes on green issuance

    UBS’s heads of ultra high net worth wealth management argued, in a Davos-themed special, about the importance of enticing private capital to buy the sustainable bonds of multilateral development banks (MDBs). There are plenty of ways investors can encourage sustainability, but buying more MDB bonds ranks pretty low.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • CMBS revival masks big industry shifts

    The US CMBS industry is clawing back market share in real estate lending by targeting high end hotel and office properties with single loan deals. But lenders have had to loosen their standards to do so, and the proliferation of single loan deals will concentrate risk in a market designed to diversify it.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • Steinhoff saga shows the strain on banking industry's new love

    Banks across the Street have sought to woo shareholders with business models that celebrate the holy matrimony between Steady Eddie wealth management and (supposedly) reformed wild child investment banking. But the repercussions on bank earnings from the demise of South African retailer Steinhoff are a reminder that the course of true love never did run smooth.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • Keep Indonesia’s Komodo bonds caged

    Komodo bonds — offshore Indonesian rupiah bonds — are finally sputtering into life. This week, the second such deal by an Indonesian company has shown their potential. But don’t count your dragons before they hatch. The market will always be limited — and that’s a good thing.

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • Investor price discrimination is the thin edge of the tapering wedge

    Primary covered bond sales have gone smoothly so far this year, with borrowers continuing to pay negligible new issue premiums and still attracting comfortably oversubscribed order books. But look a little closer and its clear there’s been a perceptible change. Investors are fighting back, and beginning to get their way.

    • 18 Jan 2018
  • Risk transfer deal transfers risk

    Risk managers are already turned on to the benefits of balance sheet CLOs — if arrangers and investors in this intensely private market are to be believed, almost every large institution in Europe has been looking at issuing these deals. But they still leave a nasty taste in some mouths.

    • 18 Jan 2018
  • Houlihan Lokey eyes global prize after Quayle Munro acquisition

    Houlihan Lokey's international expansion won't end with its latest acquisition as it eyes a bigger global offering, writes David Rothnie.

    • 18 Jan 2018
  • Mum's the word when bragging about bonuses

    It’s bonus season again and what has until recently been a time of either great triumph or great sorrow has turned out quite well in Hong Kong.

    • 18 Jan 2018
  • Planning for the fall: what a cryptocrash would look like

    Bitcoin has, since its creation, been a wild ride. Volatility is part of its charm — after all, where else do you get more than 1,500% growth in a year? But if, or when, it crashes for good, how would it play out?

    • 16 Jan 2018
  • Carillion: unhappy in its own way

    Carillion filed for compulsory liquidation on Monday, prompting floods of columnists to rush to display their hours-old knowledge of the UK outsourcing sector and denounce the firm’s borrowing strategy. But what the case proves is that each collapsing company is unhappy in its own way.

    • 16 Jan 2018
  • Carillion: the insouciance of Schuldschein

    The UK building and services company had borrowed Schuldschein loans, which are unlikely to be paid in full — and the Schuldschein market couldn’t care less.

    • 16 Jan 2018
  • Dim sum bonds: here today, gone tomorrow

    China’s offshore renminbi bond market has made a strong start to the year, with two foreign issuers already selling dim sum notes. The signs for a robust 2018 are there but the market’s return to form will be contingent on more than just issuer interest.

    • 16 Jan 2018
  • SGX ready to give no quarter

    In the latest Clawback, columnist Philippe Espinasse puts the Singapore Exchange's proposal on quarterly reporting by companies under the microscope.

    • 15 Jan 2018
  • A great week but caution needed

    Public sector borrowers have enjoyed the finest of weeks, printing across the euro and dollar curves, finding size in sterling and Australian dollars and enjoying reopened Canadian and New Zealand dollar markets.

    • 11 Jan 2018
  • Kodak developing crypto-funding with banks out of shot

    Cryptocurrencies overtook venture capital as the dominant form of fundraising for start-ups in 2017. Now, a grown-up, publicly listed company is getting in on the action. Investment banks would do well to take notice.

    • 11 Jan 2018
  • Pretending to understand your boss

    The new boss calls his team into a meeting room and delivers the speech he has spent his life preparing for. It is a moment of rhetorical genius, a rallying cry, a tour de force. Unfortunately, no one understands a word.

    • 11 Jan 2018
  • BNP Paribas places UK at heart of European ambitions

    The recruitment of the former head of European M&A at Barclays is a statement of intent from BNP Paribas, which has serious aspirations for its UK business. Expect some trademark caution though, writes David Rothnie.

    • 11 Jan 2018
  • QNB’s loan underwrite shows only partial market confidence

    Qatar National Bank (QNB) launched a $3bn loan on Monday, the first real test of the market since Qatar’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbours severed diplomatic ties with the sovereign. Nine banks have agreed to underwrite the full amount ahead of general syndication, showing initial fears have subsided. But the test is not over — will Qatar’s other relationship banks step up?

    • 09 Jan 2018
  • There’s something about Monte

    Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s comeback plans show that there is still a big difference between tier two and additional tier one (AT1) bonds, even after the failure of Banco Popular.

    • 09 Jan 2018
  • European equities benefit from China's Blue Sky thinking

    European stock markets have enjoyed a solid start to 2018, led by a metals and commodities rally that has been strengthening since the beginning of autumn. But the market must consider whether the good times are organic or due to temporary measures in China.

    • 09 Jan 2018
  • Belt and Road Pandas finally come of age

    DCM bankers often market Panda bonds as Belt and Road bonds, even when they have little to do with China’s landmark infrastructure plan. But in recent weeks, issuers with genuine needs for funding Belt and Road projects have started to tap the market. The change could open up a new frontier for RMB internationalisation.

    • 09 Jan 2018
  • European banks start with a clean slate

    The largest and darkest clouds that hung over Europe's banks appear to have all but cleared in time for the new year.

    • 04 Jan 2018
  • Fee-ble excuses

    Among the many miseries perpetrated by MiFID, there’s one aspect which has particularly caught this newspaper’s eye: the disclosure of the fees paid to banks for new bond issues.

    • 04 Jan 2018
  • Resolutions made, resolve still lacking

    At some point on Christmas Day, after I had polished off several plates of turkey with all the trimmings, six mince pies and half a Christmas pudding, I began to wonder whether or not I was living a healthy lifestyle. I decided that, yes, I probably was.

    • 04 Jan 2018
  • H-share convertibility boon is just wishful thinking

    The Chinese regulator’s decision to kick-start a pilot scheme that will allow mainland-based holders of Hong Kong-listed stocks to convert them into H-shares is a big move, with many advantages for both stockholders and the city’s equity market. But it’s not time to crack open the champagne just yet. If the past is any example, progress will be slow at best.

    • 04 Jan 2018
  • Citi’s Drury wins ‘inch by inch’ fight for ECM supremacy

    Citi finished 2017 in its highest ever position in the EMEA league tables, leading from the front in ECM. David Rothnie asks whether it can topple JP Morgan.

    • 03 Jan 2018
  • Sovereigns should get off the crypto bandwagon

    The cryptocurrency boom has been mostly confined to the corporate world. But, some of the more forward-thinking countries are planning on getting into the digital currency game. They should know better.

    • 02 Jan 2018
  • ECB’s CPT discrimination makes no sense

    The European Central Bank’s decision to exclude conditional pass through (CPT) covered bonds issued by non-investment grade issuers from its covered bond purchase programme (CBPP3) will constrain liquidity and credit where they are most needed, and is not necessarily justified by risk considerations.

    • 02 Jan 2018
  • Relief, but no MiFID II boom for Schuldschein

    Whether MiFID II will affect the Schuldschein market is often discussed in Frankfurt. As collections of bilateral loans, Schuldscheine are exempt from the regulation — leading some to predict a boon for the asset class. But the optimism in some quarters is overdone.

    • 02 Jan 2018
  • In 2018, abnormal will remain normal for Euro ABS

    Last year was a strange one for European ABS, with negative yielding euro paper and the securitization of higher risk credit titillating the market, but with extraordinary monetary policy set to continue in the eurozone, and economic fundamentals improving across the continent, these trends will likely continue in 2018.

    • 02 Jan 2018