The View

  • The covered bond paradox: the best and worst of times

    The covered bond paradox: the best and worst of times

    Surging covered bond issuance that is printed only for repo at the central bank and official sector purchases means that the asset class is now less relevant for market funding purposes than ever before. If this continues, the systemic importance of the €2.7tr global market will be undermined just as efforts to develop it look to bear fruit.

  • UK’s hand is weak against acquisitive foreigner bidders

    UK’s hand is weak against acquisitive foreigner bidders

    In just a few days, two of the UK’s largest companies have had acquisition offers made for them by North American rivals. Heading into the 11th hour of a still chaotic Brexit process amid the highest national redundancy levels since the global financial crisis will have more foreign buyers circling yet.

  • BOC lays blue foundation; now others should follow

    BOC lays blue foundation; now others should follow

    Bank of China has opened a new area of sustainable investing with Asia’s first blue bond. The excitement over the potential for sustainable ocean-related financing in the region is justified — but the market should temper its expectations.

  • EU could give sustainable bond market the biggest boost

    EU could give sustainable bond market the biggest boost

    The European Union is about to kick-start its huge borrowing programme for the Support to Mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) fund later this month. It is expected to bolt on additional financing needs for its recovery fund too, once that has been ratified. That could mean up to €100bn of new supply by the end of next year. Printing that as sustainability bonds will give that market the best fillip it could wish for. The EU must seize this opportunity given its commitment to the cause.

  • Fear of the FAANGs

    Fear of the FAANGs

    Equity investors should be nervous about US tech valuations as the fabled FAANG (named for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) stocks look extremely expensive after reaping in the cash during the equity rally that followed the initial Covid-19 sell-off. With valuations at near-preposterous levels and the macro-economic environment worsening with rising Covid-19 cases and a bitter election around the corner, market moves down last week could be a sign of worrying times ahead.

  • Asia’s answer to green bond push lies in China property

    Asia’s answer to green bond push lies in China property

    Green dollar bonds from Chinese high yield real estate developers are rare, but property companies have the potential to push the green market in the region to the next level — and see some pricing benefits in the process.

  • UK retail is injured but it has ripped off the plaster

    UK retail is injured but it has ripped off the plaster

    The coronavirus has been seen in some quarters as the final nail in the coffin for the long suffering UK retail sector. But having embraced e-commerce earlier than elsewhere, the sector may learn lessons from the crisis faster and emerge stronger, which means UK CMBS holders might not be in as bad a spot as they imagine.

  • It’ll take more than sandwich sales to get the City thriving again

    It’ll take more than sandwich sales to get the City thriving again

    City workers used to go to ubiquitous sandwich chain Pret A Manger because it was close to the office. Now, the UK government wants us to go to our offices because they’re near a Pret. Yes, the City’s retail and commercial property economies are in trouble, but cajoling people back to the office is not the answer.

  • Singapore: a case study for Libor transition

    Singapore: a case study for Libor transition

    Singapore has been a front-runner when it comes to moving away from Libor to a new benchmark, with its regulators, borrowers and banks playing an active role in preparing the market. The rest of Asia’s loan market should pay attention.

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