The bull run for bank bonds and scope for improvement in the SLB market
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The bull run for bank bonds and scope for improvement in the SLB market

- How much longer can the extraordinary run of bank bond issuance last? - Are sustainability-linked bonds too complicated to be meaningful? - New bond, old tricks: the art of underwriting returns

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It has been a record November for bank bond issuance and one of the busiest months for that market ever. That is, of course, unusual. What is even more unusual is that many in the market expect the pace of issuance to run long into December.

Typically, the market dies down after the US Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November. We look into what is driving this late spree of deals and ask what might stop it. 

Sustainability-linked bonds are not straightforward products and this week, one from Valeo, the French car parts maker, had investors expressing frustration. The deal itself was a success but investors are concerned about the complexity of some of the environmental targets the issuer and others like it are aiming for. They argue they lack the expertise to judge whether ambitions around emissions are meaningful. We look at their complaints and how an industry geared towards assessing financial performance can come to judge environmental progress.

Finally, we look into a bond issue from Slovenia’s largest bank, NLB. The issuer tried the deal with a syndicate of banks but postponed it only to return with the same deal one trading day later with only one lead manager mandated, which had offered to underwrite the bond. We ask whether the art of dealers buying deals is making a comeback.

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