‘Operation Twist’ is a bust

Speculation is rife that the European Central Bank will mimic the US Federal Reserve’s ‘Operation Twist’ from a few years ago, focusing reinvestments from redeeming bonds bought under the public sector purchase programme into long dated paper. While there has been some impact from the news, any benefit is likely to be limited.

  • By Craig McGlashan
  • 05 Jul 2018
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A Reuters report outlining the plan late last week did spark some movement in eurozone government bonds. But given that the ECB is already near its limits on much of the investable public sector universe, even if it focuses on those countries with the biggest debt pile — and, in Italy’s case, the biggest need for support — any buying will need to be fed by increased long end issuance.

That may well be tempting for sovereign debt offices, allowing them to get some cheap long dated borrowing. But supply and demand still dictates that what the ECB gives in terms of borrowing costs, the extra volumes will swiftly take away.

The supply picture is even muddier for Italy, whose yields have suffered this year thanks to the elevation to power of a populist coalition that wants to cut taxes and boost spending. If that government gets its way, then no amount of ECB wizardry will dampen the rising costs that would follow a large rise in what is already Europe’s biggest debt pile.

The ECB might well be trying to squeeze the last bit of good from PSPP before it ends later this year. But when the history books are written about the era of extraordinary monetary policy, Europe’s ‘Operation Twist’ will be little more than a footnote.

  • By Craig McGlashan
  • 05 Jul 2018

European Sovereign Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount €m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Barclays 14,544.75 18 10.40%
2 JPMorgan 13,122.11 20 9.38%
3 Citi 12,168.30 20 8.70%
4 HSBC 10,850.10 15 7.76%
5 NatWest Markets 9,080.61 8 6.49%

Dollar Denominated SSA (Excl US Agency)

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 34,721.32 92 12.32%
2 JPMorgan 25,730.35 63 9.13%
3 HSBC 24,143.03 57 8.57%
4 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 21,642.93 64 7.68%
5 Deutsche Bank 19,993.80 31 7.09%

Bookrunners of Euro Denominated SSA (Excl US Agency)

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 31,770.50 80 8.36%
2 Barclays 27,937.95 51 7.35%
3 HSBC 26,536.90 91 6.98%
4 UniCredit 26,134.28 69 6.87%
5 BNP Paribas 24,736.61 55 6.51%

Bookrunners of Global SSA (Excl US Agency)

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 67,204.78 382 7.05%
2 Citi 65,839.22 241 6.91%
3 HSBC 60,617.24 227 6.36%
4 Barclays 52,392.60 191 5.50%
5 Deutsche Bank 45,779.29 142 4.80%