Switzerland in the Capital Markets 2012

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  • Yield hunt drives EM issuance to new heights

    There have been many changes to the Swiss franc bond market in recent years but one of the most striking has been the number of issuers from emerging markets starting to make use of the capital available. Stalwarts such as the Republic of Poland and Korea Development Bank — having made, or making, the transition from emerging to mature market credits — have blazed a trail for a far greater diversity of credits than the Swiss market has ever enjoyed before. In this roundtable issuers, both old and new to the sector, and market participants share their experiences of the Swiss franc bond market and discuss the key themes that it presents.

  • SSAs switch back on as eurozone crisis returns

    SSA euro funders may have been deterred from printing Swiss francs by the difficult cross-currency swap and cheaper funding alternatives. But given the volatility in government bond markets, public sector borrowers should reconsider the strategic importance of one of the most stable capital markets. Tessa Wilkie reports.

  • SNB restores Switzerland’s safe haven reputation

    The Swiss National Bank, with its bold currency controls, has reinforced Switzerland’s standing as the safest of havens. Philip Moore reports on a country determined to defend itself against global turmoil, and in so doing act a beacon for domestic and international issuers and investors.

  • Setting the standard for the global banking sector

    Swiss regulators have been at the front of the global push to stabilise banks since the financial crisis, with the country becoming a world leader on capital requirements. But will the local investor base, which has supported groundbreaking trades from Swiss issuers in recent years, be there for the long haul, asks Katie Llanos-Small?

  • Senior slow to recover as banks go back to basics

    As in most asset classes and currencies, senior unsecured issuance in Swiss francs dropped off a cliff when the eurozone crisis brought markets to the brink in the second half of last year. Volumes are creeping up slowly, but issuance is restricted to an exclusive club of top quality names, reports Will Caiger-Smith.

  • Rolling out the revolution in Swiss franc bonds

    Driven by a desperate demand for yield amid rock bottom rates and a need to diversify away from traditional top tier European credits, Swiss investors have boldly gone in search of more exotic opportunities, affording a growing collection of issuers the chance to tap into one of the world’s most stable capital markets. Stefania Palma reports.

  • Retail investors: the real agents of change

    Far from being scared off by international financial crises and new regulations, Swiss retail investors have been at the vanguard of the revolution that has made it possible for emerging market, peripheral Eurozone and corporate credits to tap the Swiss franc bond market with increasing regularity and confidence. Philip Moore reports.

  • No longer niche — corporates are the new alternative

    Over the last 18 months, more and more international corporates have discovered the attraction of the Swiss franc bond market, with many borrowers tapping the sector for the first time. High yield borrowers have found that they have access to the market, while last October German utility RWE became the first international corporate name to issue a hybrid capital transaction in Swiss francs. But does the market remain a niche funding pool, to be used only infrequently by borrowers to top up their borrowings in other currencies, or have Swiss francs become a core financing tool for international corporate borrowers? EuroWeek gathered together some of the leading dealers and borrowers to discuss the opportunities.

  • Local issuers enjoy golden moment in domestic market

    Domestic corporate and public sector bond activity has picked up on the back of beneficial tax changes. Meanwhile, domestic investors’ unwavering demand for local paper has sustained the growing issuance, complementing the Swiss franc market’s impressive development with overseas borrowers. Stefania Palma reports.

  • Institutional investors forced out of their comfort zone

    Swiss franc bond issuance is falling, as are the yields on offer. Sooner rather than later, institutional investors will have to confront the problem and look out beyond their traditional hunting grounds. Philip Moore reports.

  • Holcim: the Swiss franc market's leading BBB issuer

    Christof Hässig, head of corporate finance and treasury at Holcim, the Swiss cement and aggregates group, explains to Stefania Palma Holcim's strategy in the Swiss franc bond market, and why he welcomes the new diversity of issuer.

  • History in the making: corporates step up

    Razor-thin returns on Swiss government and other public sector bonds, twinned with concerns about the international SSA sector, are leading Swiss institutional and retail investors to look for higher yielding opportunities in asset classes such as corporate and emerging market bonds.

  • Hedge funds pump in much needed liquidity

    Swiss franc secondary markets have weathered recent storms remarkably well, thanks to an upsurge of interest from both speculative and safe haven investors. But stringent local capital requirements could yet put a dent in liquidity. Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker reports.

  • Global corporates pile in as investors shun sovereigns

    While Swiss investors are turning to corporate bonds in a bid to steer clear of the European sovereign debt crisis, international companies are increasingly seeking Swiss franc bonds to diversify their funding and raise competitively priced debt. It’s a fortuitous balance that’s set to last as long as Europe remains in crisis. Stefanie Linhardt reports.

  • EuroWeek Swiss Capital Markets Report Full PDF download

  • EuroWeek Swiss Capital Markets Full Data Section PDF download

  • Emerging markets establish strong Swiss foothold

    For an investor base that is world-renowned for its conservative approach, it might seem odd that Swiss buyers have developed a strong taste for emerging market credit. But with interest rates at rock bottom and Europe in crisis, the returns and relative stability of EM names have become too attractive to ignore. Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker reports.

  • Covered buyers offer warm welcome to new jurisdictions

    With domestic covered bonds offering pitifully low yields Swiss buyers have been clamouring for higher coupons and devouring Australasian supply in an effort to diversify. The investor base is often portrayed as cautious, but in fact it is hungrier than ever for new high quality covered bond credits. Steve Gilmore reports.

  • Corporates thrive as safe haven status boosts appeal

    Offering some precious relief from the Eurozone debt crisis, the biggest Swiss corporates have had little difficulty in attracting international investor interest for their funding diversification trades. But as the domestic market matures, the need for the second tier of credits to look away from home may diminish, as Oliver West writes.

  • Advantage bonds as axe is taken to tax

    First issuance stamp duty was abolished. Now withholding tax looks like it will be next. Swiss lawmakers have had a busy 18 months streamlining the tax system and abolishing levies, which may create a better environment for bond issuance. However, as Philip Moore reports, the biggest impetus could instead come from the implementation of Basel III.

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