UK in the Global Marketplace 2016

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  • Backing business and enterprise

    George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State

  • Chill of Brexit risk threatens UK’s economic spring

    The pity of the uncertainty and volatility caused either directly or indirectly by the upcoming referendum is that it comes at a time when, after a number of false dawns, the UK economic recovery appeared to be gathering some staying power, reports Philip Moore.

  • Rebalancing act: firing up the north

    Britain’s north-south divide has continued to widen since the turn of the century. Philip Moore looks at the initiatives attempting to reverse this damaging trend.

  • Pension funds emerge as key players in UK infra upgrade

    The UK government has ambitious infrastructure plans and the country’s pension funds are looking for better returns than those available on Gilts. Is there a match to be made, asks Peter McGill?

  • Living apart? Battle weary City braced for damaging June vote

    The City of London has faced up to — and seen off — European challenges before, most notably the launch of the single European currency. But as Philip Moore reports, it’s not just Brexit that the Square Mile should be afraid of.

  • Brexit casts long shadow over nervous UK banking sector

    The UK’s largest lenders may be operating in one of the developed world’s only growing economies, but an exit from the European Union could be about to turn their world upside down. Tom Porter reports.

  • Ancient and modern: new platforms eye old financing tricks

    UK marketplace lenders have grown rapidly in recent years, but as they look to originate more and more new loans, platforms may want to lean on more established financial institutions for further funding. Cue the first securitization of UK marketplace loans. Tyler Davies reports

  • Gilts a pleasure amid UK’s uncertain future in Europe

    The UK’s June referendum on European Union membership may be grabbing the public’s attention, but in the background the country’s Debt Management Office has been quietly and efficiently raising the big sums of cash that have been the norm since the 2008 financial crisis. Of far more interest to Gilt market participants is the split between syndications and auctions in the DMO’s funding programme and the effect regulation is having on banks’ ability to provide liquidity — a concern that the UK market is far from alone in having to address. GlobalCapital brought together representatives from the UK DMO, Gilt-edged market makers and the investor community in the lofty surroundings of London’s Tower Bridge to discuss those issues, as well as idiosyncratic features of the UK market, such as the argument for creating Gilts linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than the older Retail Prices Index (RPI). The DMO also shared the latest news on its review into the provision of Gilt and Treasury bill reference prices — on which banks and investors expressed their views.

  • Gilt market faces up to auction fears

    Recent reports of the imminent death of the Gilts auction may have been premature but even debt management officials admit the system is showing signs of stress. Could changes to the process restore lost liquidity? Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker reports.

  • Municipal Bond Agency yet to refresh arid public sector market

    Investors are hungry for UK public sector paper that offers a pick-up over Gilts, but deals have been in short supply. Can a new agency for local authorities fill the gap? Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker reports.

  • Learning curve: debt markets step up to higher education

    In a rash of deals over the past few years, UK universities, Oxbridge colleges and even schools are breaking with years of tradition and embracing the debt markets to hone their edge in competition with their domestic and international rivals. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Institutions that have taken the step into debt issuance — whether with public bonds or private placements — have found enthusiastic receptions from a broad range of investors. They have been able to lock in long maturities and low rates with bonds, or win tailored funding from private placements and the European Investment Bank. These are exciting times to be involved in higher education’s transition to capital markets — whether for university treasurers tapping new sources of funding, investors diversifying into a new array of high quality credits or arranging banks introducing a new sector to the market. GlobalCapital sat down in Oxford in March to talk shop with leading players at the heart of this new movement.

  • No need for sterling obituaries yet despite ECB bazooka

    The dollar and euro markets may dwarf it in size but that doesn’t mean sterling can’t offer advantages to corporate issuers — domestic or foreign. Ross Lancaster reports.

  • Housing associations enjoy funding choice, but policy doubts cloud the horizon

    The UK’s housing associations — regulated, non-profit organisations that provide social housing — are becoming steadily more financially sophisticated. Some have issued bonds and private placements for many years, but the tide of ultra-cheap, very long term bank loans that used to be their funding staple has ebbed. Taking its place has been an institutional investor base eager for long term, yielding, safe paper. This has led to many more associations entering the bond market for the first time, either in their own names, or through an intermediary finance company, THFC. A new model is emerging, of five to seven year bank loans for working capital and bonds for longer term finance. Also in the mix are a programme of government-guaranteed funding and loans from the European Investment Bank. But with finance generally available, what will shape the sector fundamentally is changes in government policy. To many, a spate of recent government decisions seem disjointed, even capricious. The state has cut grant funding, forcing associations to do more commercial activities to subsidise their social housing — more recently, it has forced them into rent cuts and given housing association tenants the right to buy their homes. Joining GlobalCapital to discuss the sector’s opportunities and challenges were three associations, THFC, and three leading banks and advisers to the sector.

  • Referendum blues: top credits hold fire despite willing markets

    The same benign financing conditions that propelled global M&A volume to a post-crisis record in 2015 are in place for UK blue chip companies this year. But treasurers are adopting a cautious approach ahead of the EU vote, writes Ross Lancaster

  • Competition replaces crisis as banks, platforms hone SME focus

    Small and medium enterprises are the hardworking families of the business world — politically untouchable, the foundations of growth, dynamism and entrepreneurship. This is why funding them has been so politically controversial in the UK. There’s still huge state involvement in the market, but it has become less important — SMEs now have more funding options than ever. Owen Sanderson reports.

  • Cambridge cluster seeks next generation of finance

    The gaggle of technology firms around Cambridge is leading the UK’s fintech efforts — and could transform the way that its much bigger brother, the City of London, operates. Peter McGill reports

Commercial director of events: Daniel Elton

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7779 7305


Publisher, special projects: Ashley Hofmann

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7779 8740