Governance

  • Can ESG investing fix a broken culture?

    Can ESG investing fix a broken culture?

    Harassment allegations at institutions of social and environmental purpose, from schools to public sector banks, are a sobering reminder that ethical investment is about more than just how borrowers spend investors' money. ESG investing should also catalyse cultural change across the financial industry, but it will be a long and difficult fight.

  • Sovcomflot defies Russia sanction risk to come to market

    Sovcomflot defies Russia sanction risk to come to market

    Sovcomflot, the majority state-owned Russian shipping company, defied some market participants' expectations on Tuesday by coming to market to raise dollar debt just days after a fresh wave of US sanctions on Russia.

  • Kakao chairman trims stake after charity pledge

    Kakao chairman trims stake after charity pledge

    The chairman of South Korea’s Kakao Corp has kicked off his official pledge to donate more than half of his wealth to society by raising about W500bn ($448m) from a stake sale in the messaging app on Thursday.

  • Peru bondholders 'complacent' amid LatAm election super-cycle

    Peru bondholders 'complacent' amid LatAm election super-cycle

    Peruvian bonds barely moved this week after a shock in the first round of the country’s presidential elections on April 11, while Ecuador debt reacted spectacularly to a positive electoral surprise on the same day. Yet there are concerns about complacency towards risks in Peru, where a left-wing radical took most first-round votes, and Latin American bond buyers should brace for more volatility as the region faces an exceptionally busy election cycle.

  • PP investors weigh up governance as UK schools face crisis

    PP investors weigh up governance as UK schools face crisis

    Institutional investors are weighing up governance at elite UK private schools after a series of serious sexual assault allegations emerged from the sector. As certain private schools look for new deals to add to the £500m they have already raised, investors are focusing on how schools have handled the ensuing crisis.

  • ‘Russia’s Rubicon crossed’ after Biden sanctions

    ‘Russia’s Rubicon crossed’ after Biden sanctions

    Equity and debt markets were fretting on Thursday over the implications of new US sanctions against Russia. A prohibition of US investment in Russian sovereign bonds marked an escalation in tensions, threatening sovereign borrowing costs. It could also damage Russian companies’ chances of funding in the capital markets, write Mariam Meskin and Sam Kerr.

  • Ukraine central bank chief Shevchenko on independence, IMF cash and PrivatBank

    Ukraine central bank chief Shevchenko on independence, IMF cash and PrivatBank

    Ukraine is once more at the forefront of emerging market investors' worries as military tensions with Russia escalate. Amid the uncertainty, Ukraine is fighting another uphill battle to access IMF funding in order to recover its economy as soon as possible. The governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Kyrylo Shevchenko, spoke to GlobalCapital about the challenges the country is facing and the importance of central bank independence.

  • Ant unveils business overhaul plan as Beijing tightens screws

    Ant unveils business overhaul plan as Beijing tightens screws

    Chinese financial technology company Ant Group Co will transform itself into a financial holding company as part of a government mandated restructuring that will affect its key payments, consumer lending and wealth management businesses.

  • Alibaba’s HK stock rallies after record fine

    Alibaba’s HK stock rallies after record fine

    Alibaba Group Holding’s shares in Hong Kong closed 6.51% higher on Monday, despite news over the weekend that the technology giant will be hit with a record fine of Rmb18.22bn ($2.8bn) by China’s regulators.

  • China policy round-up: Beijing cracks down on regional financial institutions, Hainan FTP access rules ease up, Guangzhou reveals ambitious GBA development plan

    China policy round-up: Beijing cracks down on regional financial institutions, Hainan FTP access rules ease up, Guangzhou reveals ambitious GBA development plan

    In this round-up, the State Council flags up risks at regional financial institutions in China, measures have been announced to relax market access in the Hainan Free Trade Port, and the Guangzhou government details a plan to develop the financial industry and support cross-border businesses in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

  • Kangde Xin gets the boot from Shenzhen bourse

    Kangde Xin gets the boot from Shenzhen bourse

    Defaulted bond issuer Kangde Xin Composite Material Co is expected to be delisted from the stock exchange of Shenzhen next month, a move that will end an over two year probe by Chinese regulators into the company.

  • Macquarie sanctioned by Apra over regulatory breaches

    Macquarie sanctioned by Apra over regulatory breaches

    The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) hit Macquarie Bank with a A$500m ($378.4m) capital charge on Thursday, having uncovered serious faults in the firm's risk management practices. The announcement came a day after the bank paused its return to the sterling bond market.

  • China moves to reform onshore ratings industry

    China moves to reform onshore ratings industry

    Five Chinese regulators have drafted new guidelines for domestic credit rating agencies, attempting to reform an industry that has faced renewed criticism in recent months. Addison Gong reports.

  • CFPB payday lender rule could have unintended repercussions, sources say

    CFPB payday lender rule could have unintended repercussions, sources say

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to revive the ‘ability to pay’ rule, rescinded in the Trump era, a move which will tighten its grip on payday lenders. While it may be beneficial to have deceptive payday lending practices eliminated, the new rule may stifle the growth of speciality finance lenders and take away a valuable source of funding for borrowers, sources say.

  • Chinese tech stocks fall as US delisting threat looms

    Chinese tech stocks fall as US delisting threat looms

    The US securities regulator has introduced rules that would delist foreign companies from local stock exchanges if they do not comply with US auditing standards. Shares in Chinese companies dual listed in Hong Kong and the US dived following the move.

  • Turkey: a masterclass in losing credibility

    Turkey: a masterclass in losing credibility

    The shock sacking of Turkey’s third central bank governor in two years confirms to investors that the country lives in a world of its own — one in which central bank independence and fiscal prudence come second to the ideologies of the leader.

  • Sacking of central bank chief ruins Turkey's recovering reputation

    Sacking of central bank chief ruins Turkey's recovering reputation

    An imminent bond issue from Turkey is looking unlikely, investors say, after the abrupt sacking on Saturday of Naci Ağbal, governor of the central bank, just a day after he had raised interest rates by 200bp. Both hard and local currency bonds have sold off and market participants fear a balance of payments crisis.

  • What the Goldman 13 show us about financial sweatshops

    What the Goldman 13 show us about financial sweatshops

    Last week’s horror slide deck from 13 first year analysts in Goldman Sachs’s investment banking division describing their working lives, or rather, their lives — they didn’t appear to have time for any other sort — caused a sensation. But other than satisfying the public lust for tales from the extreme end of Big Finance, what can the episode teach those in the industry, and those trying to enter it?

  • Victory City’s debt woes build

    Victory City’s debt woes build

    Chinese textile company Victory City International Holdings’ financial predicament has taken a turn for the worse as it revealed previously undisclosed outstanding debt at its subsidiaries this week.

  • Biden sanctions threat could freeze growing Russian IPO wave

    Biden sanctions threat could freeze growing Russian IPO wave

    The Russian IPO market has a strong pipeline of listings being prepared for execution over the rest of the year. However, getting deals done could grow much harder with the threat of fresh sanctions against the country from a new US president threatening to derail the market.

  • Senate committee firms up SEC, CFPB leaders

    Senate committee firms up SEC, CFPB leaders

    The Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Gary Gensler as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, allowing the two picks by US president Joe Biden to advance to the Senate floor. The restoration of consumer protection initiatives removed under the Trump administration is expected to follow a successful confirmation by Chopra.

  • Greensill’s private status sheltered it from short seller scrutiny

    Greensill’s private status sheltered it from short seller scrutiny

    Short sellers get a lot of stick, whether it is Elon Musk taunting them, an army of Redditors squeezing them or the corporations they target otherwise harassing, suing and investigating them. But they play a vital part in capital markets, as underlined by the Greensill affair — where the finance firm’s private status meant that for too long it could hide from the accountability that short sellers can help deliver.

  • Should London care if listings dwindle?

    Should London care if listings dwindle?

    The London listing review, out this week, has been hailed as a vital chance for the City to straighten its slipping crown as Europe’s top financial centre.

  • Muted reaction to Russian sanctions, US withholds local debt option

    Muted reaction to Russian sanctions, US withholds local debt option

    The US this week confirmed it would follow the EU and sanction certain Russian individuals in connection with the poisoning of prominent opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The announcements did not move markets, and are a far cry from the worst-case scenario some had feared.

  • Pemex to dump Fitch but agency will keep rating it

    Pemex to dump Fitch but agency will keep rating it

    Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday that it would continue to provide international ratings and research on Mexican government-owned oil giant Pemex even after the issuer said it was dispensing with the agency’s services. Previously, Mexican president Andrés Manual López Obrador had publicly criticised Fitch’s negative rating actions on Pemex, which accounts for nearly 10% of investor holdings of EM corporate bonds.

  • Equity market cheers London listing review

    Equity market cheers London listing review

    Equity capital market participants cheered the publication on Wednesday of former EU commissioner Jonathan Hill's review of London listing rules. The report, written on behalf of the UK Treasury, recommended sweeping changes in order to attract more companies to the London Stock Exchange. On Thursday, Deliveroo, the food delivery company, announced it would be listing in London.

  • Petbra bonds recover but CEO sacking raises Brazil doubts

    Petbra bonds recover but CEO sacking raises Brazil doubts

    Spreads on Petrobras’s bonds recovered most of their lost ground this week after a sharp sell-off followed Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro sacking the company’s chief executive on Monday. But while strong quarterly results released on Wednesday were a reminder of the state-owned oil and gas giant’s fundamental strength, Bolsonaro’s actions have led to questions around policy decisions in an economy with major fiscal issues.

  • UniCredit to choose new ECM head after Hecker allegation

    UniCredit to choose new ECM head after Hecker allegation

    UniCredit’s global head of equity capital markets and equity syndicate has left the bank after allegations of having done inappropriate side work for Markus Braun, former CEO of the collapsed Germany payments company Wirecard.

  • Limited EU sanctions on Russia to have little impact but NS2 concerns linger

    Limited EU sanctions on Russia to have little impact but NS2 concerns linger

    New sanctions from the EU on Russian figures following the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny are set to have little impact on Russia, according to market experts. However, companies withdrawing from the Nord Stream 2 project indicate a growing uneasiness around conducting business with Russian entities.

  • Petrobras CEO saga sends bonds tumbling as fiscal fears mount

    Petrobras CEO saga sends bonds tumbling as fiscal fears mount

    Petrobras bonds slumped on Monday after Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro nominated retired general and former defence minister Joaquim Silva de Luna to be the state-owned oil and gas giant’s new CEO. One analyst decried “corporate statism” as others saw the decision as a warning about the direction of Brazil’s fiscal policy.

  • UniCredit baffled by Wirecard 'moonlighting' allegation

    UniCredit baffled by Wirecard 'moonlighting' allegation

    A report that Jana Hecker, global head of equity syndicate and equity capital markets at UniCredit, had worked privately for Markus Braun, the imprisoned former CEO of Wirecard, stunned UniCredit employees on Friday afternoon when it appeared in the Financial Times.

  • Hong Kong bookbuilding crackdown: a step too far

    Hong Kong bookbuilding crackdown: a step too far

    The Hong Kong regulator’s plan to overhaul the bookbuilding and allocation process for equity and bond deals has some worthy goals. But it is unnecessary for a market that has proven able to clean its own house.

  • Ratings agencies cautious on Next Gen EU impact

    Ratings agencies cautious on Next Gen EU impact

    European investors have wholeheartedly embraced the EU’s Next Generation EU programme and piled into risky assets in anticipation of a swifter recovery. But rating agencies are less convinced, warning that only the substance and implementation of national recovery plans will determine the trajectory of European growth.

  • HK SFC plans overhaul of ECM, DCM syndicates

    HK SFC plans overhaul of ECM, DCM syndicates

    Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is planning to bring in sweeping changes to rules governing equity and bond deals, requiring syndicate teams to be fixed earlier and fee structures to be disclosed. The moves have divided bankers. Jonathan Breen and Morgan Davis report.

  • Shenzhen stock move step in right direction for China

    Shenzhen stock move step in right direction for China

    Chinese regulators have made a long overdue move to reduce the number of boards at the Shenzhen stock exchange. That points to a greater commitment towards streamlining the country’s sometimes confounding capital markets.