Health and Biotech

  • Covid-19: sovereign borrowing response

    Covid-19: sovereign borrowing response

    The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing many governments to expand their borrowing programmes. The table below details the impact of the outbreak on the funding requirements of major sovereign bond issuers.

  • Zambia pleads for debt standstill in ‘disappointing’ call, promises IMF engagement

    Zambia pleads for debt standstill in ‘disappointing’ call, promises IMF engagement

    During an investor call on Tuesday, Zambia laid out a timeframe for the consent solicitation request it issued for its Eurobonds last week. While the country's finance minister signalled an intent to engage with the International Monetary Fund, which is a contentious point that creditors have been inflexible on, bondholders were disappointed at the lack of clarity and detail about Zambia's plans with them.

  • Sri Lanka rating cut to Caa1 amid uncertainty

    Sri Lanka rating cut to Caa1 amid uncertainty

    Sri Lanka is facing serious fiscal pressure, a result of the dire economic impact of the coronavirus. That led to a downgrade from Moody’s this week, which lowered its rating by two notches. All three major rating agencies have now downgraded the country this year.

  • Colombia becomes first to draw IMF FCL, could shun bonds

    Colombia becomes first to draw IMF FCL, could shun bonds

    Colombia will become the first country to draw down on an International Monetary Fund flexible credit line (FCL), its instrument for top quality borrowers. The government is likely to use the loan — rather than bond markets — to complete its external funding needs.

  • EM catches volatility virus to throw LatAm pipe into uncertainty

    After a second Latin American borrower in a week pulled plans to issue a bond, bankers are suddenly concerned that the region’s idyllic issuance conditions may be over. But with two infrequent corporates, a Colombian bank and a debut high yield name preparing deals, the extent of the deterioration should be clear soon.

  • RMBS unemployment impact delayed but not stopped, data shows

    RMBS unemployment impact delayed but not stopped, data shows

    Data from DBRS Morningstar and Bank of America shows that government support measures across Europe have delayed the impact of rising unemployment on RMBS deals, though not indefinitely. The news comes as the UK government announces further support for struggling workers.

  • Covid spikes to force equity raisers to come back for more

    Covid spikes to force equity raisers to come back for more

    Equity capital markets investors are likely to face a stream of companies asking them for fresh capital to get them through the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as cases spike again in continental Europe and the UK, writes Sam Kerr. Some will be asking for the second time — or very late.

  • Funding Circle lifts lid on struggles in UK SME lending

    Funding Circle underlined the strain felt by UK small and medium sized enterprises in its half year results on Thursday, as the marketplace lender swung into a loss caused by heavy writedowns of subordinated portions of its SBOLT securitizations. But the lender also achieved strong volumes in government-guaranteed loans, which it sells off balance sheet to Chenavari Investment Management.

  • Covid dries up Schuldschein debuts

    Covid dries up Schuldschein debuts

    New research from analysts at Helaba points to a flight to safety in the Schuldschein market over the course of 2020. Rated issuers are making up a bigger share of deals than they have for a decade, and there have been next to no debuts. Schuldschein arrangers hope this conservative trend does not continue into 2021.

  • Zambia on track for default with investors set to concede

    Zambia on track for default with investors set to concede

    Zambia has requested to defer payments on $3bn of its dollar Eurobonds, in what could be the first default by an African sovereign during the coronavirus crisis. Bondholders said they were resigning themselves to accepting the deferral request.

  • IPO pricing continues but Covid darkens skies over market

    IPO pricing continues but Covid darkens skies over market

    The European IPO market is continuing to churn out deals, but a return of volatility in secondary equity markets is starting to cause discomfort among syndicate bankers, who say they must proceed with caution in the weeks ahead.

  • Debt purchasers dip into market to prep for NPL rush

    Debt purchasers dip into market to prep for NPL rush

    Debt purchasing firms are repeatedly hitting the high yield market to prepare their capital structures for the likely wave of portfolio sales as pandemic support schemes roll off, with France’s iQera the latest in the market. But some companies in the sector are in no position to refinance, such as Lowell which is effectively shut out of the market with its own credit concerns, raising questions about whether these companies can compete for post-Covid loan sales.

  • Norway to tighten mortgage lending after pandemic easing

    Norway to tighten mortgage lending after pandemic easing

    Norway’s Ministry of Finance has said it will apply tighter mortgage lending standards from next week after temporarily loosening them to support the economy. The move, which was not unexpected in light of the resilient state of the economy and stubbornly high house price inflation, will minimise mortgage defaults.

  • Covid raises hedging question as markets plot path forward

    Covid raises hedging question as markets plot path forward

    The violent sell-off across financial markets this spring turned many investors’ positions upside down. Those without proper hedges in place were at best left embarrassed and at worst forced to shut up shop. Despite central banks once again intervening, plenty are finding reason to be cautious. Ross Lancaster investigates what lessons, if any, market participants have learnt from the meltdown.

  • London bankers prepare for new office working guidelines

    London bankers prepare for new office working guidelines

    London's investment bankers are getting to grips once more with the UK government's guidance on coronavirus, after it said on Tuesday that office workers should work from home, if possible. Banks had slowly been inviting more staff back into London offices in recent months while the government had also been urging people to get back to the office.

  • UK government virus switcheroo risks City's long-term health

    UK government virus switcheroo risks City's long-term health

    The UK government’s sudden volte face this week about working from home may slow coronavirus infections but it betrayed a fundamental lack of strategic thinking and stability over the most pressing concerns. That should worry the City, which is in a fight for its future as a leading financial centre, as a result of Brexit.

  • Mercuria opens $980m loan with Covid premium

    Mercuria opens $980m loan with Covid premium

    Commodities company Mercuria has returned for its annual borrowing of $980m. This time, it is enticing banks with a 10bp Covid-19 premium on the loan margin and fees.

  • Pharma is ‘rising star’ in SSDs

    Pharma is ‘rising star’ in SSDs

    German hospital operator Asklepios Kliniken launched a Schuldschein on Monday with an initial target of €200m. Investors have doubled down on their interest in pharmaceutical firms this year and throughout the pandemic, prompting a substantial increase in the market’s exposure to the sector.

  • Equity market prepares for ‘difficult’ Rolls-Royce raise

    Equity market prepares for ‘difficult’ Rolls-Royce raise

    Rolls-Royce, the UK maker of aircraft engines, has confirmed it is considering holding a £2.5bn ($3.19bn) equity raise, but buy-side sources were struggling to make the investment case for the company given the uncertainty over its future. Its stock fell 10% on Monday on the announcement and fears that the UK will return to a lockdown to stop the dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases.

  • Julius Baer pulls AT1 after closing in on new record

    Julius Baer pulls AT1 after closing in on new record

    Julius Baer was forced to postpone a new transaction amid 'worsening market conditions' on Monday, after coming close to setting a new record for the lowest ever additional tier one (AT1) coupon in dollars from a European bank.

  • Job loss fears rampant as pandemic pummels corporate debt volumes

    Job loss fears rampant as pandemic pummels corporate debt volumes

    Despite the financing that two jumbo acquisitions revealed this week would require, loans bankers fear that with no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight and entire industries reeling from the fallout of lockdown, their jobs will soon be on the line. Mariam Meskin and Mike Turner report.

  • Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield launches plan to reset business

    Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield launches plan to reset business

    Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, one of the world's largest owners of shopping malls, launched a €9bn-plus turnaround plan on Thursday, which includes a €3.5bn rights issue. The aim of is to reduce its leverage to help it withstand the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Payments climb back but new Italian NPL wave looms

    Payments climb back but new Italian NPL wave looms

    Debtors are paying off their mortgages in Italy at the same rate as they were before the pandemic, according to Banca IFIS, after the country suffered one of the worst declines in collections following the coronavirus lockdowns.

  • Has IFFIm blazed a trail for others?

    Has IFFIm blazed a trail for others?

    Cyrus Ardalan, chair of the board of directors at the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), discussed whether others could follow his organisation's model to finance solutions to social challenges at the GlobalCapital Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets Virtual Forum 2020 on Wednesday.

  • White Oak signs CBILS securitization

    Specialist lender White Oak has sponsored the first securitization of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans, a £150m private transaction with Barclays, enabling it to recycle capital into the final 15 days of the government-backed lending programme.

  • Arg provinces line up to restructure as PBA expected to up offer

    Arg provinces line up to restructure as PBA expected to up offer

    At least 12 Argentine provinces are either deep in restructuring talks with bondholders or are preparing to begin negotiations. But as Argentina’s finance minister Martín Guzmán calls for regional governments to renegotiate their debts in line with the federal government’s sustainability guidelines, investors are unlikely to grant the same level of debt relief they agreed with the sovereign.

  • IAG launches rights issue with focus on flexibility

    IAG launches rights issue with focus on flexibility

    IAG, the airline holding company that owns British Airways, has launched its €2.75bn rights issue to help fund it through the coronavirus pandemic. The company does not expect a return to normal operations until 2023, but is hoping its ability to be flexible in offering flights to areas that are recovering more quickly will be enough to persuade investors to take part in the cash call.

  • Tui bondholders agree to KfW rescue loan

    Tui bondholders agree to KfW rescue loan

    German travel company Tui’s bondholders have agreed to suspend limits on the debt the company can incur, opening the door to a rescue loan from KfW and a convertible bond injection from the German government's economic stability fund.

  • Market split over Africa credit risk amid domino downgrades

    Market split over Africa credit risk amid domino downgrades

    The coronavirus pandemic has ramped up African sovereigns’ need to spend, resulting in a wave of credit rating downgrades. But market participants are split over the perception of credit risk in the region and how that will affect future issuance.

  • Transmantaro to reopen bond after rare Covid upgrade

    Transmantaro to reopen bond after rare Covid upgrade

    Consorcio Transmantaro, the Peruvian transmission company and one of the few Latin American issuers to have improved its credit profile this year, is turning to bond markets for the first time since April 2019 to finance investments.

  • Argentine lender bets on debt swap to beat looming maturity

    Argentine lender bets on debt swap to beat looming maturity

    Banco Hipotecario, the Argentine bank focussed on mortgage and consumer loans, is asking holders of a dollar bond maturing in less than three months to swap their paper for a new 2025 bond and cash. If bondholders do not accept the terms, default is likely, says Moody’s.

  • Schuldschein reverts to roots after Covid panic

    Schuldschein reverts to roots after Covid panic

    The Schuldschein market, which has spent the last few years growing increasingly international compared to its domestic origins in Germany, has lost its adventurous streak due to the coronavirus pandemic. Forays into unknown territories with borrowers from new industries are being treated with trepidation and lenders are heading back to what they know best.

  • Provinces promise higher recoveries in Argentina’s next restructuring frontier

    Provinces promise higher recoveries in Argentina’s next restructuring frontier

    At least 12 Argentine provinces are either deep in restructuring talks with bondholders or are preparing to begin negotiations. But as Argentina’s finance minister Martín Guzmán calls for regional governments to renegotiate their debts in line with the federal government’s sustainability guidelines, investors are unlikely to grant the same level of debt relief they agreed with the sovereign.

  • Alireza Zaimi of the Public Investment Fund on navigating calamity

    Alireza Zaimi of the Public Investment Fund on navigating calamity

    Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which holds almost $400bn of assets under management, has played a critical role in maintaining financial stability during the coronavirus pandemic. Alireza Zaimi, head of corporate finance at the PIF, tells GlobalCapital how the fund weathered a commodity shock of unprecedented proportions, how the crisis has shaped its investment choices, and how its funding strategy has held up.

  • Icelandair gets final approval for vital loan

    Icelandair gets final approval for vital loan

    Icelandair, the flag carrier airline of Iceland, has gained the final major approval it needs for a government-backed loan, setting up the company for an imminent share sale and loan funding totalling about $247m-equivalent.

  • Center Parcs launches refi after holiday villages reopen

    Center Parcs launches refi after holiday villages reopen

    Center Parcs has launched a refinancing of its class ‘B’ debt, taking advantage of better sentiment and a resumption of holiday bookings in its UK locations to push out a 2022 maturity in its subordinated debt.

  • Chinese LGFVs in good shape despite Covid

    Chinese LGFVs in good shape despite Covid

    Chinese government-related entities (GREs) and local government finance vehicles (LGFVs) received more rating upgrades than downgrades from Fitch Ratings in the first half of 2020, but the pricing differences between bonds from quality names and weaker credits remain stark, said DCM bankers.

  • New Argentina bonds erratic in grey

    New Argentina bonds erratic in grey

    Argentina’s foreign law exchange bonds will go free to trade this week and offer early clues as to how markets are likely to value the newly restructured credit, after some promising but inconsistent signs emerged from grey market trading last week.