Investor frustration at how expensive euro public-sector debt has become was on display last week, with the Kingdom of Spain receiving a surprisingly tepid response to a 15-year linker and Germany-guaranteed KfW having to switch to US dollar funding.
Markets cheered the US$46bn merger between US food giants Kraft Foods and HJ Heinz last week, breathing a sigh of relief that the deal would not be financed by a wave of new debt.
Yankee European bank CoCos and bond issuance to meet total loss absorbing capacity regulations finally got going in the US dollar market last week, with HSBC and Standard Chartered bringing Additional Tier 1 debt and Credit Suisse the first debt offering from a holding company entity of a European bank outside of the UK.
Borrowers have sold record amounts of debt in the US bond markets so far this year, as businesses race to shore up their finances and seize the moment before any rise in interest rates.
JP Morgan has underwritten a €6.8bn (US$7.3bn) bridge loan for China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina), in a rare example of a mainland state-owned enterprise turning to a single foreign bank to support an overseas acquisition.
EMEA equity-linked issuance has leapt by more than US$4.5bn in the space of seven days, raising hopes that the market is finally managing to compete with the enormous liquidity and extraordinary terms on offer from straight debt for both investment-grade and high-yield issuers.
Evidence is mounting that Austria’s decision last month to put Heta Asset Resolution, the rundown vehicle of regional lender Hypo Alpe Adria, into a €11bn debt moratorium is backfiring.
Ukraine is aiming to set out the broad terms of its proposed debt restructuring to bondholders within a few weeks of a whirlwind tour of the US and Europe by the country’s US-educated finance minister Natalie Jaresko, according to several sources close to the situation.
Citigroup may have narrowly avoided losing its operating licence in Argentina, but bondholders are still between a rock and a hard place after the latest court rulings on Argentina’s debt.
A bidding war for the Hong Kong listing of China’s biggest reinsurer has raised concerns that intense competition is making it harder for IPO sponsors to recoup their costs.
Europe’s swaps clearing obligation looks set to be further delayed – potentially to 2016 – as regulators and lawmakers thrash out the final details for regulatory technical standards (RTS) within a legal framework that provides no equivalent to the No-Action relief that eased the implementation of a US mandate two years ago.
An attempted £100m sale of shares in MoneySuperMarket by founder Simon Nixon on Wednesday has revealed an emerging sense of caution among investors. Nixon was forced to reduce the number of shares on offer, before finally conceding defeat and pulling the deal entirely when investors refused to meet his price.