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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Upfront

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  • The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters

    Don’t do it

    When the European Central Bank said it would buy covered bonds for the third time – plus ABS for the first time – in order to promote credit easing in the eurozone, bond market participants were perplexed. Covered bonds were already overbought, and banks were already awash with ECB liquidity through the LTROs. As for ABS – well, good luck finding enough bonds to make much of a difference.

  • Combination of file photos of logos on the headquarters of Germany's biggest landesbanks

    Sturm und Drang

    While the latter part of last week descended into frenzied volatility, some parts of the bond markets had already been enduring hardships of their own, even before events unfolded in their full and awful majesty on Wednesday.

  • An INEOS flag flies above an oil refinery buildings in Grangemouth, central Scotland

    Game-changer?

    At a time when the US regulators are asking increasingly searching questions about their loan practices, the last thing embattled lenders needed was anything else that might make their lives more difficult.

  • sole

    Sole searching

    At first glance, Adidas’s €1bn two-tranche foray into the bond market appeared to be something of a disaster for all concerned. At second glance, it seemed little better; a third look did nothing more than confirm many people’s prejudices. No one, it would seem, emerged with much credit.

  • Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet

    Don't get cornered

    Cornerstone investor tranches appear to finally be taking hold in European ECM, years after the process of anchoring IPOs around a clutch of major investors became the dominant model in Asia.

  • Alibaba IPO

    Chapeau!

    If Alibaba’s stock had popped dramatically in debut trading on Friday – or indeed gone the other way – the Monday morning syndicate (including this magazine) would have been out in force second-guessing the decisions made by the real bankers on pricing or allocations.

  • Alibaba's logo is seen at its headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province

    For the money

    The scrap for Alibaba IPO allocations is the product of a carefully constructed impression that the company and its founders aren’t just in it for the money. Co-founder Joe Tsai told IFR, shortly after negotiating loan financing for a Yahoo share buyback in 2011–2012, that Alibaba wasn’t interested in squeezing the last basis point out of a deal and had no problem in paying bankers to do a decent job.

  • PIK

    Who’s clever now?

    Whatever happened to bond investors being the smartest guys in the room? The logic behind the adage is simple. While every man and his dog can take a punt on stocks, the world of fixed income is largely open only to professional investors with expensive qualifications.

  • Trading room

    Avoidance tactics

    Attempts to shoehorn much of the US$710trn over-the-counter derivatives market on to exchange-like platforms have gained little traction within the buyside community.

  • Caveat emptor

    Buyer beware

    Every capital markets regulator in the world shares the goal of protecting consumers. Yet when it comes to bank capital, their approaches vary wildly.