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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Upfront

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  • Russia

    Going wild

    Events in Russia surpassed even the most bearish of expectations last week as the rouble crashed to all-time lows and other Russian assets slumped deeper into the mire.

  • EM euro market

    There is no alternative

    It’s not often banks turn down the prospect of cheap funding. Only three years back, when the European Central Bank launched its two longer-term refinancing operations, it was like the first day of the sales: banks put in 1,323 bids, collectively taking €1trn of funds. Fast forward to 2014 and, despite the central bank lowering the cost of borrowing to just 0.15% (yes, you read that right), only half the number of bids were put in for an allotment of just €212bn.

  • ICBC branch at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

    East is East…

    China’s latest bank capital benchmark has answered some questions about the depth of the investor base for the product, but it actually says more about the gulf in approaches to Basel III capital that exists between Europe and Asia.

  • Modi

    Modi's mission

    If Indian bond arrangers ever needed a reminder of the complexities of the country’s regulatory regime, last week’s warning against overseas financings provided just that.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) logo

    Getting it all wrong

    To miscalculate your Core Tier 1 equity ratio by 100 basis points is embarrassing enough, but to do it for a process meant to test your resilience and renew confidence in the European banking sector is just downright humiliating. RBS chose a late Friday afternoon to announce to the world that, under the European Banking Authority’s October stress test, its CET1 ratio should have been 5.7% under the adverse scenario – not the 6.7% it stated.

  • Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group

    Alibonds

    China’s biggest ecommerce company has already rewritten the history books with the world’s biggest IPO. It now has the potential to do the same in the debt capital markets.

  • Lukoil logo

    Open or shut?

    In these times of near-zero interest rates, it’s hard to imagine a borrower popping open the champagne after selling a one-year bond at a yield of 4.45%.

  • European Banking Authority (EBA) chairman Andrea Enria

    The opposite of zero risk

    It isn’t often that you get to see exactly what banks have stuffed into their books, but one of the great benefits of the European Banking Authority’s stress tests is that dozens of banks across the eurozone are periodically forced to lift the veil.

  • 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.