Monday, 19 February 2018


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  • Alibaba IPO


    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.

  • Price correction

    A welcome correction

    The US leveraged loan market is in the throes of a price correction that has spread to Europe and Asia. Activist investors in the huge, liquid US institutional market are throwing their weight around, trying to gouge banks on deals that have run into market volatility.

  • Portugal's central bank

    Bailing out on bail-ins

    By leaving Banco Espirito Santo’s senior debt intact, the Portuguese authorities missed out on a golden opportunity to make a stand for Europe and show that the asset class is not sacrosanct.

  • Argentina

    The dogs that didn’t bark

    Emerging markets investors could be forgiven for thinking they were trapped in some sort of time warp last week.

  • The euro sculpture

    Keeping the pressure on

    The ECB’s Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operation looks to put more pressure on the spread margins of bank bonds, leaving investors again scrabbling around for incremental returns.

  • Smoke and mirrior

    Holy smoke and mirrors

    Just as every child is unique but also pretty much the same, many of Europe’s most troubled banks have problems that are idiosyncratic but share similar essential traits.