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Friday, 15 December 2017

Upfront

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  • Total headquarters

    Total recalls hybrids

    By this time last year, some €21bn of corporate hybrid paper had been printed in the European bond markets. By last Wednesday, 2016’s tally stood at a paltry €1.9bn.

  • Chinese yuan and US dollar banknotes

    Trouble in store

    Adam Smith’s invisible hand has long felt a strong nudge from Beijing when it comes to price-setting in China. So it should come as no surprise that municipalities are issuing huge amounts of debt into the market at rates far below where they should be pricing.

  • VTB Bank logo

    Out in the open

    When a Mozambique state agency called Ematum issued a bond in September 2013, the country could hardly have expected that the deal would still be dogged by controversy more than two years later.

  • Norske Skog sign

    Paper tigers

    Credit default swaps are back in the spotlight over the role that activity in the instruments could be playing in determining the fate of companies.

  • Banca Popolare di Vicenza logo

    Scare off the vultures

    Alarmed by the sight of vulture funds circling Italy’s weakest banks, the government has bullied its most important financial institutions into a collective effort to shield their impoverished peers from the likes of Apollo and Fortress, saving the blushes of a nervy UniCredit in the process.

  • Recently completed residential buildings at Battersea in London

    Rock solid?

    Doesn’t everyone love a happy ending? In the depths of the financial crisis, bonds from failed UK lender Northern Rock’s Granite RMBS programme plummeted to a fraction of face value, as visions of a US-style mortgage market meltdown flashed before the eyes of nervous bondholders.

  • Deutsche Bank CFO Marcus Schenck

    Shattered plans

    The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Bankers, who have been through their fair share of shocks over the past few years, are more aware than most that the adage holds true. But it seems that even the best of them have been caught off-guard by the slowdown in activity in the first quarter.

  • European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters

    Back on the rollercoaster

    About a month ago, IFR asked a senior public sector banker if he could envisage Germany-guaranteed KfW’s bond yields dipping below German Bunds in the foreseeable future.

  • Valeant stock price tumbles

    Misplaced priorities

    The collapse of Valeant’s stock price has been stunning to behold. The drugmaker’s shares plunged 50% on Tuesday after it said a delay in filing its annual report raised the danger of a technical default on its US$30bn debt pile.

  • Brazil returns

    Emerging emerges

    After a tepid start to the year, the EM primary market burst into life last week. The highlight was Brazil’s comeback after an 18-month absence.