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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Upfront

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  • Don’t look back in anger

    Remember when, 15 years ago, HBOS issued the first UK covered bond? Suddenly, UK high street lenders were able to tap this long-standing sector for wholesale secured funding, in addition to selling billions of dollars of RMBS.

  • On the spot

    ECM bankers are understandably nervous about Spotify’s decision to shun an IPO and list without a placing.

  • Ding dong merrily on high

    Christmas has come early for investment banks this year. Last week, the annual haul of fees that banks earn from underwriting and advisory work crossed the US$100bn threshold for only the second time in the industry’s history – the only other time was 2007.

  • Made to be broken

    Last week the three main US bank regulators, including the Federal Reserve, told Congress they would consider revising the post-crisis guidelines on leveraged lending. It was a victory for Republicans trying to roll back financial regulation – or at least it looked like one.

  • Answers required

    It’s a frightening prospect that, a month before one of the biggest regulatory changes in European financial markets history comes into force, bond bankers are still in the dark about how their businesses will be affected.

  • On yer bike

    “HSBC likes nice people,” said one banker when asked last week why co-head of global banking Matthew Westerman is suddenly leaving the bank.

  • Talking junk

    For all the panicky headlines last week about the end of the world in junk bonds, the sector isn’t really in bad shape at all.

  • Toughing it out

    Is it time to batten down the hatches in EM?

  • Get on with it

    What is Venezuela’s President Maduro up to? On the face of it, his decision to make nearly US$2bn in principal payments on sovereign and state-owned oil company bonds – and then declare that he is looking to restructure the country’s debt – makes no sense.

  • Mind-blowing yoghurt

    Just when you think pricing on bond deals couldn’t get more irrational, along comes a trade that appears to defy all logic.

  • This way to the hen-coop, Mr Fox

    What’s the best way to avoid being accused of cheating? Invent the rules of the game yourself, of course.

  • Gulf of difference

    No Qatari borrowers have accessed the public bond markets since Saudi Arabia and three allies accused the country in June of backing terrorism – a charge Doha denies – and imposed trade restrictions as a result.

  • Not the next big payday

    Regulation brings innovation. And ever since regulators started pushing banks to raise additional capital, we’ve seen all sorts of product innovation in the markets – senior non-preferred debt, callable holdco securities, CoCos and Additional Tier 1 bonds.

  • Papering over the cracks

    For any penitent defaulter looking for redemption in the international bond markets, APP-China has a lesson about the price of forgiveness: it’s 9%.

  • Journey to the West

    In a rational market, increasing the supply of a product tends to lower the price. But for China’s offshore US dollar sovereign bonds, this has somehow had the opposite effect.

  • Suk it up

    Forget Mayweather versus McGregor. This week sees the start of a proper contest: a troubled Middle East corporate up against its bondholders. At stake is the future of the international sukuk market.

  • Decisions, decisions

    Credit default swaps have been through numerous iterations as part of market-wide attempts to restore confidence in an instrument that has a nasty habit of not performing as expected.

  • New connections

    Expanding stock trading links between Hong Kong and China to cover IPOs is an exciting next step for both markets. It’s also likely to disappoint investors on both sides.

  • Getting on the pot

    The transformation of Japan’s capital markets is gathering pace. The latest upheaval comes in the slow-changing world of yen bonds, where desperate investors are embracing global standards in search of higher returns.

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