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Monday, 17 December 2018

Upfront

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  • Taking a ride

    A couple of ride-sharing unicorns butting heads could make a fascinating spectacle in the US IPO market next year.

  • Smashing a window

    Well done, Indonesia. The stand-out deal of the last week in Asia’s capital markets came from – of all places – the Indonesian government.

  • Statement trade

    Sometimes it’s best to keep your head down, let the bad noise fade and show the market a bit of respect. But that’s not the way Russia likes to do things in the international bond markets.

  • New London landmark

    The introduction of the Shanghai-London stock trading link has enormous political significance for the governments at each end of the connection. In capital markets terms, however, its success will boil down to two things: price, and liquidity.

  • Times they are a-changin’

    The year opened with a bang for the German covered bond market when a €1bn January 2025 Pfandbrief issue for market darling LBBW was priced at an eye-watering 20bp through mid-swaps, the sector’s tightest in memory.

  • Time to move on

    The one undeniably good outcome for Mozambique after it reached an agreement in principle with bondholders last week is that an end is finally in sight to a sorry saga that began with the issuance of “tuna bonds” in 2013.

  • Not so grand

    In normal circumstances, raising close to US$2bn in the high-yield bond market would be cause for celebration. China Evergrande, however, might want to hold off on the baijiu after its latest offshore financing.

  • This time it’s different

    International regulators including the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are lining up to take a pop at leveraged loans as the next instrument of financial destruction. Last week, it was former Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s turn to highlight the risks.

  • Hail to the chief

    Another cash-burning company – this time Uber – has pulled off a junk bond sale. But it’s not necessarily a sign that the high-yield market is bonkers.

  • Seismic shifts

    An earthquake in the small hours of Thursday morning gave delegates at the IMF’s annual meetings in Bali an uncomfortable reminder that Asia’s emerging economies remain vulnerable to unforeseen shocks. The financial markets have been delivering their share of shocks as well, and another terrible week for risk assets provided a tricky backdrop for the gathering. Rising oil prices, slumping emerging market currencies and the worsening US-China trade war were all high on the agenda.

  • Haters gonna hate

    Funding Circle’s 17% collapse on its third day as a listed company was a shock for all concerned following a muted first couple of sessions. The next day, Aston Martin Lagonda hit the skids on its debut – just hours after securing a £4.33bn valuation.

  • Take me, I’m yours

    Investors like big, liquid bond deals. Especially when they know there aren’t many more in the pipeline any time soon.

  • Show us the money

    Hats off to all those involved in the remarkably successful leveraged financing backing Blackstone’s carve-out of a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk unit (of which, full disclosure, IFR is a part).

  • Overnight sensation

    Just a few years ago, the idea of a US$4.3bn-equivalent overnight equity offering would have been unthinkable in Japan’s capital markets. Last week’s mega block trade in Yahoo Japan is therefore a big step forward.

  • Too big to fail

    The transatlantic leveraged finance market is facing a unique challenge as two massive buyout loans compete for investors’ time and money.

  • Test-driving a new model

    The Financial Conduct Authority couldn’t have hoped for a better road test for its changes to the UK IPO process than Aston Martin Lagonda. There won’t be a more high-profile float in the UK this year than the £1.25bn deal and as such it is certain to attract research from unconnected analysts.

  • Blocked pipeline

    Saudi Arabia certainly grabbed the headlines when it announced plans, in early 2016, to IPO its state oil company and cash cow Aramco. The deal, at a projected US$100bn, would be four times bigger than anything seen before. A valuation of US$2trn would be double that of Apple.

  • Contagion contained

    As the markets opened in London on Monday it seemed as though all hell was about to break loose across the emerging markets.

  • ​Reality check

    Turkey’s economy is broken. Everyone knows this apart from one person. Unfortunately, that person happens to be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • Posturing in Pakistan

    The IMF’s warning earlier this year that China’s emergence as the world’s biggest bilateral creditor could cause problems in future debt reckonings is finally catching the attention of its largest shareholder, the US.

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