Wednesday, 21 March 2018


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  • Getting away with it

    The British government’s decision to chuck 23 Russian diplomats out of the UK may have rattled some cages in the Kremlin, but as far as the financial markets are concerned the move barely registered.

  • The right prescription

    Investors are claiming a historic victory in the high-grade corporate bond market after extracting a discount from drugstore chain CVS on some of its M&A bonds.

  • Changing of the seasons

    The QE era is over. The ECB may still be buying €30bn of bonds a month, but the cycle of ever-tighter credit spreads and ultra-low yields is at an end.

  • Hong Kong Stuey

    “All political lives end in failure” is a familiar quote. But what Enoch Powell actually wrote was more nuanced: “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure.”

  • Big, bigger, biggest

    It’s an intimidating number. But the liquid US loan market is more than equal to the task of syndicating the US$100bn of committed debt facilities backing chipmaker Broadcom’s US$121bn bid for Qualcomm.

  • Taxpayers’ delight

    The roller-coaster ride experienced by financial markets last week was matched by the roller-coaster ride in bankers’ emotions.

  • Logo of China Evergrande Group

    Bullying tactics

    Evergrande’s latest capital markets outing is a stark example of the kind of bullying tactics investors often have to put up with in Asia.

  • Compression session

    Remember those convergence trades in anticipation of the euro, when the likes of Italy saw their bond yields rally to levels close to those of Germany?

  • Swap this

    The finance industry has a well-developed ability to punch itself in the face. But no part of the market is better at doing that than the credit default swap market.

  • 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.

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