Tuesday, 20 August 2019


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  • ECM's Year of Pain

    ECM’s year of pain

    Few equity capital markets bankers will look back fondly on 2016. For most, the year was a long, uncomfortable ride that saw markets lurch from one extreme to the other – a year of political upheaval in the UK and Brazil, of a collapse in the wider commodity complex, and of ebbing confidence in China’s growth model. Along the way, deal after deal was caught out; almost every team came out the year scarred in one way or another.

  • Defying logic: buying bonds in an era of negative rates

    Defying logic: buying bonds in an era of negative rates

    Bunds were hardly a screaming buy at the beginning of 2016. Far from it: shorter-dated paper offered investors next to no yield at all; and even at the longer end, a 0.1% coupon on 30-year debt must have seemed like scant compensation for all the risks that might befall the investment during that time.

  • China re-defines the M&A landscape

    China re-defines the M&A landscape

    By David Rothnie

    Global mergers and acquisitions activity fell in 2016 from the previous year’s record, but there was one pocket of extraordinary growth – the record volume of cross-border acquisitions by Chinese companies across Europe and the US.

  • Regulatory rollback: Phase One

    Regulatory rollback: Phase One

    Politicians, bank regulators, supervisors and central bankers the world over have spent close to 10 years trying to eradicate the root causes of the 2007–08 global financial crisis. Bank leaders have spent the same period trying to modify and mould the structures and profiles of their institutions to meet the requirements and obligations of what has become a veritable regulatory onslaught.

  • Something disruptive this way comes

    Something disruptive this way comes

    Have you heard the one-liner about banks being badly run technology firms with a sideline in finance? It may be a poor joke but many a true word is spoken in jest.

  • Sleepwalking into dysfunctional markets

    Sleepwalking into dysfunctional markets

    The rise and rise of the passive fund is yet another result of the low interest rate environment. And a worrying one.

  • Banks urged to clean up corporate centre black boxes

    Banks urged to clean up corporate centre black boxes

    Banks are under pressure to improve the consistency and transparency around their so-called corporate centres due to concerns that the units have become “black boxes” that are used to make other divisions appear better than they are.

  • Great leaps forward

    Great leaps forward

    China completed its takeover of the Asian capital markets in 2016 – at least in terms of numbers. Combining debt and equity in all currencies, nine of the region’s top 10 underwriters are Chinese. Where four global banks ranked among the top 10 in 2015, only HSBC – arguably the most Chinese of the global banks – managed that in 2016, ranking ninth on the Thomson Reuters league table.

  • Bellwether: A proper bake off

    Here at Bellwether, we are more than used to moving in exalted circles, such is the high esteem in which we are held.