Sunday, 18 March 2018
How often has any bank been able to lay genuine claim to creating a benchmark for how the business is conducted? Faced with some tough decisions about its own future amid the chaos of the new order, UBS fashioned an innovative and sustainable operating model that is now a blueprint for others to follow. It is IFR’s Bank of the Year.
Everyone battled volatility in 2015. ABN AMRO also faced a looming IPO. For running one of the year’s deepest and most diverse funding programmes in tandem with that process, ABN AMRO is IFR’s Issuer and Financial Issuer of the Year.
Investment-grade bond issuance in the US set another record in 2015 of well over US$1.2trn, driven by massive M&A and share buybacks as companies locked in cheap financing before rates finally begin to rise. For being a leader on some of the biggest of those deals, and navigating massive headwinds at the same time, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is IFR’s US Bond House of the Year.
At a time when many other European banks’ commitment to structured finance is questionable at best, Lloyds Bank has been building out an impressive and well-rounded securitisation franchise, making the bank IFR’s EMEA Structured Finance House of the Year.
In mid-September, Etihad Airways, its airport services business and five of its key strategic partners printed a US$500m five-year deal that stunned the market.
In a year of stark contrasts, risk management and diversification were the difference between a strong half and a strong year. For one bank, better integration, cutting-edge technology and a content-driven model proved crucial in navigating extreme volatility to deliver double-digit growth. Morgan Stanley is IFR’s Equity Derivatives House of the Year.
Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie’s landmark US$18bn bridge financing backing its US$21bn acquisition of cancer drug-maker Pharmacyclics emerged in the first quarter and set the tone for the rest of 2015.
Plenty of banks have bought their way up the league tables with accelerated risk business. Building market share and profitability is far rarer. Yet Credit Suisse gained as others watched issuance fall – and it is IFR’s Americas Equity House of the Year.
Market conditions were ripe for a big year in structured equity, but issuance disappointed. Yet JP Morgan managed a leadership position in every region and led trophy deals with skill and panache. It is IFR’s Structured Equity House of the Year
The IFR Americas Awards seek to recognise outstanding capital markets achievement in the US, Canada and Latin America. These Awards will be presented at a special ceremony, taking place on February 10 2016 at the Thomson Reuters Building, Times Square, New York.
The IFR Asia Awards honour achievement in Asia’s capital markets. The Awards will be presented at the 2015 IFR Asia Awards Dinner, taking place on February 24 2016 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.
Back in 1992, IFR’s Duncan Balsbaugh got a ringside seat from his position on Morgan Stanley’s London trading desk to watch George Soros’s attack on sterling. They say you can’t fight central banks, but as Soros showed, you can – and you should!
A plunge in commodity prices has left many energy exploration and production companies locked out of markets and struggling to refinance. Some are starting to get creative in an effort to ensure continued funding for their ongoing businesses.
Guidelines issued by the Fed, designed to limit leverage and reduce systemic risk, have made it harder for banks to compete in the leveraged lending business in the US. But while the leaders in the business have lost market share this year, lending remains healthy, with those borrowers looking for leverage able to find other options.
There was a time, not all that many years ago, when central banks seemingly controlled the world. I’m not talking the eras of Ben Bernanke or even Alan Greenspan, but of the 1980s when Paul Volcker ruled the Federal Reserve, Karl Otto Pohl was master of the Bundesbank, Fritz Leutwyler was at the Swiss National Bank and Robin Leigh-Pemberton was governor of the Bank of England.
Low interest rates and rising equity valuations, and an investor base desperate for paper, drove an increase in exchangeable bond issuance in 2015. Corporates hesitated to issue bonds convertible into their own stock but leapt at the chance to use large cross-holdings for cheap financing.
The privatisation plan Narendra Modi touted when he came to power in India 18 months ago has failed to take off quite as the pro-business premier promised. Doubts over his reform agenda are mounting, but are they justified?
If 2015’s banking narrative was supposed to centre on a defensive strategy re-think, replete with slashed assets and diminished headcount, no one told Japan’s ambitious commercial mega-banks.
The dramatic rout that followed the latest bull run in China’s equity markets was a case of history repeating itself. Regulators are still grappling to understand the root cause, but they must realise there is only one solution – and it’s surprisingly simple.
Fast-growing companies seeking to build confidence in their business models and raise financing are increasingly turning towards private fundraising rounds. So far, the trend has been limited but it could become to IPOs what Uber is to public transport.
Securitisation has come a long way since the dark days of the financial crisis, when politicians – and many regulators – laid the blame for much of the chaos squarely at its feet. With both groups now broadly understanding the role it can play in stimulating lending, securitisation is on the march again, with a new and novel type of loan being considered for use in the asset pool.