Up, up and away
The Shanghai Star Market has been a shining success since its launch in 2019. Global investors and investment banks are paying close attention.
After a slump in international issuance in 2020, fresh thinking may be needed to restore the appeal of the Japanese yen as a global funding currency. Japanese banks should also make another effort to get local investors to fund lower-rated issuers.
Travel restrictions and social distancing as a result of the coronavirus crisis transformed investment banking in 2020, introducing a more efficient, more flexible way of working. Asia-Pacific was the first region to go into the crisis and in some ways is the furthest through it. As health concerns begin to ease, does the region’s experience suggest that changes will stick?
Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration and a less-than-supportive regulatory climate, the ESG financing market in the US still managed to move forward in 2020. US ESG financing lags behind much of the rest of the world (Europe in particular) but a greener administration in the US will add momentum to efforts to harness financial markets to address climate change and other social ills.
With increased attention on the ESG sector, the second-party opinion providers have come under greater scrutiny from regulators and the maturing of the sector should lead to greater transparency and harmonisation.
Covid-19 was a major distraction for everyone in 2020, including those in the midst of the huge task of transitioning Libor to a new set of risk-free rates. Nevertheless, at the end of December 2021, Libor as we know it – for all but some important US dollar benchmarks – will be no more.