IFR Asia Awards 2020
4 min read

Alternative definitions of the year’s buzzwords


1. Tiny insect that can support many times its own weight;

2. Behemoth that folds under pressure from above


The Australian investment bank formerly known as UBS


Something to bet on when you’re bored of making electric cars or launching rockets

Block leave

Holiday spent in your own apartment complex

Blue bond

A whale-y big deal in sustainable finance


Process of taking orders when a deal is already covered, especially in Chinese US dollar bonds


In Hong Kong, anyone who promises an order for a debt or equity offering


A handy excuse for companies that were going to default anyway

Covid premium

Polite way of saying ‘we don’t want to lend to you anymore’

Distressed debt

Everything (as of end March 2020)

EV bubble

Electric vehicle maker with absurdly high enterprise value

Flight to nowhere

When Asian investors sell all their high-yield bonds at once, before buying them back a month later


When your free brokerage blocks you from buying more shares


Confused procrastination ending in disaster. The company was in a state of Hyflux

Keepwell deed

Feature of a Chinese bond that leaves investors keeping them, well, forever


The sound a Korean IPO makes when retail investors start selling


Excuse for selling more shares during a lock-up period

Loss-absorbing capital

Bank funding instruments that – shock horror – actually do absorb losses, even in China


Rhymes with…

National Security Law

No comment

Oil futures

Investment capable of leaving traders with no oil and no future

Pentagon list

One-sided view of Chinese companies


Ludicrous theory that assumes people in positions of power are competent

Quarantine hotel

Tourist tax

Red lines

Chinese building code


Source of poorly researched investment advice with ridiculous price targets. Not to be confused with sellside research on US tech stocks

Robin Hood

1. Folk hero famous for redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor;

2. Trading app used to redistribute stimulus cheques into the stock market

Secondary listing

A hedge against mutually assured destruction

Social bond

Capital markets response to social distancing

Social covered bond

Connection made at a party in a marquee

Social distancing

Reason not to talk to your boss


Japanese institution capable of making hard currency savings double, then halve, then double in value


Stop Panicking And Carry on raising money

Star Board

1. The right side of a ship;

2. The right place to sell shares in China

Sustainability coordinator

The bank responsible for arranging Zoom calls and adding pictures of trees to bond docs

Sustainability-linked loan

Banking product that does what a green loan should do

Term funding facility

Australian central bank initiative to ensure bankers can still afford to send their kids to private school


In India, an effort to channel some of the central bank’s injections into bonds, not just stocks


1. The scientific process of transforming from one state to another, eg, from solid to liquid

2. Vague capital markets pledge to install more solar panels on the roof by 2050

Travel bubble

Airline and hotel stocks in 2019


Website used by some unscrupulous people to pump stocks, at least until they are removed from office


Virtually office-free environment


Why fly here?

Yes Bank

The bank that said ‘yes’ too much


Video conferencing tool keeping barbers in business

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