Latest articles from Markets

An asset class in its own right

November 4, 2003

FX stands up as an asset class because it is liquid and transparent, and it has trends, volatility and big user numbers. William Essex looks at the likelihood of this enduring.

Sterling proves a valuable survivor

November 4, 2003

Since the introduction of the euro and the accompanying demise of the
tradable currencies it replaced, sterling has become increasingly
attractive. Andy Webb looks at the long-term trends.

Charlie Berman

November 3, 2003

Managing director, co-head European credit markets, global fixed income credit markets, Citigroup
Charlie Berman tells Geraldine Lambe that Citigroup is perfectly positioned to capitalise on a European shift to a capital markets-based corporate funding.

Spot the difference

November 3, 2003

Europe’s leveraged finance market is following in the US’s footsteps. However, inherent differences in the bank lending culture, investor base and legal landscapes mean that Europe still lacks the rational pricing of the US market. Joanna Hickey reports.

They shoot… they score

November 3, 2003

CSFB’s cancellation bond for Fifa last month proved that the capital markets are increasingly willing, and more than able, to absorb risk traditionally taken by the insurance sector. Geraldine Lambe reports on this idiosyncratic issue.

New-fangled tool breaks into the market

November 3, 2003

The trend for cross-asset trading has spawned a new product, equity default swaps. Supporters are championing their advantages but, says Natasha de Teran, it is likely that EDSs will have to jump through a few more hoops before take-up is widespread.
For some banks the fall in equity prices and the demise of the dot.com-fuelled equity investing culture happily coincided with an increased focus on credit risk management and the fast development of the credit markets. Those that managed to gain a lead in the rapidly growing credit sphere have reaped the rewards.

Investors’ row looks set to run and run

November 3, 2003

European bond investors are on the attack. They have not so far manned the barricades but they are distinctly edgy, maintaining that they are suffering from mushroom syndrome: people keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit. So they are fighting back. Their main bone of contention is that a company can be restructured with a negative impact on existing bonds and with little in the way of financial disclosure.

It’s hard work to get hands on capital

November 3, 2003

The European pension fund crisis could be partly resolved by persuading companies to manage their working capital better and release funds. One estimate is that European companies have about E600bn trapped in inefficient cash flow management. Release it and they can top up their ailing pension funds and a lot more besides – new acquisitions, new growth, things that could bring moribund European economies back to life.

An old hand avoids new red tape

November 3, 2003

Where are they now? Michael Philipp, former head of global asset management at Deutsche Bank, hands me a business card that reads: “Vision Fuel Services, Peachtree Street, Atlanta”, a company of which he is “principal”. Is it an opticians or a fuel supplier? “It’s my son’s business,” he says, none too helpfully.

Tightening trend continues

November 3, 2003

Geraldine Lambe analyses The Banker’s Credit Risk 500 and finds the figures add up to a positive picture for corporates and financials as spreads tighten across all sectors.

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