Latest articles from Alan McNee

Investors slake commodities thirst with structured products

July 3, 2006

As investors look for ways to access booming commodities markets, banks report that interest in structured products and commodity derivatives is growing. But systemic risk and an overheated market are serious dangers, reports Alan McNee.

Emerging markets currencies step into the limelight

December 5, 2005

FX markets are back in vogue, with investors looking to emerging markets and online trading for the best gains. 

JPMorgan flies high with airport deal

December 5, 2005

JPMorgan’s innovative equity-linked deal for the German government, involving an exchangeable bond for Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, could set the template for future privatisations. Alan McNee meets the team that structured the transaction.

Complement or competition?

September 5, 2005

Alan McNee considers the potential convergence of hedge funds with private equity as they attempt to maintain their high returns.
The distinction between hedge funds and private equity firms gets less clear-cut as the months go by. As they participate in more and more leveraged finance deals, traditionally the preserve of the financial sponsor community, some argue that there is little to tell between them.

NPL trading takes off in Germany

July 4, 2005

The market in German non-performing loans is booming as the country’s banks start an aggressive sell-off of their portfolios.Alan McNee reports.
Sales of non-performing loans to foreign investors are becoming more common in Europe. Morgan Stanley, for example, bought a €430m portfolio of problem loans from Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) last year.
However, the main focus in Europe at present is on Germany, where banks such as Dresdner and Hypo Real Estate (HRE) have been restructuring their portfolios and selling them off to foreign investors. The next stage could witness the involvement of the Sparkassen (savings banks) and co-operative banks which make up the bulk of the country’s banking system.

Flight from innovation

July 4, 2005

Innovative hybrid capital is no longer the first choice for banks when it comes to capital issuance, as the growth in non-step-up securities clearly illustrates, reports Alan McNee.
The Financial Institutions Group (FIG) is playing an important role as banks focus on strategies for raising capital. But a period of innovation in hybrid capital is now giving way to a relatively standardised, mature market. Paradoxically, much innovation on the part of bank issuers is now driven by the need to avoid their hybrid capital being classified as ‘innovative’ by regulators.

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