Insights & News


  • Caixa Geral Pays a High Price For Inconsistent Regulation

    This week Caixa Geral de Depositos, a leading state-owned Portuguese retail bank issued a €500m perpetual additional tier 1 issue (with a 5-yr call). The price they had to pay though was very high, with the coupon eventually being set with a substantial 10.75% coupon. Why so high? In terms of credit metrics Caixa Geral is not the strongest bank in the eurozone and is still challenged by a weak domestic […]

  • A Clearer Technical Picture

    The markets had an interesting day to digest yesterday, with elections in the Netherlands and an FOMC rate decision making for a potential bump in the road for the current rally. As it happens, it was only the UK government that suffered the bump, with Chancellor Philip Hammond falling victim to the Ides of March after being forced into an embarrassing U-turn of his proposed National Insurance tax rise; good […]

  • Would An Independent Scotland Be In The PIIGS?

    During the 2010 euro bailouts and subsequent 2011 sovereign crisis, investors became so concerned about exposure to the euro bailout countries of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, that the acronym ‘PIIGS’ was coined. The most common question in meetings I had with investors during that period was “What is your PIIGS exposure?”. Is it now time for the membership of PIIGS to change? It might just be, for two […]

  • Default Rates

    It’s been a while since we commented on this, but as spread levels in European high yield converge on the post-global financial crisis lows that we hit in Q2 2014, we need to be confident that the default rate is continuing to be well anchored. Source: BAML   Here in Europe, the 12 month trailing default rate remains stable and importantly, at a very low level, with the February data showing […]

  • Views from a Local

    After an eventful 2016 (with the UK electorate voting to leave the EU and a Trump victory), this year our attention switches to the core of the Eurozone as voters decide which path their future should follow; the Dutch elections take place in three weeks (15th March), with the first round of the French presidential elections following in April, and the deciding second round on 7th May. Both the French […]

  • ECB Staying Focused on the APP

    The minutes from the January ECB monetary policy meeting, released yesterday, made for fairly dull reading although one passage did strike a chord of interest with us. In the Governing Council’s discussion on monetary policy decision, members “considered the implementation of the APP (asset purchase programme) to be proceeding smoothly following the decisions taken in December to expand the universe of eligible assets”. It seems fairly normal that the committee give […]

  • Market Becoming Complacent

    Having enjoyed an extended Christmas rally all the way through January and now into the second week of February, there are a few clouds appearing on the horizon that have caused us to take stock and start booking some early profits, while the technical position remains strong and liquidity remains available. So what is worrying us? Quite simply it is politics, on a variety of levels, and despite there being […]

  • Political Uncertainty

    2017 has understandably been dubbed the year of uncertainty – and with good reason – as the political agenda dominates investor concerns. However, since the start of the year markets have been relatively strong with demand comfortably absorbing the level of new issuance to date, while secondary spreads have generally continued to grind tighter. This morning (the 24th of January 2017), the crossover index was almost flat compared to its […]

  • Further Positive News in Lending Surveys

    As our regular readers will know, we always take a close look at both the Bank of England Credit Conditions Survey and the Euro Area Bank Lending Survey, as they give us a good insight into the lending environment in the regions; both were published recently, and by and large, pointed to healthy conditions for borrowers and lenders alike. In the UK, the supply of secured credit to households was […]

  • A visit from the Grinch or Christmas cheer?

    As we come to the final throes of 2016 we have been giving some thought to events that may have the potential to derail the ‘Santa-rally’ that risk markets have enjoyed since the Trump victory last month. The first of the potential road blocks is the finalisation of the settlement between the US DoJ and Deutsche Bank, surrounding the mis-management of the German lender’s US mortgage unit. We know that […]





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