Money managers under the microscope
from Global Investing:
Russian debt finally became Euroclearable today.
What that means is foreign investors buying Russian domestic rouble bonds will be able to process them through Belgian clearing house Euroclear, which transfers securities from the seller's securities account to the securities account of the buyer, while transferring cash from the account of the buyer to the account of the seller. Euroclear's links with correspondent banks in more than 40 countries means buying Russian bonds suddenly becomes easier.And safer too in theory because the title to the security receives asset protection under Belgian law. That should bring a massive torrent of cash into the OFZs, as Russian rouble government bonds are known.
In a wide-ranging note entitled "License to Clear" sent yesterday, Barclays reckons previous predictions of some $20 billion in inflows from overseas to OFZ could be understated -- it now estimates that $25 to $40 billion could flow into Russian OFZs during 2013-2o14. Around $9 billion already came last year ahead of the actual move, Barclays analysts say, but more conservative asset managers will have waited for the Euroclear signal before actually committing cash.
Foreigners' increased interest will have several consequences. Their share of Russian local bond markets, currently only 14 percent, should go up. The inflows are also likely to significantly drive down yields, cutting borrowing costs for the sovereign, and ultimately corporates. Already, falling OFZ yields have been driving local bank investment out of that market and into corporate bonds (Barclays estimates their share of the OFZ market has dropped more than 15 percentage points since early-2011). And the increased foreign inflows should act as a catalyst for rouble appreciation.
Each of these points in a bit more detail:
a) Foreigners' share of the Russian bond market is among the lowest of major emerging markets. Compare that to Hungary, where non-residents own over 40 percent, or South Africa and Mexico, where foreigners' share of local paper is over 30 percent.
from Global Investing:
The boom in emerging corporate debt is an ongoing theme that we have discussed often in the past, here on Global Investing as well as on the Reuters news wire. Many of us will therefore recall that outstanding debt volumes from emerging market companies crossed the $1 trillion milestone last October. This year could be shaping up to be another good one.
January was a month of record issuance for corporates, yielding $51 billion or more than double last January's levels and after sales of $329 billion in the whole of 2012. (Some of this buoyancy is down to Asian firms rushing to get their fundraising done before the Chinese New Year starts this weekend). What's more, despite all the new issuance, spreads on JPMorgan's CEMBI corporate bond index tightened 21 basis points over Treasuries.
from Global Investing:
Investors just cannot get enough of emerging market bonds. Ukraine, possibly one of the weakest of the big economies in the developing world, this week returned to global capital markets for the first time in a year , selling $2 billion in 5-year dollar bonds. Investors placed orders for seven times that amount, lured doubtless by the 9.25 percent yield on offer.
Ukraine's problems are well known, with fears even that the country could default on debt this year. The $2 billion will therefore come as a relief. But the dangers are not over yet, which might make its success on bond markets look all the more surprising.
from Reuters Investigates:
We went behind the scenes of Dubai's debt debacle last November and found a much more sober city-state starting to rebuild itself from the $59 billion hole that was dug by the whizz kids who had powered its transformation. Loans don't come as easy -- particularly the nod and the wink of association with the royal family isn't cutting it like it used to.
Some people see a connection between the crisis and the fact that Dubai has also started to tighten up on its trade with Iran, in line with broader international sanctions, but we're not so sure about that.
M&A is on the up again and hedge funds are getting ready – last week we revealed Cheyne Capital had raised over $100 mln for an event-driven fund.
The fund will concentrate on ‘hard’ news (as opposed to rumours of deals), but, as suggested in their name, such funds can look at a wider range of events than just M&A, including restructurings, debt refinancings, asset sales, share buybacks and so on.
And in his latest letter to investors, Hendry has smartly rebuffed any attempt to ‘save’ him from his bond investments.