The Great Debate UK

from Commentaries:

Are Lloyds shares cheap? Not as cheap as this funny money

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group are worth 150 pence apiece, according to the analysts from Royal Bank of Scotland, who think the shares offer "a compelling restructuring opportunity" around today's 95 pence.

Lloyds, say the brokers, is going to recover sufficiently to pay a nominal dividend next year, and something quite substantial in 2011, thanks to margin expansion, cost control and normalising bad debts.

Well, maybe. Over in the distressed debt market, they are a lot less sure. Mind you, they are not very sure of anything, and anomalies abound. Brokers Collins Stewart, who have specialised in the backwaters of preference shares and PIBs, have one this very day. They are offering the snappily-titled HBOS Capital Funding 9.54 percent fixed-to-floating perpetual preferred securities at 65 pence.

The buyer gets a 14.68 percent return until 2018, when he either gets 100 pence, or the coupon is reset at Libor plus 6.75 percent, a rate deliberately designed to be punitive for the borrower, which is of course, HBOS' parent, Lloyds.

It may be junk but it’s cheap junk

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REUTERS– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Tuesday, May 12 was just another day in the twilight zone that is the market for bank debt and preference shares. As usual, that day’s dividends were paid on time, including the one due on Lloyds Banking Group 6.0884 percent preference shares.

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