Neil's Feed
Oct 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

Italy’s corporate zombies haunt Letta reboot

Photo

By Neil Unmack

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Italy’s corporate zombies are testing Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s reform intentions. The sagas of Alitalia and Telecom Italia share a common theme: both the airline and the telecom operator are suffering under shareholder structures derived from past attempts to block foreign ownership. For Letta, they offer a chance to prove that he can make tough decisions – or that he’s happy with business as usual.

Sep 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

Brussels partly detoxifies Monte dei Paschi rescue

Photo

By Neil Unmack

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The world’s oldest bank is being dragged into the modern era. For some time, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s shareholder-friendly bailout has sat oddly with Brussels’ new burden-sharing regime. A tough stance from the European Commission now means the disparity is less glaring.

Sep 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

Bank upstarts’ rapid growth needs careful policing

Photo

By Neil Unmack and George Hay

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Peer-to-peer lending is a rare thing in finance: an innovation that is actually innovative. Internet lenders are faster, more transparent and less systemically risky than traditional ones. But when the Financial Conduct Authority starts to regulate the sector next April, it needs to keep an eye on a disquieting new trend: some so-called P2P lenders are beginning to act more like banks.

Sep 3, 2013

Breakingviews-Credit markets face bumpy ride into 2014

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The
opinions expressed are his own.)

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bond markets are
disobeying financial theory. The U.S Federal Reserve’s expected
withdrawal of monetary stimulus ought to reflect a recovering
economy and stronger company earnings. This in turn should push
up bond yields but also lower the premium, or spread, that
corporate debt pays over government securities. Things aren’t
working out like that.

Aug 28, 2013

Breakingviews-Loss of prime broking diversity could hurt

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The
opinions expressed are their own.)

By Dominic Elliott and Neil Unmack

LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bank reform is
having unintended consequences for hedge funds. The result could
be bigger fund blowups that are harder to manage.

Aug 23, 2013

Breakingviews-Bank capital reform means French gain and UK pain

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Sometimes it’s
better to be based in Paris than London. On Aug. 20, Reuters
reported that Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) will issue a funky kind
of hybrid bond designed to satisfy new capital standards, a
month after UK peer Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) announced 2 billion pounds
of similar instruments. Yet the French bank will be doing so on
much more attractive terms.

Aug 19, 2013

Breakingviews-Moody’s U-turn raises bar for choosing hybrids

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The
opinions expressed are his own.)

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Moody’s (MCO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is
exposing the shaky foundations underpinning the hottest product
in European corporate finance. The rating agency has decreed
that “hybrid” debt is still debt, even if it resembles equity.
This may sound like a statement of the obvious. But companies
and investors need to digest it.

Aug 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dear UK chancellor: why Help to Buy was wrong

Photo

By Neil Unmack and George Hay

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

It is 2020, and the Bank of England’s new governor needs to have a word with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the UK housing market.

Aug 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

Berlusconi verdict weakens Italian reform drive

Photo

By Neil Unmack

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Berlusconi’s conviction leaves Italy’s government weaker, but not broken. The media mogul-cum-politician lost his final appeal on his conviction for tax fraud, which will exacerbate tensions within Rome’s ruling coalition of the centre left and right. Yet neither party wants to face their electorate for now. That means a crisis isn’t imminent – but the prospect of a political consensus that would allow serious reform is now more remote.

Jul 30, 2013

Breakingviews- Barclays shows what CoCos can and can’t do

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.) (Updates to add “potentially” in final
sentence.)

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
latest “CoCo” issue is going to be a tough sell. This may not be
the first occasion the UK bank has issued so-called contingent
convertible bonds. But the 2 billion pounds of securities to be
offered are unusual, and will need to be generously priced.