Neil's Feed
Nov 6, 2012
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VW relaunches mandatory convertible market

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By Neil Unmack

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

Volkswagen is dusting off a sexy financing model. The German carmaker’s 2.5 billion euro mandatory convertible bond is the first from a European corporate since 2009. For issuers looking to protect their credit rating, the route could be more widely followed.

Nov 1, 2012
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Soft approach sadly best for next Greek debt deal

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By Neil Unmack

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

There’s no question that Greece’s public creditors – euro zone governments which helped bail out the country, and the European Central Bank which bought some 40 billion euros worth of its bonds – should take a hit. Athens just revised economic and budget forecasts showing that debt will reach 189 percent of gross domestic product next year, 22 percentage points more than estimates in March. Private creditors have already lost more than half their money in a restructuring earlier this year, but public sector lenders, who make up the lion’s share of the remaining debt, have been largely spared so far.

Sep 18, 2012
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Rome’s war against “lo spread” isn’t over

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italians must feel like Hercules fighting the hydra. “Lo spread”, the difference between Italian and German bond yields, hung over Italy’s economy and politics for more than a year. Now, just as the European Central Bank’s promise of bond-buying seems to have calmed markets, the government says it wants to fight another “spread” – the productivity gap.

Sep 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

For Italy, crisis freedom is almost within reach

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By Neil Unmack

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

Rome is half out of the woods. Italy’s 10-year bond yields have fallen by over a percentage point since European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi hinted at a new bond-buying programme. With yields falling and confidence returning, the need for a bailout is waning.

Sep 6, 2012

Draghi’s bazooka could be third-time lucky

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

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The ECB’s third bond-buying plan is a gamble on governments keeping their promises. At least it will buy time for the euro zone to seriously address the fundamental flaws of the monetary union.

Jul 27, 2012
via Breakingviews

Draghi bond-buying hints won’t end crisis

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By Neil Unmack

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

It’s not clear what Mario Draghi meant when he said the European Central Bank would do was needed to preserve the euro zone. The market thinks the ECB president was promising more purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds to drive down their oppressive yields. Investors may be right. But anyone expecting a game-changing crisis response could be in for disappointment.

Jul 13, 2012
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Valentino makes Permira look not shabby nor chic

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By Neil Unmack

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

It had all the hallmarks of a boom-time finance disaster. Permira’s leveraged 5.4 billion euro acquisition of a controlling stake in Hugo Boss through Valentino Fashion Group was one of the biggest deals of 2007, the year that the sub-prime crisis kicked off in earnest and Terra Firma bought EMI Group. Five years on, the UK buyout firm is selling Valentino to the Qatar royal family for a punchy price. That leaves Permira’s fashion binge looking respectable, if not glamorous.

Jul 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

Euro zone’s bailout funds face biggest test yet

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By Neil Unmack

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

Last November, the euro zone crisis forced the European Financial Stability Facility to delay a bond deal. Now the crisis is back, but the bailout fund is holding up. It has just issued its largest public bond, paying just 1.652 percent for five-year money. That has eased concerns after a previous bond issue was not fully subscribed. However, bigger challenges lie ahead.

Jul 11, 2012

Spain rightly forced to consider bank bail-in

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

By Fiona Maharg Bravo and Neil Unmack

MADRID/LONDON, July 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Spain’s
economy minister Luis de Guindos recently said bank preference
shares should never have been sold to mainstream retail
investors. It’s easy to see why. Euro zone lenders may be about
to force Spain to follow Ireland and impose losses on junior
creditors of bailed-out banks, many of whom are retail clients.
This would be deeply unpopular and carry risks. But it is the
right way to reduce the cost of Spain’s mega bank bailout.

Jun 27, 2012
via Breakingviews

Cyprus is the last of Europe’s baby bailouts

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By Neil Unmack

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

Hit by a perfect storm of economic slump and man-made disasters, Cyprus has been forced to seek euro zone help. Though implementing reform could be controversial, the 10 billion euro rescue is peanuts for the zone’s bailout funds. Europe will need a different strategy to cope with Spain and Italy.