Neil's Feed
Nov 27, 2012
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Euro zone gives Greece almost a good deal

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By Neil Unmack

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

The stand-off between Greece’s lenders has ended – sort of. The deal isn’t perfect but it paves the way for further debt relief.

Nov 21, 2012
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Hedgies’ star quality is in the eye of investor

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

Hedge fund stars make their clients pots of money, right? If only hedge fund investing was so simple. The truth is that managers with stellar reputations can have poor-performing investors. And the real stars are those who do well on metrics that the industry tends not to disclose.

Nov 8, 2012

Barclays’ CoCo bond needs generous pricing

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

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Imagine a bond
that can inflict total wipe-out on investors, even though
the issuer’s shareholders are still in the money. It sounds
topsy-turvey. But Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) thinks it can find plenty of
buyers for just such an instrument.

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
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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
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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.