LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan plans to sell up to 10
percent of its state grid KEGOC in an initial public offering in
the second quarter of next year and is also considering issuing
international bonds in 2013, senior government officials said on
The KEGOC sale would be one of the first in the
oil-producer’s “People’s IPO” programme. Kazakhstan hopes to
invigorate the small local stock market and raise around $500
million from a first round of IPOs.
The past 24 hours have brought news of more fund launches targeting emerging corporate debt; Barings and HSBC have started a fund each while ING Investment Management said its fund launched late last year had crossed $100 million. We have written about the seemingly insatiable demand for corporate emerging bonds in recent months, with the asset class last month surpassing the $1 trillion mark. Data from Thomson Reuters shows today that a record $263 billion worth of EM corporate debt has already been underwritten this year by banks, more than a fifth higher than was issued in the same 2011 period (see graphic):
The biggest surge has come from Latin America, the data shows, with Brazilian companies accounting for one-fifth of the issuance. A $7 billion bond from Brazil’s state oil firm Petrobras was the second biggest global emerging market bond ever.
The big easing continues. A major surprise today from the Bank of Thailand, which cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent. After repeated indications from Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul that policy would stay unchanged for now, few had expected the bank to deliver its first rate cut since January. But given the decision was not unanimous, it appears that Prasarn was overruled. As in South Korea last week, the need to boost domestic demand dictated the BoT’s decision. The Thai central bank noted:
The majority of MPC members deemed that monetary policy easing was warranted to shore up domestic demand in the period ahead and ward off the potential negative impact from the global economy which remained weak and fragile.
JP Morgan has an interesting take on the stupendous recent rally in the credit default swaps (CDS) of countries such as Poland and Hungary which are considered emerging markets, yet are members of the European Union. Analysts at the bank link the moves to the EU’s upcoming ban on “naked” sovereign CDS trades — trade in CDS by investors who don’t have ownership of the underlying government debt. The ban which comes into effect on Nov. 1, was brought in during 2010 after EU politicians alleged that hedge funds short-selling Greek CDS had exacerbated the crisis.
JP Morgan notes that the sovereign CDS of a group of emerging EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania) have tightened 100 basis points since the start of September, while a basket of emerging peers including Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey saw CDS tighten just 39 bps. See the graphic below:
One would have thought the brewing tensions in neighbouring Iran — an unravelling economy and the likelihood of an air strike by Israel– would only be a source of concern for Turkey. Every cloud, though….
Data released last week shows how the geo-political crisis has helped Turkey to shrink its massive current account deficit by a third this year. That’s because Iranians, scrambling to ditch their crumbling riyal currency and without access to dollars, have been buying up enormous amounts of gold as an inflation hedge, most of it from Turkey.
LONDON (Reuters) – In the seemingly obsessive search for the next bubble in global markets – an understandable if hyper-sensitised reaction to missing the last one – speculative credit remains a prime suspect.
It’s been boom time again this year for what used to be known as “junk bonds”, but which now go by the more polite moniker of high-yield, speculative-grade debt – much of which is corporate borrowing.
Emerging market corporate debt is in high demand, as we pointed out in this article yesterday. But we noted headwinds too, not least the amount of debt that will fall due in coming years as a result of the current bond issuance bonanza.
David Spegel, head of emerging debt research at ING in New York is highlighting a new danger — that of the exponential increase in speculative grade debt, especially from developed markets, that is up for rollover in coming years. A swathe of credit rating downgrades for European companies this year mean that many fund managers who bought high-grade assets, have now found themselves holding sub-investment grade paper. He calculates in a note this week that $47 billion of “junk” rated European paper will find itself up for refinancing in the first half of next year, more than double the levels that were rolled over in the first half of 2012.
The 60-70 basis-point post-election surge in Venezuela’s benchmark foreign currency bond yields is already starting to reverse.
Despite disappointment among many in the overseas investment world over a comfortable re-election in Venezuela of populist left-wing President Hugo Chavez on Sunday there are quite a few who are already wading in to buy back the government’s dollar bonds. Not surprising, as Venezuelan sovereign bonds yield some 10 percentage points on average over U.S. Treasuries and 700 basis points more than the EMBIG sovereign emerging bond index. It’s pretty hard to keep away from that sort of yield, especially when your pockets are full of cash, the U.S. Federal Reserve is pumping more in every month and Venezuela is full of expensive oil .
Emerging market central banks have clearly taken to heart the recent IMF warning that there is “an alarmingly high risk” of a deeper global growth slump.
Two central banks have cut interest rates in the past 24 hours: Brazil extended its year-long policy easing campaign with a quarter point cut to bring interest rates to a record low 7.25 percent and the Bank of Korea (BoK) also delivered a 25 basis point cut to 2.75 percent. All eyes now are on Singapore which is expected to ease monetary policy on Friday while Turkey could do so next week and a Polish rate cut is looking a foregone conclusion for November.
LONDON (Reuters) – New funds targeting debt issued by emerging market companies have helped push outstanding issuance past $1 trillion as investors chase high returns while sidestepping problems in developed economies.
Total volumes of debt issued by emerging companies are up tenfold since 2000 and the size of the market now rivals that for U.S. high-yield bonds. Investors are attracted by companies’ strong balance sheets and rising demand for consumer goods and financial services in most emerging economies.