Posts from Tuesday Feb 16 2010

Charlie Gasparino: crazy like a Fox (Business Anchor)

It’s official. CNBC’s on-air editor, Charles “Who you callin’ a poison gasbag?” Gasparino, is defecting to Fox Business.

Here’s the statement: Read more

Sino-Russian finance

A date for Asian diaries:

Event: Russia – Capital Raising and Investment Summit – Hong Kong Read more

CDS report: Indices move wider as sentiment dips

Markit’s Gavan Nolan wrote this CDS report

Markit chart of Dubai 5-year CDS

Markit chart of Dubai 5-year CDS

 Read more

Symbolic structured finance

One of the more odd requirements of new European regulation on credit rating agencies, is the need for a symbol to accompany structured finance ratings.

On Tuesday, we have what (we think) is the first selection from one of the big three agencies. Read more

Now the Australians are worried about US CRE

We admit it: we’re somewhat obsessed with commercial real estate here on FT Alphaville – but not without good reason.

So we were reassured to note that the topic of US commercial real estate is also preoccupying Guy Debelle, an assistant governor at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Read more

Ecky thump finance

Structured finance is so flat cap these days…

The Co-operative Bank is delighted to have today successfully launched and priced Silk Road Finance Number One, a GBP 2.5bn prime residential mortgage-backed securities transaction. The transaction re-establishes The Co-operative Bank’s presence in the capital markets following the completion of its merger with Britannia Building Society in August 2009. Read more

Introducing Ta’Hawwut. Maybe.

Practitioners of Islamic finance will soon be able to refer to the first-ever standard template for an OTC, Sharia-compliant derivative, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Simon Eedle, MD for Islamic Banking at Credit Agricole CIB, declared at a Reuters-hosted summit that the contract — which will be known as Ta’Hawwut — would be launched “imminently”. Read more

Barclays re-reconsidered

There’s a lot more to be gleaned from Tuesday’s annual results statement from Barclays.

But you have to go to Page 106 of the statement to find it. Emphasis FT Alphaville’s: Read more

Bangladesh: Asia’s hottest frontier?

Emerging market investors are weighing increasing their exposure to a tiny market: Bangladesh.

The country’s benchmark Dhaka Stock Exchange General Index has scaled new highs almost every week this year, after a stellar 62 per cent gain in 2009. Read more

S&P’s sovereign-covered caution

Here’s something we missed yesterday — another covered bond curio.

From ratings agency Standard & Poor’s: Read more

Barclays, reconsidered (and updated)

Tuesday’s annual results from Barclays were good.

But were they really good enough to justify this? Read more

Coming to America, Greece-style

From Greece, to Portugal, to Spain, to the UK, to…

Some commentators are speculating whether sovereign debt pressure might migrate all the way to the United States — a country also plagued by budget deficits, ratings rumblings and a plethora of short-term debt issuance coming due: Read more

The Maiden (Lanes) beauty contest

Compare and contrast.

From the FT — one maiden (I): Read more

Table du jour – Heating up…

RBC’s constructed a `heat map’ of sovereign risk for OECD economies. The redder the riskier:


Related link:
Handy sovereign risk table – FT Alphaville

Lunch Wrap

Service advisory: Some readers may be having trouble accessing FT Alphaville on Tuesday due to an FT.com registration issue. We apologise for the inconvenience and would like to stress that we are working on the problem.

On FT Alphaville Tuesday morning, Read more

The declining euro, pictorial edition

Presenting the euro’s declining value in graphic form:

 Read more

Markets Live transcript 16 Feb 2010

Live markets commentary from FT.com 

Titlos and Greek currency swap titillation


You are looking at a page on the National Bank of Greece’s (NBG) website that once, presumably, would have held the prospectus for Titlos Plc — a special-purpose vehicle created in 2009 to securitise a now-infamous swap agreement between the Greek bank and the country’s government.

The prospectus for the deal, arranged by Goldman Sachs, has gone missing from the NBG website. But there’s a good summary of it here, and you can still take a look at its structure hereRead more

That Heritage/Genel deal (updated)

When Heritage Oil terminated its $6bn plan to merge with Turkish company Genel Enerji in November we were treated to the following explanation:

Following entry into the LOI [Letter of Intent] with Eni, and in light of the continuing situation in Kurdistan where, in particular, the revenue payment mechanism for oil exports has not yet been established, discussions with Genel have been terminated.  Read more

Big oil’s bonus backlash

Earlier this month, Hans Wijers, the newish chairman of the Remuneration Committee at Royal Dutch Shell, said the oil company had learnt its lesson on pay.

Recall, the oil company that suffered a humiliating defeat on pay last year, when shareholders baulked at plans to pay executives a discretionary award for performance from 2006 to 2008 in spite of missing targets. Read more

The sovereign debt factor doesn’t translate into Japanese

The Greek factor continues to play havoc with the euro, turning “sovereign debt” into two of the dirtiest words around and making itself felt far beyond the shores of the Mediterranean.

Even Australia’s central bank had its eyes on Greece when it shocked markets earlier this month with its decision to hold interest rates at 3.75 per cent. Read more

Mervyn’s letters to the Treasurorians (updated with letter)

As expected,  Bank of England governor Mervyn King has been forced once again to write a letter to the Treasury explaining why inflation has risen past the critical 3 per cent mark.

As Reuters reported, year-on-year CPI in January came in at 3.5 per cent, a figure in line with Reuters consensus but below some City forecasts which had predicted a rise of as much as 4 per cent. Read more

Barclays beats

Wow. That’s the early price action in Barclays after full-year results came in 6 per cent ahead of City expectations. Read more

Solving CLOs at Barclays

What Protium — Barclays $12bn credit asset sale — cannot achieve, reclassification can.

Out today — Barclays 2009 resultsRead more

Further reading

Elswhere on Tuesday,

- The making of a EuromessRead more

Pink picks

Comment, analysis and other offerings from Tuesday’s FT,

Gideon Rachman: Why Mexico is the missing Bric
Countries once classified as mere “emerging markets” are now being re-classified as “rising powers”. Brazil, India and China – together with Russia – have been famously tagged the “Brics”, and are now global political players, writes the FT’s Rachman. Mexico, with more than 112m people, a per capita income more than double that of China and privileged access to the US market, should be in this group. But the drugs problem is blighting its future. Read more

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,

- Barclays annual profit before tax excluding BGI sale falls 13 per cent to £5.31bn – statement. Read more

Babcock bids for rival VT

Babcock International, the engineering support services group, unveiled on Monday an audacious £1.14bn offer for VT Group, the support services company which is itself in a takeover battle for a smaller rival. Babcock said it had made an indicative proposal to VT’s board last week worth 633.9p per VT share, a 25% premium to its Friday price – but the approach was rejected by VT. The move comes four years after Babcock fought off a joint approach from VT and BAE Systems. Also on Monday, VT raised its offer for smaller rival Mouchel by 18%, valuing Mouchel’s total equity at roughly £320m.

Eurozone urges Greek action

Finance ministers of the 16-nation eurozone told Greece on Monday night it would have to introduce more spending cuts and revenue-raising measures next month if it appeared unable to slash this year’s budget deficit by as much as promised. Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the ministers’ group, indicated that EU policymakers are ignoring Athens’ plea to focus on a rescue plan to calm market fears of a default by saying Greece should focus on expenditure cuts while also taking steps to increase revenue.

Fed carries losses from Bear portfolio

The US Federal Reserve is sitting on significant paper losses on the real estate assets it acquired in the Bear Stearns rescue, with much of the losses coming from debt used to back some of the biggest buy-out deals of the bubble years. The Fed holds them in a vehicle known as Maiden Lane I. The portfolio’s problems could stir the debate over whether the New York Fed, then run by Tim Geithner, now Treasury secretary, struck an appropriate deal for taxpayers in the Bear rescue.