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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Upfront

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  • Virgin territory

    It’s been a long time coming, but Australia may finally be developing a high-yield bond market worthy of the name.

  • Yield cravings

    Japan’s leveraged loan bankers may have enjoyed their chocolates on Valentine’s Day a little too much.

  • March madness

    The British government is not the only one rushing through a bad decision by the end of March: India is also pushing ahead with a poorly considered merger of two electric utilities that threatens to hurt its public finances.

  • Credit caution

    The rebound in Asia’s bond markets may be short-lived. On the surface, a run of successful new issues and popular placements from the high-yield and emerging-market sectors is a sign that risk appetite is back with a vengeance. Dig a little deeper, however, and the disappointment of late 2018 is far from a distant memory.

  • As you were

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Australia’s policymakers might want to keep Einstein’s apocryphal quote in mind when weighing up the proper response to the Royal Commission inquiry into financial misconduct.

  • New Year celebrations

    This week’s Lunar New Year will usher in the year of the pig, a symbol of prosperity and optimism in Chinese mythology. After a lean year for the country’s equity markets, the latest round of reforms should help bring home the bacon.

  • Capital confusion

    The Chinese authorities’ decision to broaden the investor base for onshore bank capital notes has had an immediate effect in boosting demand for such securities, but it will not do much to convince anyone that China will ever allow banks to fail.

  • Project mayhem

    Where in the world can a road builder default on a US$600,000 debt payment when it has more than US$31m locked away in an escrow account specifically designed to service its debt?

  • Grande soap opera

    Has China Evergrande finally figured out the Asian high-yield market? The last time the debt-laden Chinese developer sold a big US dollar bond, its existing curve took a 10-point hit. Back in 2017, the new issue slumped five points on the break. Last week, by contrast, it priced a US$3bn tap with little drama.

  • IPO innovation

    China’s forthcoming technology board is likely to be of more interest to Ant Financial than Alibaba.