04 December 2013 - 14:13 pm
With one bound it was free. Bank of Ireland shares shed 2.2 per cent in early trade after it said it would issue €580m of new shares to help repay almost €540m of state aid in preference shares. The Irish government will sell the remaining €1.3bn of prefs it holds to private investors, so ending Dublin’s interest in the lender.
The bank last week said it was reviewing options for the €1.8bn of bailout funding. The new issue will cover repayment of €539m of prefs plus transaction expenses related to its capital package.
By repaying the prefs now at their issue price of €1 each, it Bank of Ireland avoids paying a 25 per cent step-up premium that would apply from next March.
The redemption also paves the way for Bank of Ireland to resume dividend payments in the fullness of time. As a penalty for receiving state aid, Bank of Ireland was restricted by the European Commission from paying dividends while the prefs were still owned by the Irish government.
Since 2009, the lender will have received €4.8bn cash from the state and repaid it €5.9bn for Dublin’s explicit support for and investment in the Bank of Ireland.
23 September 2013 - 16:25 pm
After the market’s monetary misstep, the fiscal fretting.
After the Merkel triumph, the return of the troika.
Last week’s rally on the phantom taper is already stuttering as investors weigh awkward hurdles ahead.
First, Fed talking heads are making it clear “it’s about the data, stupid”.
If the economy improves there is no reason why a taper can’t come even in October, says St Louis Fed president James Bullard. >> Read More
11 September 2013 - 17:34 pm
Germany’s fledgling anti-euro party poses an election threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition after clawing support amid fresh Greek aid fears, analysts say.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) is a small party calling for Europe’s top economy to ditch the single currency and, some pollsters say, could even exceed forecasts and leap into parliament after the September 22 vote.
Even if it doesn’t, in Germany’s delicate see-saw coalition system, the AfD could tip the balance by wooing disgruntled centre-right voters away from Merkel’s conservatives in her bid for a third term or from her already troubled allies.
“The AfD, above all, is drawing voters from the middle-class camp,” political scientist Jens Walther, of Duesseldorf University, told AFP, referring to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Free Democratic Party (FDP) junior partners. >> Read More
05 September 2013 - 14:50 pm
Greece’s financial troubles will not end in 2014 and it is therefore realistic to expect the debt-laden country will need additional money from the euro zone before it can return to markets, the head of euro zone finance ministers said.
International lenders estimate that Greece will need around 10-11 billion euros ($13.1-14.4 billion) from the second half of 2014 to keep it going next year and in 2015.
But several euro zone governments are reluctant to extend any further loans because of negative public opinion, with voters tired of bailing out other countries after three years of the sovereign debt crisis.
“As far as the potential need for a third program for Greece is concerned, it’s clear that despite recent progress, Greece’s troubles will not have been completely resolved by 2014,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the European Parliament. >> Read More
India, 1991. Thailand and east Asia, 1997. Russia, 1998. Lehman Brothers, 2008. The eurozone from 2009. And now, perhaps, India and the emerging markets all over again.
Each financial crisis manifests itself in new places and different forms. Back in 2010, José Sócrates, who was struggling as Portugal’s prime minister to avert a humiliating international bailout, ruefully explained how he had just learned to use his mobile telephone for instant updates on European sovereign bond yields. It did him no good. Six months later he was gone and Portugal was asking for help from the International Monetary Fund.
This year it is the turn of Indian ministers and central bankers to stare glumly at the screens of their BlackBerrys and iPhones, although their preoccupation is the rate of the rupee against the dollar.
India’s currency plumbed successive record lows this week as investors decided en masse to withdraw money from emerging markets, especially those such as India with high current account deficits that are dependent on those same investors for funds. Black humour pervaded Twitter in India as the rupee passed the milestone of Rs65 to the dollar: “The rupee at 65 – time to retire”.
The trigger for market mayhem in Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta was the realisation that the Federal Reserve might – really, truly – soon begin to “taper” its generous, post-Lehman quantitative easing programme of bond-buying. That implies a stronger US economy, rising US interest rates and a preference among investors for US assets over high-risk emerging markets in Asia or Latin America. >> Read More
22 August 2013 - 15:04 pm
The European Central Bank is playing down reports that Greece could be set for a third bailout.
Germany’s finance minister said earlier this week that Greece didn’t have the money to make it to 2016, and would need further help from Europe.
But the European Central Bank is playing down the reports, and says no discussion on a third bailout has taken place.
Greece has already received €210bn in loans from the EU and the IMF.
21 August 2013 - 18:52 pm
More of the same downward drift this overnight trading session, with early Asian outflows coupled with a fresh record low in the Indian currency, driven in part by reports the Fukushima leak severity had been raised from Level 1 to Level 3, which however subsequently reversed following a weakening in the JPY and pushed the Nikkei from a steep early drop to a modest green close. China was unchanged even as Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Center, said that a new reasonable range for China’s growth is 7%-9%, Xinhua said and ongoing liquidity additions by the PBOC. In Europe, newsflow was dominated early on by a Suddeutsche report that the third Greek bailout would be likely financed in part by EU budget as the reality that nothing is fixed in Europe slowly returns and fears that the latent and non-existent OMT will eventually have to be used. US futures have seen a modest risk off bias in part driven by concerns what today’s key event, the FOMC minutes due out at 2 pm, would reveal (if anything new). Also on deck are Existing home sales at 10:00 am which expect a slight pick up to 5.15 million from a 5.08 million prior print. Moments ago the latest weekly MBA Mortgage Applications number came out and, to nobody surprise, it posted the last weekly decline, dropping another 4.6% with conventional refis dropping for the 10th consecutive week.
Overnight headlines news bulletin from Bloomberg
- Treasuries ease before Fed releases minutes of its July meeting at 2pm in Washington; will be closely scrutinized for signals on possible tapering of asset purchases.
- Minutes likely to show discussion of logistical details without commitment to specific date or size/composition, Jefferies says
- Tapering this year could be “highly disruptive” if new FOMC members want to pursue different policy in 2014, Bob Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors and former research director at Atlanta Fed wrote
- Investors captivated by the Fed next move on bond purchases are ignoring the risk that Europe’s debt crisis will recur, according to Morgan Stanley
- German Social Democratic leaders stepped up their attacks on Chancellor Merkel over the costs of the debt crisis, accusing her of trying to conceal the need for a third Greek aid program until after the election
- Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann said he would welcome timely publication of ECB minutes, saying in an interview with a German magazine that “more transparency would definitely contribute to better public understanding of the decisions of the ECB”
- A new reasonable range for China’s growth is 7%-9%, Xinhua said, citing Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Center
- Malaysia cut its forecast for growth this year after 2Q expansion missed economists’ estimates, adding pressure on policy makers to bolster confidence as the ringgit weakens
- Sovereign yields mostly higher. EU peripheral spreads little changed, Euro Stoxx Banks index falls 0.5%. Nikkei gains 0.2% after yesterday’s 2.6% plunge; other Asian markets mixed. European stocks, U.S. equity index-futures decline. WTI crude, gold and copper fall >> Read More
Germany’s Angela Merkel visited the German concentration camp in Dachau – the first such visit by a sitting German Chancellor- where one may say, she could have picked her words a tad more wisely:
- MERKEL SAYS NATIONS SHARING A CURRENCY WILL NEVER GO TO WAR
- MERKEL SAYS ‘WORTH IT’ TO FIGHT FOR UNITED EUROPE
US civil war counterfactual aside, the stunned European population was confused by the implication of her words: is it that Germany will keep ploughing German funds to keep a pacifist, socialist dream alive (which is really just a front to keep Deutsche Bank and its $50+ trillion in derivatives solvent) even as hours ago her own Finance Minister admitted that a third (and certainly not last) bailout of Greece is now just a matter of time… or was it simply a warning to Greece, Cyprus and anyone else contemplating a true recovery, one which begins with their own currency, and maybe with a few Panzers crossing the border?
So, Greece will soon need a third bailout. German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble admitted as much on Tuesday – and was even prepared to say so during the pre-election period in Germany. One assumes Schäuble deemed it safe to dive into these politically contentious waters only because he also stuck to the party line that Athens would receive no more debt forgiveness.
What a shame. If a third bailout is required the time has come for the euro-powers to find a formula that sticks. A small loan package, to fill the hole already identified by the International Monetary Fund, would represent another dose of medicine that isn’t working. The Greek economy, weighed down by austerity measures, would stumble along for a while – but a fourth package would loom sooner or later.
A better approach would see Greece’s lenders take more pain up-front – get the debt down to manageable levels and hope to see economic growth reduce the burden further. Is Germany, after the election, prepared to support that idea? If it’s not, we’ll be talking about a fresheurozone crisis by the end of the year.