Off the record

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"Investors are puking all over that deal"

A Hong Kong-based banker tries, but fails, to say that a deal is oversubscribed


"Doing nothing is doing quite a lot"

The same Hong Kong banker points out that not losing business is not a bad achievement in the current environment


"They aren’t giving us money because we are tall and good looking"

The same Hong Kong banker explains that there is more to winning business than meets the eye


"If you hire 20 people, you are actually hiring nobody"

The same HK banker finally loses us


"Iraq? Maybe there is a possibility there. Maybe. Iran? No way. Syria? No way. Greece? No way. Bulgaria? No way. Romania? No way. Georgia? No way

A Turkish investment banker says regional expansion opportunities for Turkish banks are, well, slim


"You can’t really price these peripheral eurozone sovereigns off emerging market issuers. That’s not fair to them as borrowers, and you’d be in trouble if you priced them off anything other than Bunds. But on Portugal, Ireland, Italy you can get some really interesting pick-ups over Indonesia and Brazil"

The struggle inside this banker between wanting to sell bonds and staying out of trouble is fierce indeed


"We’re used to order inflation from some US investors, especially those looking to flip, but we did a €500 million deal this morning and had one normally conservative European investor try to place an order for half of it. In the past, investors operated informal limits of never wanting more than 10% of any deal"

Everywhere you care to look there are signs of excess in the bond markets