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June 2008

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  • The market has discovered that it’s not just about platform technology.
  • Permanent deal is the most exciting thing for a very long time.
  • Most US hedge fund managers are pessimistic about the US economy this year, according to a survey by Kinetic Partners.
  • "There are no second acts in American lives," wrote F Scott Fitzgerald towards the end of his own monochrome career. He can’t have been talking about Wall Street: as anyone who has tracked the career of John Meriwether will know, third, fourth and fifth acts are perfectly possible. Perhaps more careers have taken a dramatic turn in the present crisis than was the case when the hedge fund LTCM failed; for those seeking an uplifting plot twist, a stage name might come in handy. Euromoney has noticed that merely shuffling the letters in the names of some victims of the credit crisis produces plausible pseudonyms, and respectfully presents the stars of tomorrow: Enterprising readers might wish to suggest their own anagrams: Euromoney confesses to being stumped by Jonathan Chenevix-Trench, former COO of Morgan Stanley’s institutional securities business.
  • Much of the focus on the credit crunch has been on the biggest financial intermediaries, but fixed-income investors were also shaken. Alex Chambers finds out what the biggest players think are their opportunities and challenges.
  • Falling corporate cash levels show the credit crunch is starting to bite.
  • HBOS deserves the gratitude of its rivals for its attempt at a UK RMBS benchmark, but it may prove futile in the short term.
  • Nasdaq OMX has chosen the European Multilateral Clearing Facility, run by Fortis, to be the clearer for the pan-European MTF that it plans to launch in September. Nasdaq OMX’s choice is a boost for EMCF, which also handles the clearing of rival pan-European MTF, Chi-X.
  • UK-based fund Brevan Howard has raised $1 billion in an IPO of its feeder fund, BH Global, double its original target. The fund will invest in five of Brevan Howard’s hedge funds. Canadian firm Sprott Asset Management also went public last month, with a $225 million IPO. It was the biggest IPO in Canada in the past five months.
  • NYSE-Euronext is capitalizing on regulatory convergence to show issuers some of the benefits that it had hoped its transatlantic merger might be capable of.
  • "I don’t think it’s a Great Depression, I don’t think it’s Armageddon but I think that it’s purely wishful thinking for people to be forecasting a sharp V-shaped recovery in the second half of the year"
  • Revelations on Moody’s mis-rating of CPDOs could be the most damaging yet.
  • A rights issue boom means investment banks have bizarrely profited from their failures.
  • If you don’t know what to buy friends who invested in Bear Stearns to cheer them up, look no further than eBay. For just $17.99 the bidding website is offering a T-shirt with the slogan: "I invested my life savings with Bear Stearns and all I have left is this lousy t-shirt." The item had received no bids by time we went to press but other interesting Bear Stearns memorabilia was faring better. Among the 24 Bear Stearns-related items up for grabs on the website is a Bear Stearns hard hat, a Bear Stearns aviator Teddy Bear, and a sealed deck of cards issued to Bear Stearns employees to mark the 50th anniversary of Ace Greenberg’s joining the firm.
  • Euromoney: What was the reasoning behind the latest reorganization?
  • Star money manager Bill Miller has framed the questions that the mainstream asset management industry must answer. Hedge funds will be rubbing their hands with glee.
  • Martin Egan is the new global head of debt capital markets at BNP Paribas. Egan maintains his role as head of primary markets where he oversees fixed income syndicate.
  • The recent burst of issuance in Spain appears to have run its course, but the news is better in Portugal.
  • Equity issuance volumes, especially IPOs out of Brazil, will pick up in the second half of the year, according to senior bankers in Latin America, after the credit crunch put a halt to the region’s four-year boom.
  • While some continue to debate whether the knife is still falling, others have decided that the distressed credit markets already offer an attractive investment opportunity.
  • The Middle East and north Africa will be the top-performing regions in 2008, according to a survey of 1,000 investors by Deutsche Bank.
  • Asian investment banking thrives despite woes in Europe and the US.
  • Inflation in South Africa continues to shock after reaching 10.4% on a year-on-year basis in April. The rate confounded expectations, including that of Tito Mboweni, the central bank governor, who told Euromoney, two weeks before the announcement of the April figure, that he believed it had peaked at the end of the first quarter.
  • A commodity boom masks fundamental problems in the Brazilian economy, observers argue.
  • "Go West", sang the Village People when encouraging listeners to seek utopia but bankers considering their career prospects might now be advised to go in the opposite direction. In what might be a sign of things to come, Credit Suisse has relocated two senior bankers to Asia, seeking to align top talent with areas of highest potential growth. First up is Vikram Gandhi, who has led CS to its position as the top M&A adviser to financial institutions (year-to-date) since he joined the firm in 2005. Gandhi, who moves from New York to Hong Kong, will continue in his role as head of the global financial institutions group. Before he joined Credit Suisse, Gandhi was head of FIG at Morgan Stanley.
  • Brazil plans a sovereign wealth fund.
  • Focus Capital, a specialist emerging markets absolute return manager, has launched a fund of funds that invests across multiple asset classes.
  • US listed asset management firm BlackRock has embarked on a renewed drive into Latin America.
  • Oi Participações, the Brazilian telecoms group formerly known as Telemar, is to buy local telecoms rival Brasil Telecom for R$5.86 billion ($3.5 billion). The merger will create the leading telecoms operator in Brazil, with 70% of Brazil’s fixed-line market. The deal awaits changes in the regulatory framework, which does not allow a single group to hold two separate telecoms concessions. Rothschild, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse advised Telemar. Brasil Telecom did not employ any investment banks.
  • Japan’s top companies are increasing dividend payments to shareholders and buying back stock in record amounts, according to new research from Nikko Asset Management.
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