Bond Outlook January 9th

For perhaps the first time in a hundred years, the world economy may be able to expand despite a slowdown, or even a recession, in the USA.

Armenia: OMX buys Armenian bourse

Market participants are confident that Scandinavian exchange operator OMX’s acquisition of the Armenian Stock Exchange (Armex) will help to boost interest in the Caucasian republic’s burgeoning capital markets in 2008.

Brazil: Prospects brighten for retail equity investment

Local retail investors will become a bigger force in Brazilian equity offerings, according to senior investment bankers, after Banco do Brasil completed a transaction last month that attracted record interest from individuals in a single deal.

Asian market round-up: Friends in need

Japan’s three megabanks have been asked by US counterparts to contribute $5 billion apiece to the fund they are setting up to bail out cash-stricken structured investment vehicles hit by the sub-prime crisis.

Stock exchanges: Vienna calls time on London

Austria’s Wiener Börse is looking to steal some of the London Stock Exchange’s thunder in 2008 and break its stranglehold on international equity issuance from central and eastern Europe.

Principal protection

Many structured notes come with a promise that at maturity investors would at least get their initial investment back.

Samruk: the outsider’s inside story

Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has decreed the creation of a state holding company, roughly on Singaporean/Malaysian lines, to oversee and rationalize the country’s lucrative but inchoate collection of state-owned companies and foster corporate governance.

Infrastructure: End of the line for Metronet?

Just months after the conclusion of Eurotunnel’s latest restructuring, London Underground rail operator Metronet is shaping up to take the Channel Tunnel operator’s place as the market’s favourite infrastructure saga.

Latin American perpetual bonds surpass expectations

A bull-market product that would crash and burn in the event of a credit crisis: that was the view that many critics held of perpetual bonds – a fundraising instrument that has been all the rage in the region in recent years.