Monthly Archives:

September 2010


Over the weekend Ardagh Glass announced a transformative acquisition of another well known packaging name in Impress Cooperative U.A. The deal left me with mixed emotions and came as something of a surprise because an IPO had been considered the most likely exit for sponsor Doughty Hanson.

The purchase of Impress sees the departure of a European high yield market stalwart. The company’s inaugur…

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Flocking Hell

It is the time of year when the geese begin their long flight south to avoid the hellish northern European climate. In markets we are always on the look out for flocking and herd mentality. Sometimes as an investor you want to run with the herd and sometimes you want to observe the herd mentality from afar.

And it’s not just the geese who are looking for a change of scenery. Over the last few w…

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The centaurs are back! Hybrid bond issuance in the news again

Hybrid bond issuance has started to grab headlines again. The last month has seen a few companies start to issue the centaurs of the bond world again. But are they a good investment?

We wrote about hybrid bonds back in April, suggesting that they could potentially be a good source of alpha if investors do their homework. Hybrid securities have features of both equities and bonds, and like equit…

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Greece enlightening

Yesterday I attended a presentation by Greek officials and delegates from the IMF and EU as part of the London leg of a two day European trip.  Considering this was a two day roadshow designed to reassure investors and rebuild confidence in Greece, and the speakers were Greeks and the guys who’ve lent them lots of money (and are likely to lend lots more), it was never going to be anything other…

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Maybe the ‘new normal’ isn’t that new after all

The global investment community is having a collective head scratch about why sovereign bond yields are so low.  As I argued here, if you take the rule of thumb that nominal government bond yields are roughly equal to expectations of the real growth rate plus the inflation rate (i.e. nominal growth), then developed sovereign bond yields of sub 3% are suggesting that we’re turning Japanese.

But …

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Back to school

It’s that time of year once again – school holidays are over and the children are going back to work. This feels very much the same in the grown up (?) world of investment. This year’s questions and tests look as though they are going to be trickier than usual. After all, the financial headmaster Ben Bernanke has just warned that conditions are unusually uncertain.

The move from the summer lul…

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M&G inflation linked corporate bond funds update

Yesterday Jim blogged that M&G was launching two new innovative corporate bond funds – the M&G UK Inflation Linked Corporate Bond Fund and the M&G European Inflation Linked Corporate Bond Fund. For those that are interested in hearing further details about the funds straight from the horse’s mouth, click here for a short video interview Jim did yesterday with Charlie Parker from Citywire (video…

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The M&G UK Inflation-Linked Corporate Bond Fund and the M&G European Inflation-Linked Corporate Bond Fund

We’ve announced today that we are launching two corporate bond funds which aim to deliver returns ahead of inflation in the medium to long term.  We believe that these are the world’s first inflation-linked corporate bond funds for retail investors.  These funds will hopefully capture the systematic overcompensation for credit risk that you get from investing in corporate bonds, as well as the …

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The Hangover

It feels a little like the first half of 2008 again to me. People are asking who has it right? The bond market or the equity market? Government bond yields in the UK, US and Germany are the lowest they’ve been in recent history. Yields this low, the argument goes, imply that the bond market is expecting the dreaded double dip. The equity markets on the other hand – after a fairly positive earni…

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