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28.02.2012
Tight credit, low growth: How will private equity fare in Europe?
Abstract: Macroeconomic and debt market conditions indicate restrained investment activity by PE funds this year. European PE investments in 2012 are likely to be 8 to 17% lower than our estimate for 2011 – although a lot will depend on the management of the European debt crisis. Historical evidence suggests that periods of low growth and sluggish fundraising – as seen in Europe at present – tend to make for PE vintages with strong returns. This holds even in comparison to investments in public equity as the analysis of public market equivalents illustrates. However, the overhang of uncalled capital commitments (dry powder) and potential competition from cash-rich strategic buyers might bear on this effect this time, meaning that PE performance might eventually be somewhat lower than pure historical experience would have suggested.
Topics: Capital markets; Econometrics; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; International capital markets; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Quantitative analysis; Real econ. trends
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07.12.2011
Chief Economist Thomas Mayer on the debt crisis
Abstract: “...The high debt tolerance of the past was based on an erroneous assessment of credit risks. In the private sector people thought the risks could be calculated precisely and they relied on models that were based on the complete rationality of economic actors and efficiency of the markets. Since these two assumptions are not always borne out, these models delivered flawed risk metrics.....“
Topics: Banking; Business cycle; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic growth; Economic policy; EMU; European issues; European policy issues; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation; Supervision and regulation
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14.11.2011
OTC derivatives market: Update on current regulatory initiatives
Abstract: Derivatives have a long-standing history as financial instruments for managing financial risks stemming from changes in macroeconomic conditions. They thus represent important risk management tools for companies, authorities and financial institutions as they can be used to manage exposure to interest rate, currency, commodity price or other risks. Globally, the OTC derivatives market volume amounts to USD 600 trillion; nearly 85% of the world’s outstanding derivatives market volume is accounted for by OTC derivatives. In reaction to the financial crisis, there has been an international effort to increase stability in financial markets – including OTC derivatives markets: In 2009, G-20 leaders agreed that all standardised OTC derivative contracts should be cleared through Central Counterparties (CCPs) by the end of 2012 at the latest. The regulatory initiatives currently undertaken follow these commitment.
Topics: Banking; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Supervision and regulation
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11.10.2011
Private Equity: Opportunities in turbulent times
Abstract: The first half of 2011 was marked by a sense of optimism in the private equity industry – especially in Germany. This confidence was borne of the strong performance of the corporate sector to date, the increasing availability of borrowing, and the cash flows earned from successful exits. However, the plunge in share prices since the beginning of August triggered a more sceptical assessment of general growth prospects. The fragile state of the economy will hit portfolio companies’ profits and make lucrative exits more difficult. However, this situation also presents opportunities. Private equity funds that are launched in economically challenging times usually generate the highest rates of return.
Topics: Banking; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic policy; Emerging markets; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; IMF / World Bank; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Real econ. trends; SMEs; Technology and innovation
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22.09.2011
Solvency II and Basel III: Reciprocal effects should not be ignored
Abstract: The new capital and liquidity rules for banks (Basel III) and the new capital requirements for insurance companies (Solvency II) are set to be introduced in January 2013. Since insurers are major institutional investors – in bank bonds, among other things – there may well be some reciprocal effects between these two sets of regulations when they are implemented. As a principle, Solvency II gives preferential treatment to bonds with good credit ratings and short maturities. The new Basel III liquidity requirements oblige banks to place their funding on a more stable, long-term footing. As a consequence, these institutions will have to issue more – and different – long-term bonds. At first glance, this appears to be diametrically opposed to the incentives that Solvency II creates for insurance companies. A closer look at the main types of investors in bank bonds and the various incentives that will affect the investment decisions made by insurers however reveals that there will be changes in asset allocation, but the disintegration of a whole investor base is not expected. Nonetheless, the precise nature of the reciprocal effects between Basel III and Solvency II should be examined before these rules are finally adopted.
Topics: Banking; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Supervision and regulation
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16.09.2011
China – Not really a white knight for the eurozone
Abstract: Recent media reports put a lot of emphasis on the role China could play in assisting to resolve the eurozone debt crisis. In our view, however, hopes pinned on China might be overdone. The amount needed when looking at estimated refinancing needs for 2012 is huge, amounting to EUR 730 bn for the GIIPS countries. Even if China were willing to increase its investments in euro assets a realistic number would be around EUR 150 bn for 2012. Risk aversion coupled with potentially hostile domestic public opinion make substantially increased – and unconditional – Chinese investment in the eurozone unlikely in the near term.
Topics: Asia; Emerging markets; EMU; Global financial markets
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16.09.2011
'I'm an Austrian in economics'
Abstract: Modern macro- and financial economics are based on the belief that economic agents always hold rational expectations and that markets are always efficient, in other words, that the earth is flat. We now find out that this is not true. There are elements of irrationality and inefficiencies in the behavior of people and markets. Therefore we need to dump the flat-earth theories promising that economic and financial outcomes can be planned with a high degree of certainty and need to look at other theories that accept the limits of our knowledge about the future. A revival of Austrian economics could be a good start for such a research programme.
Topics: Business cycle; Capital markets; Capital markets policy; Economic growth; Economic policy; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation
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12.09.2011
CMBS: Refinancing risks have not become smaller
Abstract: One of the factors cited as having triggered the economic crisis is the housing market bubbles in the United States and Europe. However, one factor frequently overlooked is that many commercial real estate markets had also shown signs of overheating before the crisis: the office and retail property markets had witnessed a largely debt-financed investment boom up to 2007 – similar to the housing markets. The trend is now about to boomerang, for numerous portfolios are currently up for refinancing. It is not going to be an easy job – neither in Europe nor in the US.
Topics: Capital markets; Commercial real estate; Global financial markets; International financial system; Supervision and regulation
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07.09.2011
Emerging markets banks: Strong growth potential
Abstract: Emerging market economies are not only gaining in importance in the real economy, but the strong economic catch-up is mirrored in the banking sector. The fact that nine of the world’s 30 largest banks by market capitalisation are located in EMs highlights the shifting balance in global banking markets. Our simple forecast model shows that over the next five years private sector credit is expected to expand by 12% per year on average (in nominal terms), with Russia, Korea, Argentina, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, the Czech Republic, Romania, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia expanding at an above-average speed.
Topics: Africa; Asia; Banking; Capital markets; Eastern Europe; Economic growth; Emerging markets; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; LatAm; Macroeconomics; Middle East
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25.08.2011
Stabilising PMI in China?
Topics: Asia; Business cycle; Emerging markets; Global financial markets; Macroeconomics
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