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We have seen a dramatic increase in interest in hedging FX risk related to investments by private equity funds. The precipitous decline in the value of sterling has caused complications for funds which are in the process of acquiring UK assets. For deals which are still going ahead, many sponsors are using or considering deal contingent FX hedges to protect them against further fluctuations. These products are offered by a small number of banks to…
We have seen a dramatic increase in interest in hedging FX risk related to investments by private equity funds. The precipitous decline in the value of sterling has caused complications for funds which are in the process of acquiring UK assets. For deals which are still going ahead, many sponsors are using or considering deal contingent FX hedges to protect them against further fluctuations. These products are offered by a small number of banks to…
The UK referendum has caused uncertainty in the financial services industry, but what does it mean for alternative capital providers? And could it create some business opportunities? Alternative capital providers are unregulated, or at least non-bank, financial institutions. Alternative finance embraces lenders from the smallest participants in peer-to-peer platforms to multibillion dollar global alternative lending funds. They cover product areas such as leveraged finance, real estate finance, factoring, leasing, consumer lending and trade finance. The…
Investors in crowded sectors may look on the opportunities created by the supply chain as medieval adventurers once looked on the fabled kingdom of Prester John.  Huge volumes of illiquid credit are created in sale transactions every day as goods and services are sold.  This credit locks up working capital for sellers and limits their appetite to supply their customers.  The effective yield on this form of financing is tied up in price negotiations. This…
It’s been a busy Christmas and New Year’s season for US regulators. After three years of work, the Federal Reserve Board announced in mid-December that five federal agencies have issued final rules to implement section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Volcker Rule”), which is intended to limit proprietary trading by banks. But their job was hardly done. US regulators came back to work after the holiday to find…
On 4 September 2013, the European Commission published a draft regulation on the regulation of European money market funds.  Money market funds are important investors in certain types of securitisation, particularly asset backed commercial paper, and the draft Regulation includes some detailed provisions dealing with this relationship.  This is explained in the recitals: “Due the fact that during the crisis certain securitisations were particularly unstable, it is necessary to impose maturity limits and quality criteria…
Over the last 12 months we have seen a marked increase in interest in trade receivables financing in general and trade receivables securitisation in particular.  This is a specialised area which brings with it unique challenges but also stable long term financing opportunities. Introduction Trade receivables are commercial debts generated by the sale of goods and services between businesses.  From a financier’s perspective, they are an attractive asset because: (i) they are self-liquidating; (ii) (typically)…
As part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) increased its oversight of “swaps”.  One change stemming from Dodd-Frank is that a “swap”, as defined in the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, is now a “commodity interest”.  The CFTC regulates collective investment vehicles that invest in commodity interests, which it calls “commodity pools”.  This can include SPVs which are not incorporated in the U.S.. The CFTC regulates the person…
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announced yesterday that it had finalised the rules for the Liquidity Coverage Ratio or LCR i.e. the main mechanic for regulating liquidity in the Basel III package of reforms. The LCR requires that a bank hold a sufficient stock of “High Quality Liquid Assets” to meet its net cash outflows in a hypothetical stress scenario. The rules set out the parameters for the stress scenario, the calculation of the…
A new consultation paper  published earlier this week by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will inevitably cause uncertainty and is likely to affect investment decisions long before the new rules take effect. The paper sets out the Committee’s proposal to revise the treatment of securitisation exposures and is largely inspired by the belief that highly-rated securitisations currently attract too little regulatory capital and low-rated senior securitisations are subject to regulatory capital charges which are…