Sunday, May 14, 2017

Western Banks’ Battle for Dominance Reaches Bond Market

As economic conditions in the U.S. have stabilized and domestic yields remain low there is an appeal for increasing Chinese corporate bond yields, this is due to high risks related to questionably high levels of corporate debt in China, which has led to increased competition between historically dominate western banks, i.e. Wall Street, and the rising financing power of Chinese banks. This threat to western banking dominance has created an increase in banking pressure on western financial institutions to expand their underwriting of Chinese firms as their Chinese counterparts are more willing to accept lower profit margins and maintain a greater degree of secrecy. The article go further in-depth explaining that this secrecy is done by what are called x-account orders, and that such orders maintain a level of discretion between the issuer and the institution as to the amount of bonds they will purchase. This lack of transparency has made it increasingly difficult for western institutions to compete with what they don’t know, and has created a risky and uncomfortable investing environment.

Nathaniel Dust

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