Deal flow picks up in Europe, as Parliament disagrees on financial reform
Secondary market players in Europe are reporting an uptick in trading, with five new deals carrying at least one or two public tranches coming to the table in the last week alone. However, ministers of the European Parliament are finalizing a new set of rules that one dissenter argues will lead some new deals to "circumvent the EU." And it should be noted that politicians across Europe are not aligned in their approval for this reform. Dutch politician Corien Wortmann-Kool objects to the current proposal by the EU to levy a financial tax on banking institutions. She wants any such measure to have G-20 wide adoption. "Otherwise the disadvantages will outweigh the advantages," she said during a speech today at the European Commission. Europe is considering a wide raft of changes to financial regulation that will likely directly impact secondary market investors and issuers alike. German newspapers, for example report that risk retention for Tier-1 capital may go as high as 9%. On Sunday, the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body for the Basel Committee, will meet to try to finalize some of the sweeping reforms proposed, setting up a week of uncertain trading across markets. The success of the recovering ABS market hinges on the outcome of that meeting. "We are seeing signs of a possible revival of interest in ABS again on the part of a number of fund managers," said Jean-David Cirotteau, a credit strategist at investment bank Société Générale. "This should strengthen the demand side, but it has not yet translated into action." Currently the ABS pipeline is busy, Cirotteau said, and there are more deals being lined up in "signs of optimism." Kay Swinburne, a parliamentarian from the U.K., stressed that the proposed bank tax revenue will not be "freely available money." "It will be pensioners and companies who will pay for a financial transaction tax, not the banks," she warned. Moreover, she insisted the money should be spent according to the wishes of member states and not allocated at EU level. Write to Jacob Gaffney.