Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power
Last Updated: July 11, 2022 / 08:06 AM IST
In bond markets, you either swim or sink. Since no one likes to sink, investors build counter positions to make good losses that they see coming. One such strategy has blown up in the face of some banks now. Facing mark-to-market losses, some of them decided to load up on floating rate bonds, or floaters as they are called. These change their coupons, capturing the interest rate hikes which is perfect to safeguard one’s capital. But the sheer amount of supply has meant that the price of these floaters is falling. Enter mark-to-market loss again. Ironically, a hedge has turned into a headwind now. As one dealer put it, this is akin to buying a medicine to cure an ailment only to suffer from a worse allergy. We hear that appeals for some relief from the regulator have doubled after floaters turned adverse. Is the regulator hearing?
STAMP OF APPROVAL SOON?
We are picking up feelers that a few smart investors have opted for an arbitrage trade in anticipation of a key regulatory nod for a mega deal in the cement space. This transaction has shaken up the entire segment and set the stage for further consolidation and a rivalry between the top two players in terms of installed capacity.
END OF AN ERA?
Will he or won't he? Well, these rumours of his potential exit have circulated in industry circles last year as well and guess what, they are back! So will this senior experienced executive from the mutual fund industry hang up his boots soon? We shall leave it with the age-old cliché -- let’s wait and watch!
TIME TO SMOKE THE PEACE PIPE?
Warring shareholders and management of this bank seem to be slowly entering the truce zone after months of protracted legal battle. The one mediating the peace pact is one of the powerful shareholders who is currently in constant engagement with both sides to ensure a smooth ending. To be sure, both sides haven't withdrawn a case filed in court over the board seat spat but we hear in a few weeks things could change for the better.
NOW THAT THE BITTER PILL HAS BEEN SWALLOWED
Word has it that a pharma firm has engaged a leading PR firm to manage crisis communication. And why not? The company was embroiled in a recent controversy after one of its officials was nabbed by an enforcement agency. The PR firm is also said to be filtering the pharma company's responses to be given to the media. A little birdie told Moneycontrol that a senior official from the pharma company may soon hold a one-on-one Relation Building Meeting (RBM) with various publications in the national capital to improve the company's image.
A WHOPPER OF A DEAL!
Private equity funds seem to be gradually working up an appetite for omni-channel platforms focusing on the delivery of fresh meat and seafood. We hear two such players in this niche segment have embarked on a fundraising drive to raise growth capital from PE firms. One has appointed a foreign bank while the other has picked a domestic outfit led by a veteran dealmaker.
SEE YOU AT THE FINISH LINE
The stage seems set for a thrilling race to the finish line for select infrastructure assets of a top asset manager. A diversified conglomerate and a bulge bracket private equity fund are leaving no stone unturned as they both are big time keen to make the target part of their kitty. Hint – a senior executive from the target’s group had recently sang ‘Sayonara’ and joined an Asian realty focused fund.
MANAGING PUBLIC SENTIMENT
More on corporate PR mandates. Even though the sentiment for startups and listings remains lacklustre, some startups are still bullish about ringing the bell on their Dalal Street debut. One such startup from India's Silicon Valley is out shopping for a public relations firm as it firms up its intention to hit the public market to raise funds later this year given the funding winter in the private market. Only time will tell if this firm will strike big on listing day or fizzle out, but a few Mumbai-based PR firms are busy preparing a convincing pitch.
REVENGE IS A DISH...BEST SERVED COLD?
Bureaucrats in India are known to make headlines, sometimes for the wrong reasons. Remember the infamous Delhi bureaucrat who got a stadium vacated to walk his dog, while athletes were training. Well, here’s some food for thought. Grapevine suggests that the reason behind the recent troubles of the restaurant industry is a Delhi bureaucrat too! The restaurateurs have been notified twice by the government authorities not to charge a ‘service fee’. Rumour has it that a disgruntled bureaucrat, unhappy with the service provided at a restaurant in the national capital, is behind the industry’s trouble which now cannot automatically charge service charge on bills. Well, as the saying goes: you don’t mess with the high and mighty!
FOOTBALL MUNDIAL INDIA INC STYLE
As the football World Cup will be hosted in a West Asian Nation for the first time, corporates from various sectors are planning a host of perks to pamper their employees during this sporting extravaganza. While a leading carmaker is planning to take its employees to witness the Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final matches, another one from the consumer electronic industry is adopting the 'Work from Doha' mode for their employees. So what’s your firm doing?
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