August 15, 2014

The investors had priced market risks of CoCos, not the risks of bankers´ or regulators´ whims.

Sir, I refer to Christopher Thompson´s “CoCo sell-off uncovers high yield bargains” August 15, and which title surprises a bit as I did not know FT provided specific investment recommendations.

But that said, whenever we read about “underlining investor willingness to shoulder more risk in their hunt for higher-yielding bank assets” you can be absolutely sure that all risks have not been disclosed by the seller of that asset… so what the investor is really willing to shoulder is a little bit more of uncertainty or looked at it from the other angle, or just willing to trust his advisor a little bit more.

What has happened to CoCos is clear. Investors had priced in the risk that deteriorating market conditions could force the conversion of CoCos into bank capital… what they had not priced was the fact that conversions could happen as a result of bankers´ and regulators´ whim playing around with the current capital requirements for banks. In fact, regulators had not thought of this, and also just recently woke up to that fact.

PS. In case you do not remember I hereby send you the link to what George Banks had to say about CoCos.