Fringe benefits

opinion

Sir,

I was somewhat concerned by your description of the Group of 26 bondholders as a “lunatic fringe” in May’s Editor’s Letter. While I understand that the phrase was used to describe not how Credit magazine views the group but rather how some corporate borrowers and DCM banks have sought to portray it, nevertheless I am not entirely convinced that this is fair.

While it is true that the original group was composed largely of French, Dutch and UK institutions, that was a result of our wanting to release some initial proposals with a preliminary set of institutions. It was not the result of German, Italian and firms elsewhere in Europe not being interested in the objectives of the ‘improving markets standards’ group. The participation of 18 German firms under the aegis of the BVI proves this.

One of the problems that face those seeking to improve market standards is that the effort has tended to be portrayed as confrontational. And there is now the risk that the proposals put forward by the BVI will be seen as alternatives to the original proposals.

Neither of these is accurate: the BVI proposals are German institutions’ own interpretation of the original document and the initial proposals were never released as a final and complete document but rather a catalyst to begin debate as the recent BVI’s release shows.

We firmly believe is that the market will not change by itself; it will require concerted effort by market participants to bring about change. Our belief is that it must be investors themselves – working with intermediaries and issuers – who must drive this change. We do not need to see more bad credit stories to see that improvements need to be made in the market.

Yours truly,

Stephen Wilson-Smith
Head of credit research
M&G Investments

Age concern

Sir,

Bernard Hunter CANNOT be 30 years old!

Yours truly,
Names (and age) withheld

Ed: Having checked with Bernard, he is not 30 years old, as reported in Credit’s profile article of May 2004. When the May issue was published Bernard was 37, by the time Credit goes to press he will be 38. This was a typing error on the part of the magazine. Apologies.

Sir,

I now know just how many people read Credit, given the age thing!

Yours truly,

Bernard Hunter
Global Head of Credit research
UBS Global Asset Managemen

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