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Aug. 26, 2013, 5:05 AM
- Members of Silvio Berlusconi's center-right PDL party have again threatened to bring down the ruling coalition, of which the group is a member, if the Senate votes to expel the former prime minister following his conviction for tax fraud.
- A vote is due next month.
- The political uncertainty has hit Italian stocks (EWI), which are -1.8%. Ten-year bond yields (ITLY, ITLT) are +5 bps at 4.38%.
Aug. 19, 2013, 3:31 AM
- Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to bring down Italy's government, of which his PDL party is a member, if he is expelled from the country's Senate following his conviction for fraud.
- While the ruling foresees such an exit for Berlusconi, a parliamentary vote is required.
- The PDL has also said that the coalition's survival depends on the repeal of an unpopular property tax. However, Prime Minister Enrico Letta has said he won't support any measure that would increase Italy's debt. He has also warned that the collapse of the government would undermine the economy.
- Shares are -0.2%, while yields on 10-year Italian bonds are +4 bps at 4.23%.
- ETFs - Stock: EWI. Bonds ITLY, ITLT.
Aug. 4, 2013, 1:55 AM
- Silvio Berlusconi's People of Liberty (PDL) party is considering a mass resignation from parliament unless Italian President Giorgio Napolitano pardons Berlusconi for his conviction for tax fraud. Such a move would bring down the ruling coalition, of which the PDL is a junior partner.
- The PDL's threat comes after Italy's High Court upheld Berlusconi's conviction and a four-year prison sentence, which the former prime minister is anyway unlikely to serve. A pardon would also enable Berlusconi to avoid a possible ban on holding public office.
- Italian shares (EWI) closed -0.2% on Friday following the High Court's decision, although 10-year bond yields (ITLT, ITLY) fell 1 bps to 4.26%.
Aug. 2, 2013, 7:41 AM
- Shares in Italy (EWI) are -0.1% following the decision yesterday by the country's High Court to confirm Silvio Berlusconi's conviction for tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence, which he's anyway unlikely to serve.
- The high court sent a ban on Berlusconi holding public office back to a lower court for review.
- The ruling exacerbates the fissures within the ruling coalition, with members of Berlusconi's People of Liberty group threatening to bring the government down if the conviction were upheld. Members of the Democratic Party of PM Enrico Letta don't like being allied to Berlusconi.
- Italian bonds (ITLY, ITLT) are just as tame as stocks, with 10-year yields down 2 bps at 4.35%.
Jul. 10, 2013, 1:38 AMS&P yesterday cut Italy’s credit rating from BBB+ to BBB, or two levels above junk, with the outlook remaining negative. S&P cited "a further worsening of the country's economic prospects coming on top of a decade of real growth averaging -0.04%," as well as an impaired financial system, as reasons for the downgrade. Italy needs to raise over €30B in debt this month. | Comment!
Jul. 4, 2013, 9:51 AMEuropean bond yields drop following Mario Draghi's press conference, with the falls in the periphery particularly sharp. Spanish 10-year yields -14 bps to 4.65%, Portugal -27 bps to 7.2%, Italy -11 bps to 4.41%, France -6 bps to 2.24% and Germany -5 bps to 1.62%. U.K. gilts -4 bps to 2.36% following the BOE's dovish statement earlier. Treasurys are +3 bps at 2.5%. | Comment!
Jun. 21, 2013, 4:21 AMAfter going haywire yesterday along with much else, bond markets to be much calmer today. The 10-year Treasury yield is flat at 2.42%, France flat at 2.27%, Germany +0.01 bp to 1.68%, Italy +0.01 bp to 4.56%, Portugal -1 bp to 6.4%, Spain flat at 4.86%, Japan +0.02 bps to 0.88%. | 1 Comment
Jun. 20, 2013, 3:52 AMThe mayhem caused by the Fed daring to suggest that it could soon start cutting off the liquidity extends to the European bond markets. Ten-year yields on French bonds +13 bps to 2.24, Germany +11 bps to 1.67%, Italy +18 bps to 4.43%, Portugal +15 bps to 6.22%, Spain +16 bps to 4.69%, U.K. +15 bps to 2.28%. It's worth noting that Japanese 10-year yields are up just 3 bps at 0.84%. | 1 Comment
Jun. 15, 2013, 11:36 PMUBS thinks it may be 1994 all over again. Some similarities: The Fed's actions to reflate the economy post-2008 resemble the easy money policies that were put in place post-S&L crisis; current "lackluster" economic growth mirrors "mini-cycles"of '90-'93; 290 bps plunge in Treasury yields from '07-'12 reminiscent of 400 bps decline from '90-'94; downtrend in CPI over the past five years resembles drop from early '90s to '94. UBS' advice: Avoid "popular convergence trades" such as EM credit (EMB, EMLC), EU periphery sovereign debt (ITLT, ITLY), U.S. MBS (MBB,VMBS), and high yield (HYG, JNK). | 2 Comments
Jun. 9, 2013, 10:48 AMBazooka or water gun? FAZ claims the ECB "has communicated to the [German] Federal Constitutional Court" a limit of €524B for its OMT program. The court is set to evaluate the legality of OMT and the ESM in public hearings next week. The ECB was quick to issue a statement via Reuters denying the claim: "There are no ex-ante limits on the amount of OMT," the bank says. On watch are Italian (ITLT, ITLY), Spanish, and other periphery bonds. | Comment!
May. 21, 2013, 5:57 AMItaly's former technocratic leader Mario Monti doesn't agree with George Soros and others who say the stability in the Italian bond market (ITLY, ITLT) is merely the proverbial calm before the storm. The ECB is better equipped now than previously to handle disruptions in the sovereign debt market, Monti says, adding that in his opinion, the steep decline in yields on Italian sovereign debt is sustainable. Monti also predicts that another election is not imminent in Italy as electoral law reform will take at least six months to complete. | Comment!
May. 20, 2013, 6:03 AMA report out of Italy showing industrial orders rose 1.6% in March (handily beating estimates and reversing a 2.5% decline in February) helped push the spread between 10-year German bunds (BUND) and comparable Italian government debt (ITLY) to its narrowest level (250bps) since January at one point on Monday, as investors pared safe haven bets. Meanwhile, yields on Slovenian 10-year bonds fell slightly early on, defying Fitch's downgrade. Of course, the ratings agency is still "far behind the market's assessment of Slovenia's creditworthiness," one economist says, adding that as long as S&P maintains its A- rating, Slovenian banks can still pledge their government bonds as collateral in ECB liquidity ops. | Comment!
May. 12, 2013, 6:42 PMItaly is no longer "master of its own destiny," says George Soros, referring to what he believes is the country's perpetual dependence on coordinated action from its EU partners and the ECB. Speaking to an audience in northern Italy, Soros predicted the respite Italy has seen in terms of borrowing costs (ITLY) and spreads to German bunds "will not last long [as] the situation is far from being in balance." Last week, Italy auctioned 12-month bills at a euro-era record low yield. | 1 Comment
May. 10, 2013, 6:23 AMHow quickly things change. Italian bonds (ITLY), which less than a year ago were pricing in the apocalypse, are now perceived as safer than they have ever been , as Italy sells €7B in 12-month bills at an average yield of 0.703%, the lowest since the country's adoption of the euro. (Also: Spain's borrowing costs fall) | 1 Comment
May. 3, 2013, 5:28 AMYields on eurozone sovereign debt fall across the board in the wake of the ECB's rate cut as investors react to Mario Draghi's perceived willingness to cut the deposit rate below zero, something policymaker Ewald Nowotny dismissed as not a near-term option. Yields on French, Austrian, and Belgian bonds hit record lows as spreads against safe haven German bunds (BUND) compress in Italy and Spain. | Comment!
Apr. 29, 2013, 6:25 AM
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