Bankers pin new-year hopes on block trades

While IPOs will remain challenging, a desire among investors to secure remaining profits combined with a need for issuers to put cash to work may keep the equity capital markets going in the first quarter.

It will come as no surprise that equity capital markets volumes in Asia ex-Japan ended 2008 down 67% from the previous year. After all, this was the trend for much of last year and, even without the extended global financial crisis that followed Lehman BrothersÆ collapse in mid-September, it is doubtful whether ECM volumes would have been able to exceed half of the previous yearÆs record numbers.

The first quarter of 2009 û and probably the second as well û...

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