Back to the bad old days

A leading Asian loan market professional warns that many of the mistakes of the past are returning.

In a speech given to members of Hong Kong's banking community, Avi Bindra - the outgoing head of Citibank's loan syndication business - warned that the Asian loan market is showing dangerous signs of going back to the excesses of 1997.

The Thomson Markets Insight Lunch speech showed that loan volume is increasing, spreads are tightening, and sector concentration is rampant. Bindra - an extremely candid banker at the best of times - was disarmingly so in this speech. His assertion that loans are priced below bonds because bankers can cross sell other products on the back of the loan, was a frank and public admission of what many already suspected...

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