Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
Santander was planning an IPO in London in February even as Northern Rock proved to the world it could score profits. Its restructured GBP 20 bn retail bank and the other bad bank with questionable morts and other securities have evinced interest from Branson as well, but that seemed to be back of the agenda, as the Labor party managed to squeak easy in the marginal elections..
Santander is already on way to floating an IPO in Shanghai with ICBC its new partner..but in UK WSJ’s Simon Nixon seemed to think the move precipitate and unlikely to bring any success. Spanish Santander is behind Walton Bank being set up be an ex Panmure analyst , Sandy Chen. Paul Walton’s Bank would have listed on the Alternative Investment Market last month for its initial GBP 200m Plans. Invesco Perputual and M&G have backed Sandy Chen upt o GBP 95 m ( currently $135 m, likely $100m?)
Also branch networks of Lloyds and RBS have not been sold off despite insistent requests from the Competition Commission, and are likely to result in new SME focused banks or retail specialists for HBOS and other buyers as the case may be. UK’s debt of 83% of GDP makes it eligible as an investment bank by itself with this leverage ratio of 1:6 being pretty healthy as banks go even today. Maaybe these sovereigns should get IPO badges too. Apart from significantly higher TCE, the IPO ‘published’ banks also get ready consumer acceptance and equity is much more risk friendly for the listing entity in case of failure. May be the people who could stand Madoff for ten years would do that right now. UK IPOs on the anvil include a lot of retailers and with the UK on verge of retail hyper marts wihth banking products thru 2005-10, this might be good capital for a bank too:
Merlin, the theme park operator and owner of Madame Tussauds, New Look, the high street retailer and Sir Richard Branson’s fitness chain Virgin Active, are among the most high profile of UK companies expected to arrive on the LSE early in 2009.
Meanwhile $10bn profit yielding HSBC has moved headquarters to Hongkong after the Bonus tax of 50% and bankers are busy posting handouts to familiees and friends in London to complain against the Bonus tax.