Welcome to the fourth edition of THE TREASURY HUB Banking and Treasury Markets Bulletin of 2021. Domestically and internationally, there is increased focus on the speed of the vaccine rollout and, hopefully, a gradual return to normality.
But the one sector that is looking anything but normal is the Irish banking sector with the announcement of the exit of KBC from the market. Following on from the Ulster Bank announcement the previous month, the SME and Business Banking offerings will be dominated by a duopoly of AIB and Bank of Ireland. The growth of PTSB and the non-bank providers will be crucial for the wider macroeconomic development of the country.
On the currency front, the last week has seen USD retreat but GBP rebound. Both currencies are stronger against EUR since the start of the year. Although the cost of borrowing has increased for most governments in 2021, the move has stalled in Eurozone and UK but US rates continue to ease up as inflation prospects continue to be very actively debated (is it returning for the medium-term or just a temporary phenomenon?). Economic outlook for the US looks very positive at the minute.
From an investment perspective, stock market trends are generally upwards again after some pause for breath. Coinbase was a high profile IPO in the US while the Deliveroo flotation in London was a disappointment. Finally, Section 5 covers interest rates, especially the spectre of negative deposit rates and considers if we can do anything to mitigate their impact.
Please get in touch with our Corporate Finance team if we can be of any assistance.
The Treasury Hub - Banking and Treasury Report April 2021 can be downloaded here.
For any queries relating to this newsletter, please contact Chris Ball, Partner.