Death of Libor Greatly Exaggerated?
Tags: China, commodity risk, economic outlook, ICE, iTreasurer, July 2018, Libor, OpenLink, SOFR, tax, technology
The demise of the London Interbank Offered Rate, better known as Libor, has been discussed frequently in the wake of the rigging scandal during the financial crisis. This is to be expected, as regulators since the scandal have suggested banks, investors and others should think about adopting alternatives to Libor. One alternative, created by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is SOFR, or the Secured Overnight Financing Rate.
Not so fast, says the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). The company, which acquired Libor in 2014, plans on keeping it active. Although some banks have committed to ending Libor in 2021, ICE will continue laboring over Libor. “ICE is actively trying to maintain Libor,” one fixed-income specialist told a NeuGroup meeting recently. “The ICE website says Libor will continue to be published past 2021.” Indeed, the ICE website notes the new methodology and integrity of the latest iteration of Libor, touting the use of the “Waterfall Method,” which requires that “each Libor panel bank must ensure that its submissions are determined using an effective methodology based on objective criteria and relevant market information.” Read more about this on page 1 of the July issue of iTreasurer.
In the “Anticipated Exposures,” of the July issue we also look at how MNCs see the new tax law as positive for their cash flow (and positive for companies overall), how new tech is making compliance with know your customer rules much easier and how stock buy-backs surged in May.
On page 6, we show that while the US high-yield market is in the latter stages of its credit cycle and China is in the midst of an economic slowdown, they will likely have less of an impact on US corporates than might be anticipated.
This month’s featured NeuGroup peer group summary is from the Treasurers’ Group of Mega Caps or tMega. Members at the meeting talked capital allocation, pension contributions and activist investors, and waded into a tax “spaghetti bowl” that will take time to digest.
In “Rising Commodity Prices and Treasury’s Role In Managing Risk with Help from Technology” on page 11, we take a look at how volatile commodities markets threaten profit margins, and put a new focus on treasurers’ needs and abilities to tap technology to capture exposures and effectively hedge risk. The fact is, a growing number of companies this year are citing rising commodity prices and their potentially negative effects on profit margins and earnings, not to mention stock prices. “The catalysts for commodity and other sources of inflation that threaten P&Ls range from trade war fears (steel and aluminum) to tensions with Iran (oil, gasoline, diesel) to shrinking capacity (freight, shipping) and severe weather and/or rising demand (corn, fruit, grains and nuts),” writes contributor Antony Michels.
Finally on page 15, we delve into tax leakage caused by the loss of previously allowed tax ambiguities. The leakage, says Peter Connors of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in New York, “is additional tax cost that is in a way uneconomic or unexpected. It tends to be small—hence the term ‘leakage’ rather than a term indicating a larger magnitude—but these can add up.”
For over 20 years, iTreasurer has delivered intelligence for treasurers. Based on exclusive access to senior treasury executives who are members of The NeuGroup Network of treasury peer groups, iTreasurer takes their real-world experience to produce articles, case studies and reports that are specifically meaningful to treasury best practice. www.iTreasurer.com.