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IFR Capital Markets Week Ahead - September 19, 2016

* Corporate markets pause for Fed decision

* Bayer mega-loan is launched

* Russian bond markets continue to thaw

By Gareth Gore

LONDON, Sept 19 (IFR) - Welcome to the IFR Capital Markets Week Ahead - a new weekly email newsletter from Thomson Reuters IFR. TAKING A HIKE Corporate bond markets are expected to take a breather, with most issuers set to sit out the next few days ahead of two big central bank decisions on Wednesday. The US Federal Reserve could shock markets with its second hike in a decade, while the Bank of Japan is considering big changes to its mammoth quantitative easing programme.

The pause comes after a frantic few weeks for issuance, with corporates keen to get their deals done ahead of any potential Fed upset. The rush has pushed global issuance to US$3.3trn, higher than it's ever been at this point of the year. But the boom is showing signs of petering out: refinancing needs are falling, and M&A financing is slowing too.

BUILDING BRIDGES A US$57bn bridge loan backing Bayer's takeover of Monsanto is set to launch, with underwriters Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and JP Morgan keen to reduce their mammoth exposures quickly. The deal for the German drug and crop chemical group will be the third-biggest syndicated loan ever. ANCHOR! Postal Savings Bank of China is set to price its US$8.1bn Hong Kong IPO on Tuesday, in the biggest listing seen so far this year. The Chinese lender shrugged off a vicious equity market sell-off to cover the institutional portion on the first day of bookbuilding - helped by six big Chinese accounts. Global investors have been less keen. A FINE LINE Deutsche Bank equity and AT1 investors will continue to digest news that the US Department of Justice asked Germany's flagship lender to pay US$14bn to settle an investigation into alleged mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities. Concerns have risen of an equity raise - the bank's fourth since 2010 - and possible missed AT1 coupons. GULF STREAM With Eid over, sovereign issuers in the Middle East are expected to hit markets with some sizeable bond sales. First out the blocks should be Bahrain this week. It and Kuwait are keen to hit screens before Saudi Arabia makes its long-awaited debut, with Riyadh needing to plug a US$100bn fiscal hole after a collapse in oil prices. RUSSIAN SPRING New deals are expected from Otkritie, O1 Properties and MTN, as bond markets continue to thaw for Russian corporates after a collapse in issuance in past years. Loan bankers are also expecting to see deals: Norilsk Nickel is talking to banks about a syndicated loan, while pre-export financing for Eurochem is expected to close this week. LUBRICATING THE MARKET Motor oil producer Valvoline is set to price its US$690m IPO on Thursday, ending a 150-year run as a private company . It's the first true test of the US market since US Foods Holdings' US$1.17bn offering in May, in what has been a barren year for listings. The medium-sized deal will be the second-largest US IPO this year. KERVIEL IN COURT A Versailles court is expected to rule on Friday on whether former Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel should have to pay any damages for the 4.9bn losses he caused. A win for the disgraced trader could put at risk a 2.2bn tax deduction that the French bank has claimed linked to its losses in the scandal.

LAST WEEK IN NUMBERS £110bn - Universe of corporate bonds eligible for Bank of England purchases 77.2% - Allocation to just six cornerstone investors in US$8.1bn PSBC listing US$682bn - Value of M&A transactions that have fallen apart this year US$23bn - Investment grade issuance last Tuesday, fourth busiest day this year (Reporting by Gareth Gore; Editing by Ian Edmondson)

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