Wednesday, March 25, 2009

小心回馬槍

只見美國政府不斷製造驚喜,讓大家炒個不亦樂乎,望著《彭博電視》,美股升極都有,差點以為報道員會開香檳慶祝。近日全球股市像牛氣沖天般,道指周一漲6.8%,標普500指數更大升7%,當中可望將毒資產剝離的金融股更有衝勁,花旗集團(Citigroup)漲19.4%、連美國國際集團(AIG)也大幅上揚17.4%。但在毒資產問題未解決,資金未回復完全正常流動前,各地股市已先行炒上,反映政策市的威力,但來得快、走得快,小心回馬槍。

美國財政部出盡全力,在過去1個月就已經將按揭息率推至歷史新低外,按揭再融資成功個案更增加三成,難怪早前二手房屋銷售數字出奇地回升。不過,要樓市轉趨活躍,銀行的按揭態度相當重要,且看去年第四季,本港銀行有如驚弓之鳥,即時凍結樓市交投,無按揭,怎樣能置業呢?

不過,據Foresight Analytics數據顯示,今年至2011年間,該類貸款和債券將有約8,140億美元(約6.3萬億港元)到期,市場正擔心有關發債機構再融資能力,令有關資產價格大跌。銀行面對手持的資產質素認真麻麻,想將資產用證券化方式出售就更是難上加難,因為投資者惟恐接火棒,引致這類資產售價進一步推低方獲承接,形成惡性循環。此外,獲政府注資的銀行又傾向保留多點資金,充實自己的資本,避免為資產撥備後受影響,最終可借出去的資金自然減少。

財政部今趟勢要恢復市場資金活動能力,唯有找私人投資者參與投資,不過,買入銀行的毒資產,是否有賺呢?私人投資者如個人、退休基金等都可參與買入銀行推出來的按揭貸款組合,經競投後,最高價者便可買入,如面值100美元資產,私人投資者以84美元投得,先折讓16%,然後聯邦存款保險公司幫他們擔保當中72美元,最後私人投資者和財政部各付6美元作股本便可,即槓桿比率逾8倍,看來本小利大,又有政府支持,表面看,的確有吸引力,難怪連債券大王格羅斯(Bill Gross)都以「win/win/win」即三贏去形容這個方案,兼且會參與該計劃。

不過,由於銀行並非強制出售這些資產,屆時願意低價沽售嗎?如何平衡投資者與納稅人利益等問題仍有待解決。當然,金融機構又多一個商機,如找人定價、管理購回來的資產,以及與政府周旋等,變相幫金融業提供新人力需求。

有趣的是,美國財政部還會協助銀行解決所持債務抵押證券問題,將會找合資格基金經理管理,最少有5個名額,但這些基金經理需要符合一些頗辣的條件,如能集資最少5億美元(約39億港元)、正管理的資產市值最少100億美元(約780億港元),又要保障納稅人利益,而總部更要設於美國本土。見到這些要求,意味只有少數有實力的基金才可分杯羹,而海外投資者應該無份參與,這又是否算保護主義,還是肥水不流別人田?

(3月25日刊於《am730》)

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