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It's Payback Time for Stocks as Balance-Sheet-Be-Damned Ends

  • M&S to Vodafone court creditors in stock-market conundrum
  • Shareholders sweat as ‘dirty work’ of deleveraging begins
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Fed Balance-Sheet Unwind Is a Nonevent, Strategas' Tzitzouris Says
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Equity investors accustomed to ruling the corporate agenda are facing a gut check as big-name brands from telecommunications to consumer cyclicals pacify creditors with moves that signal a shift in the stock-bond power balance.

The latest examples: Marks & Spencer Group Plc said it would finance a $1 billion investment with new shares and cut its dividend; Vodafone Group Plc issued bonds that will be repaid in stock instead of cash in a few years’ time, sparing balance-sheet damage in the near-term.