Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Catch up

My week in the bank was very different to the front office - it was so quiet! The office is a lot smaller and there are fewer people, monitors or phones around, which made it uncomfortably silent at times. I spent my time there learning about what the portfolio managers and real estate guys do, which seemed to me to be a mix of corporate finace and accountancy. For the last three days, I analysed companies' financial reports (so their balance sheets, income statements and cash flows) and wrote a wee report about how well Marubeni is doing, based on the info they published for the 2009 financial year.

This week I'm back in the (more exciting) front office, this time with one of the sales desks - the people who sell yen denominated products to mainly non-Japanese clients. It feels good to be back where the action is! Today there was one of the monthly JGB (Japanese government bond) auctions. Over two billion yen's worth of 10 year bonds were auctioned off and RBS were pretty successful (not acutally sure if I'm allowed to say how successful...). It was an interesting auction to witness as these were the first set of bonds to be released by the new government. As many of you may be aware, Japan had its general elections this weekend and, for the first time in over 50 years, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) defeated the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). This landmark election obviously affected the markets, in particular bumping up the value of the yen (not so great for me, who is still spending sterling!) and was also expected to have an impact on today's auction. To be honest, it didn't seem to alter anything by much, but it was still a good learning experience for me to be involved in a fairly ordinary auction session.

I had a fantatic week acting as a tour guide for my friend, but she has now headed back home. Sadly, I'll be heading back soon, too. But firstly, I've got to work out how on earth to pack all my stuff! I was 2kg over the weight limit on the way out here and have been indulging in a considerable amount of retail therapy, so packing is not going to be fun...

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