Category Archives:

asset classes

The best and worst performing fixed income asset classes of 2015

Looking back over the past year it’s evident that decent returns were much more difficult to achieve than in 2014. Within my sample of 85 different Bank of America Merrill Lynch bond indices (and as you can see from the smaller sample in the chart below) most indices fell within the -5% to 5% total return range for 2015, whereas most fell within the 5% to 15% range in 2014.

In 2014 though, mos…

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Tough as Granite – an RMBS case study

This weekend the team were doing more than just our Christmas shopping, we were also saying a fond farewell to one of our favourite investments of recent times – our Granite Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS).

Granite was the name that Northern Rock gave to the vehicle it used to securitise the mortgages that it originated before blowing up in 2007 – when it was no longer able to fun…

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Happy Halloween. Five scary charts that Freddy Krueger would be proud of.

M&G and bondvigilantes.com proudly present the scariest charts on the global economy. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. You will be amazed, you will be enchanted, you will be mystified, you will be amused. Of course, the following is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned.

  1. Companies are scared of risk

There has been a glut of corporate bond issuance since the financ…

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The downside of bonds

Government bond yields are extremely low across the globe. The highly unusual phenomenon of negative bond yields – even on debt issued by countries that still face a debt crisis – is now commonplace. In addition, investors are looking to protect themselves from the carnage in bond markets we have seen in recent weeks  (for example, the “risk-free” German 2.5% 2046 bond is down -19% since the hi…

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Default case study: “Ave Caesar, morturi te salutant”

“Hail Caesar, those who are about to die salute you” may well have been the gladiatorial epitaph of choice two millennia ago, but the junior creditors of Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Co are unlikely to feel the same way.

In 2008, TPG and Apollo Global Management, two powerhouses of the private equity industry, led a $30.7bn buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, the US gaming business. This …

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Either longer dated index linked gilts are very vulnerable, or the UK economy is

If at the beginning of 2014 you had made a list of what you thought would be the best performing fixed income asset classes globally for the coming year, it’s very unlikely you’d have put UK index-linked gilts at the top. It’s probably even less likely that you’d have put Argentina’s (hard currency) bond market in second place, especially if you had been told that Argentina would default in 201…

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Ten reasons to like US high yield today

Global growth concerns, fears of a less accommodative Fed, and limited high yield market liquidity coupled with complacent and crowded investor positioning has served to reprice the US high yield market over the past few months. Following on from the worst quarterly performance in Q3 2014 for some three years, the US high yield market arguably now offers a significantly more attractive entry po…

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Bondfire of the Maturities: how to improve credit market liquidity

Liquidity in credit markets has been a hot topic in recent months. The Bank of England has warned about low volatility in financial markets leading to excessive reaching for yield, the FT suggested that the US authorities are considering exit fees for bond funds in case of a run on the asset class, and you’ve all seen the charts showing how assets in corporate bond funds have risen sharply just…

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Respect Your Seniors – TXU Default Case Study

On 29th April, Energy Future Holdings Corp (the energy business formerly known as TXU) filed for Chapt 11 bankruptcy, listing $49.7bn in debt liabilities. This came after several months of back and forth negotiations between various creditors and the owners of the business. As such the filing was widely expected and the market had been pricing this in.

One thing that was quite an eye-opener, ho…

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Video – Some thoughts on U.S. credit from our American research trip

A few of the M&G bond team recently visited New York and Chicago on a research trip. We put together a short video to share some of our thoughts regarding US credit markets. A particular focus is the U.S. high yield market where we highlight some sector themes. We also consider the potential impact on U.S. credit spreads when the Fed starts to raise interest rates.

 

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