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Are sovereign bond-backed securities the key to financial stability within the Eurozone?

Creating a Eurozone-wide safe asset and thus diversifying sovereign risk within the currency union without the need for sovereign debt mutualisation – sounds like having your cake and eating it, doesn’t it? Well, according to the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS) might do the trick. SBBS are merely an idea, discussed in ESRB working papers, feasibility…

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Can ESG analysis help improve high yield returns?

Some of the worst performing bonds in the European high yield index in 2017 all had weak Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores according to MSCI.  Is this is a coincidence or is it indicative of a relationship between poor ESG metrics and bond performance?

To find out the answer, we analysed the 2017 total returns of the 365 bonds in the European high yield market that were ESG rat…

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A tale of two bonds – diverging fortunes for GKNLN 22s and 32s

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – to phrase it in a Dickensian way – for bonds of British automotive and aerospace components company GKN. After Melrose Industries, an investment firm specialised in turnarounds of manufacturing businesses, had made an unsolicited takeover bid for GKN on 8th January, GKNLN 3.375 05/12/32s have enjoyed capital gains of 1.7%, whereas the cash p…

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Floating rate versus fixed rate high yield bonds. What are the breakeven scenarios for the next 12 months?

Short term US dollar interest rates continue their march higher. 3-Month USD LIBOR recently hit 1.61%, fuelled by the Fed’s 25 basis point hike on December 13th, a level last seen in late 2008. With further rate hikes on the horizon in the US and a potentially more hawkish European Central Bank, is 2018 the year when floating rate high yield meaningfully outperforms its fixed rate cousin?

The s…

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Golaccio! – Inter Milan issues European Junk Bond

Yesterday we saw Inter Milan issue the first football related high yield bond since we saw Manchester United tap the market back in January 2010. Putting aside the natural tribalism of 2 of my esteemed colleagues (both Italian, both ardent AC Milan supporters), we decided not to invest in the €300m 4.875% 2022 bond.

In terms of fundamentals, legal claim, and relative value, the bond stacks up f…

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The hunt for emerging market yield is killing covenants

Would you buy a 7-year unsecured bond at 6% yield from a B1/B+ rated Brazilian airline (first time issuer) with well-below-standard credit covenant protection for investors? Many did last week. Few would have a year ago.

This year, many emerging market bond investors have been tempted to lend further down the credit spectrum in search for higher yields. Strong inflows into the asset class combi…

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Argentina’s century bond: much ado about nothing

Argentina’s recently issued century bond deal was unexpected in terms of timing and maturity. Century bonds in Emerging Markets (EM) are rare (we think the table below is pretty exhaustive) and they grab the headlines, especially when issued by a credit that has defaulted many (many) times, like Argentina.

Are century bonds that much risker?

  1. Duration: As we wrote previously, the duration of …

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Eurobonds: one bond to fund them all

The German federal election in September still seems far away. However, for the first time in years, it appears possible that Angela Merkel could actually lose the election. Martin Schulz, Chancellor candidate and chairman of the Social Democratic Party, is having some early signs of success in the polls and is gaining momentum. As a result, investors in European (and UK ) debt might want to re…

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A wrap up of 2016 bond and currency market performance

Turning back the clock to the first week of 2016, fears of a Chinese slowdown and the Federal Reserve beginning to normalise rates hit stock markets hard. By Valentine’s Day bond yields had fallen to – what was then – all-time lows.  But we hadn’t seen anything yet. Ongoing ECB QE, Brexit, UK QE, novel Japanese monetary policy, president-elect Trump and ECB tapering. In a year of political and …

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Japan research trip: how will the Bank of Japan exit YCC?

Guest contributor – Jean-Paul Jaegers, CFA, CQF (Senior Investment Strategist, Prudential Portfolio Management Group)

Recently Jim Leaviss and I travelled to Tokyo to discuss local economic developments and Bank of Japan (BoJ) policy with economists and analysts based in Tokyo.

There was generally broad agreement that the potential path for Japanese government bond yields (JGBs) is asymmetric. …

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