Category Archives:

Corporate bonds

The ECB resumes corporate bond purchases — here is what you have to know

All eyes are on central banks these days as major
monetary policy decisions have been driving global bond markets. The eagerly
awaited September meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank
(ECB) has given bond investors much food for thought. In particular, the new
round of its asset purchase programme (APP)—announced in true ECB fashion revealing
only the bare minimum of det…

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What if the ECB starts buying corporate bonds again?

In his distinctively dovish Sintra speech two weeks ago Mario Draghi left the door wide open for further loosening of monetary policy in the Euro area. All options seem to be on the table to bolster European inflation numbers, including a new round of quantitative easing. Draghi’s remark about the ECB’s Asset Purchase Programme (APP) still having considerable headroom fuelled hopes amongst ma…

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Eskom, Pemex: two distinct stories but a similar root of problem

Fully government-owned corporate bond issuers (or quasi sovereigns) are one of the most interesting areas of emerging market debt investing, due to the hybrid nature of their credit risk: partly corporate credit, partly sovereign risk. Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA is an example of what can go wrong, as it is in default. Bond investors are therefore currently spending more time looking…

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The Rise of Emerging Market Corporate Bonds

Few investors would have bet on emerging market (“EM”) corporate bonds fifteen years ago. In 2004 the EM external (also known as hard-currency) corporate bond universe was relatively small at approximately US$ 270bn. By 2009 the asset class had more than doubled to US$ 600bn driven by strong economic expansion across developing economies notably the BRIC countries. Since the global financial cr…

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Panoramic Weekly: Bonds take a bath

The bond sell-off that started last week with the publication of strong US data continued over the past five trading days, even if Friday’s job report came in below expectations and a slew of global data and events only confirmed a worsening momentum: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut this year’s world economic growth forecast to 3.7%, down from 3.9%, citing challenges to trade; Italian…

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Panoramic Weekly: Stars and Strikes

Global bond markets reacted sharply to Wednesday’s release of US Services data, which struck its best mark in 21 years: US 10-year yields spiked to 3.2%, the highest since 2011, while the dollar reversed a gloomy September to recover its August level. The usually less reactive 30-year Treasury yields surged, leading some investors such as M&G fund manager Richard Woolnough to argue that the mar…

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Watch Your Step: Cliff Edge risk in European High Yield

This has not been a vintage year for total returns in the European High Yield market: wider spreads have led to small capital losses, barely offset by a relatively low income of 3.2%, which has resulted in an anaemic total return of 0.22% year to date. Unexciting and dull? Yes, but only if one looks at the surface. The underlying trends are far more interesting – and relevant for investors.

Eve…

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The impact of the technology tantrum on US corporate bond valuations

It is fair to say that markets have become more lively of late. One sector in particular has been the epicentre of revived market volatility – Technology.

In the US high yield market, the US tech sector has weakened relative to the broader US high yield market. Given higher leveraged balance sheets, high yield bonds tend to be more sensitive to sector specific headwinds.

The chart below shows t…

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2017 investment grade review – a rising tide lifts all boats

Let’s be honest, 2017 won’t go down in history as the most exciting year for investment grade (IG) credit markets. IG credit spreads have moved more or less in one direction only: lower and lower. Still, there are valuable lessons to be learnt. Here are our key takeaways.

Positive mood swing in Europe drove EUR IG outperformance vs USD IG.

Back in early 2017 the logic was as follows: After the…

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Trump should reappoint Yellen. Also: credit spreads are tight, Tesla, Laffer’s napkin and other stuff.

  1. The Fed Chair choice should be obvious for Trump.  Yellen all the way.  I don’t understand why he would choose Taylor.

President Trump is likely to announce his choice for the next Fed Chair by the end of this month.  Whilst current Chair Janet Yellen is still in the running, she has been slipping down the betting over the past few weeks.  There are three good reasons why (from his perspectiv…

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