Category Archives:

credit

Cracks in the reflation trade

It is hard to remember a time when there was so much disagreement around the outlook for corporate bond markets and risk assets. Some investors remain sceptical about the underlying strength of the rally and are uneasy at the pace at which secular stagnation concerns were washed away by the election of Donald Trump. Other investors, hesitant to hold cash or in negative yielding short-dated gove…

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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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Private sector credit in China is approaching an historic crisis level

Credit is the oil that lubricates the engine of an economy. For this reason, economists watch credit statistics closely, in order to assess the sustainability of growth. If credit isn’t growing, it suggests households and firms aren’t confident enough in their respective outlooks to borrow and invest. If credit grows too quickly, it could result in financial and macroeconomic instability – hist…

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Changes in corporate bond market liquidity and the opportunities they present

One of the prevailing features of the last few years has been the increasing prominence of discussions regarding market liquidity and the seemingly downward trajectory it has taken across fixed income markets. This had led many market participants to question the resulting implications for market stability and volatility.

It makes sense then to try and understand the driving factors behind thes…

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Case study: Could Trump’s brand affect bond prices?

Earlier this year I gave a top-down macro assessment of Trump’s potential impact on Latin American remittances, should he become President. As the race continues, I now take a bottom-up micro view and assess Trump’s potential impact on an individual bond issue associated with the Trump Organization.

In 2007 the Panamanian real estate market was growing robustly, with prices experiencing double-…

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Investment grade credit spreads spinning wider

We recently blogged about the uninspiring performance of many fixed income asset classes in 2015. Investment grade (IG) corporate bonds certainly had a tough year as credit spreads trended wider, both in the USD and the EUR market. Taking a look at option-adjusted spread (OAS) levels, USD IG credit (+29 bps) marginally outperformed against EUR IG credit (+36 bps) in 2015. In both cases periods …

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Chicago research trip video: Tight labour markets and crisis-like corporate bond valuations

It has been a while since we last uploaded a video from one of our U.S. research trips. The question we asked in March as to whether the Fed would hike interest rates this year or not has still not been conclusively answered. Although a 2015 hike is not completely off the table, as we are entering the final two months of the year it seems a lot less likely than it did back then. Nonetheless, fr…

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EUR IG non-financial bond issuance in 2015

The Yanks are coming: US firms are rushing to the EUR corporate bond market

Reverse Yankees, i.e., bonds issued by US entities in currencies other than USD, have become an integral part of the global investment grade (IG) corporate bond universe, particularly in the European IG space. For treasurers of US companies the issuance of EUR-denominated Reverse Yankees offers several advantages:

  1. In case a US firm reporting its results in USD has operations within the Eurozon…

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The cost of quality: spread differentials between IG credit rating bands

We have frequently written about investment grade (IG) credit spreads over the course of the past year. Today I’m going to dissect the IG universe further and take a look at quality spreads, i.e., the additional risk premium investors can earn when switching from one credit rating band into the next lower band.

The chart below shows how the differential in asset swap (ASW) spread between AA and…

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Covenant case study – after the good, the bad

We recently highlighted a bond covenant that benefited fixed income investors. After the good, this week we have seen the bad. In this case, a bond covenant may impact bondholders in a detrimental way. Both examples are evidence of how critical it is to have a thorough understanding of bond documentation ahead of investing in a bond.

Kuwait’s third largest bank, Burgan Bank, announced in a regu…

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