Category Archives:

high yield

Low yield, low quality, weaker covenants

When investing in companies of a lower credit quality, loss given default risk is the key threat that investors have to assess. Consequently, covenant protection is a crucial consideration before lending capital to a company. We wrote about covenant protection back in 2014 and it’s fair to say that covenant quality in the high yield market hasn’t improved much since then; actually quite the opp…

Read the article

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…

Read the article

The decline of covenants in the European leveraged loan market

Guest contributor – Chris Mansfield (Investment Graduate, M&G)

The sustained demand for high yield bonds and European leveraged loans over the past few years, combined with improving corporate fundamentals, has led to strong performance from both asset classes. The large amount of capital available for issuers of higher yielding assets has placed the bargaining power squarely in the hands of th…

Read the article

Shaky foundations: the European high yield construction sector

Guest contributor – Saul Casadio (Credit Analyst, M&G Investments)

While European High Yield has delivered a robust performance over the last two years, returning on average 4.9% per year, one part of the index has significantly lagged. Over the same period bonds issued by construction companies have returned an average annual return of -18.4%. The chart below shows that, out of seven issuers i…

Read the article

Volatility for U.S. hospital bonds ahead

As the rhetoric of the U.S. presidential race heats up over the summer campaigning months, one topic we are likely to hear much on is health care.  Health care in the U.S. is always a highly charged political subject, and now even more so with extra scrutiny on prescription drug prices and continued debates over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.  Obamacare is deeply unpopular with the…

Read the article

Brexit: The winners and losers in sterling high yield

Much has been written about the impact that the referendum result has had on gilts, the pound and equity markets. In sterling high yield bond markets, we have seen some repricing with the market 2% lower in price terms since the vote. In my opinion, this has been a fairly benign reaction if you consider that the FTSE 250 is around 10% lower over the same time period. One explanation for the mut…

Read the article

How severe is the current energy sector default cycle?

To date the defaults we’ve seen in the US high yield market have largely occurred in the energy/commodity sectors. To see whether this trend is likely to persist I spent some time comparing the current default cycle with that of the US telco sector in the early 2000’s (see also James’ recent blog for the parallels between today’s high yield market and that of 2001).

The telco bust occurred slig…

Read the article
Brazil is not Russia so don’t expect Brazilian bonds to deliver Russian returns

Brazil is not Russia so don’t expect Brazilian bonds to deliver Russian returns

Brazil has been facing the perfect storm since the re-election of Dilma Rousseff in October 2014 and asset prices in Latin America’s largest country have collapsed. Credit default swaps on Brazil 5-year sovereign debt in US dollar and hard-currency corporate bond spreads widened to as much as 545 bps and 938 bps respectively, as at the end of September 2015, which is higher than during the 2008…

Read the article

Commodity carnage and mayhEM – how exposed are High Yield markets?

We have seen a fairly swift and deep sell off in both commodities and emerging market equities over the past few months. The recent moves are now feeding through into a more broad-based sell off in risk assets. It appears an opportune time to take stock and see how exposed the various high yield markets are to these trends.

In order to assess any impact, I will firstly consider direct exposure,…

Read the article
XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics. A $2bn high yield transaction and why we didn’t play.

As value investors we would generally assert that every financial asset has its price. Few bond market offerings tick all the boxes, but if we are to be suitably compensated, and subject to certain red lines, we are generally sanguine.

Yesterday saw XPO Logistics, a third party US based logistics firm raise $2bn equivalent of debt across Euros and Dollars to part fund its acquisition of Norbert…

Read the article