We started 2019 with credit at levels we perceived to be pretty cheap. The run since then has been remarkable, with spreads today close to all-time lows. What should one be doing with credit risk at this point?
There are reasons to remain bullish on credit, and fully invested. First, we remain in a goldilocks economic environment for bonds, with low growth and low inflation. These economic … Read the article
Christmas has come early for Europe, with Mario Draghi’s goodbye present to the market of further quantitative easing (“QE”). The ECB has kicked off its latest round of asset purchases. While this will undoubtedly be supportive for European credit, I feel much of the impact is already priced in to the secondary market. With a large book to fill, a significant part of the ECB’s ammunition is… Read the article
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 de… Read the article
As the U.S. yield curve flattened to just 45 bps (2s-10s) last week, we dug out something I wrote back in 2007, in the early days of this blog. A chart that accompanied the blog showed that a) U.S. BBB credit spreads had hit their tightest level for nearly 3 decades and b) that the yield curve had flattened substantially (and in fact inverted). If you pushed the yield curve shape chart 18 mon… Read the article
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… Read the article
Credit risk is real. It’s easy to forget this platitude in times when both investment grade and high yield credit markets go from strength to strength. Even one of Europe’s foremost credit investors – the European Central Bank (ECB) – has recently been reminded that there is indeed the risk of permanent loss of capital when buying corporate bonds.
Every week the ECB updates the consolidated lis… Read the article
On August 4th last year, the Bank of England announced a series of easing measures in response to the Brexit referendum results. They were very concerned regarding a potential slowdown and collapse in both the economy and corporate confidence and so implemented a variety of measures; reducing interest rates, increasing liquidity lines for banks, and reintroducing their gilt and corporate bond p… Read the article
European investment grade (IG) corporate bond spreads are now more than 40 basis points tighter than in early March 2016, before the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the expansion of its quantitative easing programme into the € IG corporate bond space. The technical tailwind provided by monthly bond purchases to the tune of around €7.5 billion from June onwards under the ECB’s corporate se… Read the article
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… Read the article
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 … Read the article