Author profile

Wolfgang Bauer

Years in the bond markets: 3

Specialist subjects: Investment grade credit (and the mysteries of microfluidics…)

Likes: Football, scuba diving and jiangsu cuisine

Heroes: Alfred Wegener, Charles Darwin and Stanislav Petrov

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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Steepness of the US IG non-financials curve

Good things come to those who wait – a look into valuations of USD long-dated credit

In a recent blog post, Ben discussed relative valuation opportunities in the US investment grade (IG) corporate bond market. Today, the long-dated segment of this market looks increasingly attractive given how steep credit spread curves in the US dollar IG space are at the moment.

The chart below shows the credit spread curve, as of 30th September, of US dollar denominated IG-rated non-financia…

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Posted under US

Which corporate bonds has the ECB been buying?

Having recently blogged about the potentially eligible universe of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), we were naturally eager to find out which corporate bonds the European Central Bank (ECB) has actually been buying. On Monday, the ECB eventually published the highly-anticipated list of their bond holdings.

Except that’s not what happened. Instead of the ECB releasing a neat conso…

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Richard Woolnough’s views on the U.S. economy and bond markets. A video.

In the second part of the video from our recent New York research trip, M&G’s Richard Woolnough takes a look at three more topics. Firstly, the U.S. labour market is strong and inflationary pressures are building. The Federal Reserve is currently on hold due to external events, but maybe not for long. Secondly, while the lower oil price by and large is beneficial for Western economies, bond val…

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A video from our NY research trip examining the US healthcare sector

It has been a while since we last uploaded a video from one of our U.S. research trips. Richard and I recently travelled to New York to meet with various local analysts and strategists. The timing of the trip could not have been better: the Federal Reserve needs to decide whether and how to continue its rate hiking cycle and event risk in the economy is high. We had the opportunity to discuss a…

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Fossil fuels – The end is nigh

Fossil fuels – The end is nigh

There’s no doubt that the oil industry has seen better days. Adding to present-day woes of price levels of $30-40 per barrel are questions about the long-term viability of the industry’s business model as a whole. Take for example the Rockefeller dynasty and Saudi Arabia, two names synonymous with gigantic fortunes built on oil. Well, the Rockefeller Family Fund just announced its intent to div…

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Which corporate bonds will the ECB buy?

Bond markets have reacted strongly to the 10th March announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) of its new corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). Credit spreads of euro-denominated investment grade (IG) corporate bonds have tightened by around 20 bps on average. Still, a lot of the CSPP’s particulars are anybody’s guess at this point. The publication of the account of the last monetar…

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Why doesn’t the ECB just buy oil?

It’s pretty clear that the pressure is on the European Central Bank (ECB) to come up with some form of policy response at their next Governing Council meeting in March. Take, for example, the 5-year, 5-year EUR inflation swap rate (i.e., the swap market’s estimate of where 5-year inflation rates might be in five years’ time), which has taken a nose dive to 1.5% (see chart below). This is remark…

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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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Pharma merger mania: The good, the bad and the ugly

In our recent Chicago video we touched upon the subject of recent mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in North America having surpassed pre-crisis volumes. Though hard to quantify, it’s safe to assume that the M&A surge has been one of the main driving forces behind the widening of credit spreads in the USD investment grade (IG) corporate bond universe this year. Numerous IG companies have …

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