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With rate-hike chances slim, leveraged loan issuers turn to high yield bond market

Outflow streak hits 30 weeks as leveraged loan funds see $686M withdrawal

After Neiman Marcus downgrade, U.S. leveraged loan default rate climbs to 1.24%

Despite aging credit cycle, near-term spike in leveraged loan defaults unlikely

European leveraged loan returns stall in May, though best high yield, equities


With rate-hike chances slim, leveraged loan issuers turn to high yield bond market

Borrowers are issuing fixed-rate high-yield bonds to take out floating-rate leveraged loan debt at the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2017.

Bond for loan chart

Through March 14, completed bond-for-loan takeout offerings in 2019 have totaled $11.9 billion, according to LCD. With the inclusion of ADT’s pending offering, expected to launch this month, this figure edges to $12.4 billion.

The renewed emphasis on the fixed-rate high-yield asset class, at the expense of floating-rate leveraged loans, is clear via retail investor activity. So far in 2019 U.S. high-yield funds have seen a net inflow of $8.2 billion, while U.S. loan funds have seen a net withdrawal of roughly the same amount, according to Lipper weekly reporters.

Notably, retail investors have pulled money from loan funds for the past 17 weeks, totaling nearly $22 billion.

Before the recent retail retreat from the U.S. leveraged loan market, interest rates had been rising, benefiting the floating rate asset class. Market observers do not expect another rate hike in 2019, according to CME group.

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LCD comps is an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence. LCD’s subscription site offers complete news, analysis and data covering the global leveraged loan and high yield bond markets. You can learn more about LCD here.