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Credit Trends: Global Refinancing--Rated Corporate Debt Due Through 2024 Nears $11 Trillion


Credit Trends: Global Refinancing--Rated Corporate Debt Due Through 2024 Nears $11 Trillion

Chart 1a

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Chart 1b

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S&P Global Ratings estimates that $10.76 trillion in rated corporate debt (including bonds, loans, and revolving credit facilities) is set to mature globally from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2024. Annual maturities are set to peak in 2022 at nearly $2.3 trillion--and, while the peak maturity year is unchanged from one year ago, the amount set to mature in 2022 increased by 1%. The amount of debt maturing over this period has risen by 3% over the past year (since Jan. 1, 2019) (see chart 2).

Financial services' debt maturing through 2024 has increased by 11% over the past year as financial issuers rolled over much of their debt that was maturing in 2019 with new notes maturing in 2024. Nonfinancial companies' maturities through 2024 declined by 1% as more of their new debt issuance is scheduled to mature after 2024.

We based this study on an assessment of debt instruments (including bonds, notes, loans, and revolving credit facilities) that are rated by S&P Global Ratings; we excluded unrated instruments from this study. This study includes debt instruments from financial and nonfinancial corporate issuers globally.

Chart 2

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Monetary Policy Supports Lending Conditions During The Current Period Of Slowing Economic Growth And Heightened Geopolitical Tensions

We expect global issuance to pick up in 2020, as the easing of monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2019 and the European Central Bank's (ECB) stimulus package will lead to the continuation of ultralow (and negative) yields on government bonds. Given the strong demand for positive-yielding, investment-grade credit in this "lower for longer" interest rate environment, we expect to see strong investor demand for new issuance from corporate issuers, especially those with higher ratings.

While monetary policies are contributing to favorable financing conditions, we continue to see a couple of key risks that could lead to higher funding costs or periods of funding volatility.

First, economic growth should slow. S&P Global economists project U.S. GDP growth will slow to 1.9% in 2020 (from 2.3% in 2019), while European GDP growth slows to 1% in 2020 (from 1.2% in 2019). And growth is China is forecast to slow to 5.7% in 2020 as financial conditions tighten.

Second, persistent geopolitical risks, including uncertainties in relation to the post-Brexit U.K.-EU relationship after 2020, trade disputes, escalating tensions in the Middle East, and growing popular unrest (such as in Hong Kong), continue to cloud the outlook for global growth. While these risks loom over growth forecasts, other geopolitical risks show signs of easing. With a more stable political outcome from recent elections, the U.K.'s exit from the EU on Jan. 31, 2020, into a transitional period until the end of the year has been orderly, though uncertainty remains about the ultimate (post-transition) relationship between the two. Meanwhile, the Phase One agreement between the U.S. and China to halt further tariff increases offers the first major détente in the trade dispute, although we view this deal as the end of the beginning of negotiations (rather than the beginning of the end), and we expect the next round of negotiations to be drawn out over several years.

Despite slowing economic growth and geopolitical risk, global rated bond issuance rose by 12% in 2019 as central banks eased monetary policies. Nonfinancials led global issuance, with an increase of 24% year over year. Meanwhile, financial services issuance rose by 1%.

Nonfinancial corporate issuance surged in 2019 as falling corporate yields heightened investor demand for investment-grade bonds, while speculative-grade bond issuance was supported by a shift from loan to bond funding as investor demand for floating-rate debt dropped with falling interest rates.

Bond issuance from U.S. and European financial services companies saw a smaller increase in 2019. European regional banks found a less expensive alternative to bond funding with the ECB's third round of targeted refinancing activity, and U.S. banks reduced their excess reserves at the Federal Reserve (see chart 3).

Chart 3

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Funding conditions have been intermittently choppy over the past two years, including the 55-day drought in speculative-grade issuance at the end of 2018. However, despite volatile periods such as that, the scale of issuance in recent years is more than sufficient to meet upcoming refinancing demands through 2024. Global rated bond issuance has averaged $2.47 trillion annually over the past three years, and, if bond issuance is sustained at near its current level, it is more than sufficient to fund pending debt maturities for both bonds and loans, which average $2.15 trillion annually through 2024. Furthermore, issuers have other capital market funding sources beyond the bond market to which they can turn, including the loan market. In 2019, capital markets supported total annual bond and loan issuance of nearly $3 trillion, a sum that exceeds annual maturities even in the upcoming peak maturity year of 2022.

Overview Of Corporate Debt Maturing Through 2024

The majority (77%) of rated corporate debt maturing through 2024 is investment grade (rated 'BBB-' or higher). Nonfinancial corporates account for 61% of the maturities, and financial services account for the other 39%.

By region, most of the debt (93%) is from companies in the developed markets of U.S., Europe, and the other developed region (which includes Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand). Emerging market debt accounts for 7% of maturities through 2024 (see table 1).

Table 1

Global Schedule For Maturing Corporate Debt
(Bil. $) 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Total
U.S.
Financials
Investment grade 228.2 247.4 219.6 195.5 167.0 1,057.6
Speculative grade 9.3 11.0 23.5 26.4 21.8 91.9
Nonfinancials
Investment grade 394.0 460.9 492.2 467.7 401.2 2,216.1
Speculative grade 86.8 195.2 280.9 385.8 492.0 1,440.6
Total U.S. 718.3 914.5 1,016.2 1,075.3 1,082.0 4,806.2
Europe
Financials
Investment grade 445.8 449.5 438.1 408.5 312.3 2,054.2
Speculative grade 6.0 5.3 12.8 11.1 13.9 49.1
Nonfinancials
Investment grade 314.3 294.6 307.2 246.5 243.7 1,406.3
Speculative grade 41.7 61.1 105.1 135.6 189.3 532.9
Total Europe 807.8 810.5 863.2 801.8 759.2 4,042.5
Other developed
Financials
Investment grade 161.4 144.6 135.2 96.5 103.1 640.8
Speculative grade 0.3 - 2.1 1.7 2.5 6.6
Nonfinancials
Investment grade 76.9 88.0 69.1 58.0 48.0 340.0
Speculative grade 17.3 22.4 29.1 41.3 44.4 154.6
Total other developed 256.0 255.0 235.4 197.5 198.0 1,141.9
Emerging markets
Financials
Investment grade 64.9 51.9 49.2 34.0 35.7 235.7
Speculative grade 8.5 3.0 11.1 6.2 7.7 36.4
Nonfinancials
Investment grade 56.4 60.8 85.3 65.8 67.3 335.5
Speculative grade 27.1 38.4 34.7 30.0 34.6 164.9
Total emerging markets 156.9 154.0 180.3 136.0 145.3 772.6
Totals
Total investment grade 1,742.0 1,797.6 1,795.8 1,572.5 1,378.3 8,286.3
Total speculative grade 197.0 336.4 499.4 638.0 806.2 2,477.0
Total financials 924.4 912.7 891.5 779.8 664.0 4,172.4
Total Nonfinancials 1,014.6 1,221.3 1,403.7 1,430.7 1,520.5 6,590.8
Grand total 1,939.0 2,134.0 2,295.2 2,210.5 2,184.5 10,763.3
Data as of Jan. 1, 2020. Includes bonds, loans, and revolving credit facilities that are rated by S&P Global Ratings. Foreign currencies are converted to U.S. dollars at the exchange rate on close of business on Jan. 1, 2020. Source: S&P Global Ratings Research.

The U.S. has a much higher concentration of nonfinancial corporate debt than other regions, in part due to its advanced market for speculative-grade credit ('BB+' or lower). About 76% of U.S. corporate debt maturing through 2024 is from nonfinancials, and 39% of U.S. nonfinancial corporate debt is speculative grade. By comparison, nonfinancials account for 48% of European debt, and just 27% of this is speculative grade.

As a share of total debt, speculative-grade issues account for 32% of maturities in the U.S., 26% in emerging markets, and just 14% of debt maturities in Europe and the other developed region.

Notably, while the credit market and its refinancing demands have been rapidly growing in China, much of this debt remains in the domestic market, and only a narrow slice of the foreign market debt is rated by S&P Global Ratings. This study reviews the maturity wall of rated corporate debt, and coverage is limited in less developed markets that have a lower proportion of rated debt. (For more information about the domestic debt market in China, including debt that is not rated, please see "Demystifying China's Domestic Debt Market," published Feb. 19, 2019.)

Nonfinancial Corporate Maturities Rise Steadily To A Peak Of $1.52 Trillion In 2024

Annual maturities for nonfinancial corporate debt are set to rise through 2024, when $1.52 trillion is set to come due (see chart 4). Most of the surge in nonfinancial bond issuance in 2019 was scheduled to mature in 2024 and beyond.

Over the past year, the total amount of global nonfinancial corporate debt rated by S&P Global Ratings that is set to mature in 2020 through 2023 was reduced by 6.8% (to $5.07 trillion), while the total maturing in 2024 rose by 27% (an increase of $321 billion).

Chart 4

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The 'BBB' rating category accounts for the largest share of nonfinancial debt maturing through 2024, with $2.6 trillion, followed by the 'A' category with nearly $1.3 trillion. While the 'BBB' category accounts for 39.5% of nonfinancial corporate debt maturing through 2024, the 'BBB' category represents a slightly higher share of all nonfinancial debt (at 40.5%) when we include those instruments maturing after 2024, as investment-grade debt is often issued with a longer maturity than speculative-grade debt. We expect refinancing risk for investment-grade debt is minimal, given investors' demand for high-quality credit.

Chart 5

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Speculative-Grade Nonfinancial Maturities Are Set To Surpass Investment Grade In 2024

Of the nonfinancial corporate debt maturing through 2024, 35% is speculative grade, but the maturities of this debt are largely concentrated in the later years. Speculative-grade nonfinancial corporate debt does not reach its peak maturity year until 2024, reaching $760.3 billion, and exceeding the maturities of investment-grade nonfinancial debt in that year by $130 million (see chart 6).

Chart 6

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About $2.3 trillion in speculative-grade nonfinancial debt is scheduled to mature through 2024. While this represents a smaller share of maturities than investment grade, the pool of potential investors is smaller as well. Issuers of speculative-grade debt face higher refinancing risks, such as potentially higher funding costs and less credit availability, particularly if credit investors turn more risk averse.

Credit spreads for both investment- and speculative-grade U.S. corporate bonds narrowed in 2019 as Fed rate cuts sparked investor demand for corporate yield. However, the benefit was not felt equally across speculative-grade categories, as the gap between 'BB' category bond spreads and those of 'B-' or lower bonds widened during the year.

Speculative-grade nonfinancial issuers generally took the opportunities presented by falling yields to issue longer-term bond debt in 2019. About 70% of speculative-grade nonfinancial bonds in 2019 were issued with a maturity of seven years or more (versus 63% in 2018). Furthermore, many speculative-grade issuers conducted bond-for-loan take-outs in 2019, thereby replacing shorter-term, floating-rate loan funding with longer-term, fixed-rate bond funding.

With this recent issuance activity, speculative-grade nonfinancial debt maturing in 2020 through 2024 declined by nearly 12% over the past year (see chart 7).

Chart 7

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Within speculative grade, the lowest-rated issues ('B-' and lower) are the most prone to refinancing stress if financing conditions worsen. This debt accounts for $561 billion of the nonfinancial debt maturing through 2024 and is largely from U.S. companies. Companies have some time to refinance most of this global debt, as less than $140 billion is scheduled to mature in 2020 and 2021 combined. By comparison, more than $250 billion in bonds and loans rated 'B-' and lower were issued in 2019, and if capital market issuance is sustained at or near its current level, it is more than sufficient to meet these pending obligations.

Utilities And Consumer Products Have The Most Nonfinancial Corporate Debt Maturing Through 2024

The consumer products and utility sectors are the nonfinancial sectors with the highest amount of debt maturing through 2024. Most of the debt within these two sectors is investment grade, accounting for 84% of the utilities' debt and 68% of consumer products' (see table 2).

High ratings in the utility sector reflect the regulated nature of much of the industry. While these issuers are benefitting from cheap and abundant capital, they also face increasingly strict regulatory reviews (in Europe) as well as large capital needs as the industry invests in new power sources and new technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

The consumer products sector has faced pressure on both top-line growth and bottom-line costs in recent years as producers adjust to changing consumer tastes and rapidly evolving competition. While rating trends in the sector show rising downgrades (and rising downgrade potential), much of this weakness is concentrated at the low end of the speculative-grade rating categories, mostly because of unsustainable capital structures and weak operating performance.

The sector with the most speculative-grade debt maturing through 2024 is media and entertainment (with $334.1 billion).

Table 2

Maturing Debt By Major Nonfinancial Sectors
(Bil. $) --Investment grade-- --Speculative grade-- Total
Sector 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Aerospace and defense 13.8 13.6 11.9 15.2 8.6 1.0 7.8 9.4 17.2 16.3 114.8
Automotive 119.1 114.7 82.4 62.1 45.9 8.0 7.4 18.2 15.8 27.9 501.6
Capital goods 52.2 52.8 48.6 40.0 31.9 5.3 8.3 13.3 19.8 33.1 305.4
Consumer products 97.2 86.5 91.3 87.5 76.2 7.2 22.1 40.3 60.6 78.1 647.0
CP&ES 32.6 36.7 47.8 31.9 39.9 13.5 17.9 19.8 40.7 61.4 342.2
Diversified 1.5 1.1 2.1 1.5 2.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.4 10.7
Forest 10.6 14.9 14.9 10.0 10.6 0.9 4.9 7.4 13.9 19.5 107.8
Health care 67.4 68.3 84.9 72.5 59.5 16.7 30.5 54.5 54.3 78.3 586.8
High technology 55.1 98.1 70.5 86.6 61.5 11.8 19.2 31.3 63.0 76.9 574.0
Home/RE 17.4 37.1 49.9 45.0 49.7 16.5 23.6 23.6 16.8 15.5 295.1
Media and entertainment 31.8 36.4 36.7 36.4 49.2 12.4 33.7 68.6 84.9 134.4 524.7
Metals 26.9 24.4 22.1 18.5 15.8 6.4 10.4 17.2 18.5 15.7 175.9
Oil and gas 64.8 57.2 86.1 63.0 54.5 20.2 48.2 40.1 40.0 36.4 510.4
Retail/restaurants 30.4 41.9 45.8 39.5 34.5 4.9 14.1 28.6 41.1 39.2 320.1
Telecommunications 69.7 66.4 76.9 74.1 62.6 24.3 37.0 45.9 59.1 74.5 590.4
Transportation 37.0 41.7 51.7 54.5 45.0 7.7 15.9 16.7 18.5 21.1 309.8
Utilities 114.3 112.3 130.1 99.6 112.3 16.0 16.1 15.1 28.1 30.5 674.3
Total 841.7 904.2 953.8 838.0 760.2 172.9 317.1 449.9 592.7 760.3 6590.8
Note: Metals--metals, mining, and steel. Forest--Forest products and building materials. CP&ES--Chemicals, packaging, and environmental services. Home/RE--Homebuilders/real estate companies. Data as of Jan. 1, 2020. Includes bonds, loans, and revolving credit facilities that are rated by S&P Global Ratings. Excludes debt instruments that do not have a global scale rating. Foreign currencies are converted to US$ at the exchange rate on close of business on Jan. 1, 2020. Source: S&P Global Ratings Research.

Financial Services Debt Maturities Peak In 2020 At $924.4 Billion

Financial services companies have $924.4 billion in rated debt set to mature in 2020, and subsequent maturities are set to fall to $912.7 billion in 2021. We expect the credit market may have already accommodated some of the debt remaining in this year, given normal data-reporting lags.

Over the past 12 months, the amount of financial services debt maturing in 2020 through 2024 rose by 11%, with much of the increase coming due in 2024, when maturities rose by 57%. Most of this increase was from issuers that rolled over debt that was maturing in 2019 with new five-year notes (see chart 8).

While the latest rounds of monetary easing are a positive for banks' funding conditions, "lower-for-longer" interest rates put pressure on the profitability of banks, particularly in Europe and Japan, and dampens the earnings outlook for life insurers. However, credit conditions remain broadly supportive for the assets of banks and life insurers even as economic growth has slowed.

Chart 8

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The Largest Share Of Maturing Debt Within Financial Services Is In The 'A' Category

About 96% of the debt from financial services companies maturing through 2024 is rated investment grade.

Financial services debt is highly concentrated in investment grade, and a smaller share of this debt is rated among the lowest of investment-grade ratings compared with nonfinancials. The largest share of financial services debt is in the 'A' category, which accounts for 42% (or $1.74 trillion) of the debt maturing through 2024, followed by the 'BBB' category with 24% (or $992 billion) (see chart 9). Just 16% of the 'BBB' category debt from financial services companies is rated 'BBB-', and near 58% is rated 'BBB+'.

In addition to the investment-grade debt, about $184 billion in speculative-grade debt from financial services is set to mature through 2024. This mostly consists of debt from nonbank financial institutions in the U.S., debt from emerging market banks, and subordinated debt from European banks.

Chart 9

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Financial Services In The U.K. Have Over $300 Billion Set To Mature Through 2024

By country, the U.S. has the most financial services debt maturing through 2024 (with $1.1 trillion), followed by France (with $342.8 billion), and the U.K. (with $329.4 billion) (see chart 10).

Capital investment in the U.K. has slowed as uncertainty over the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union has given companies pause. That said, U.K. banks are well positioned, with most showing robust asset-quality metrics, stable capital, and healthy funding and liquidity. Together, these factors set U.K. banks on solid footing as they face potential post-Brexit uncertainty and other risks.

Chart 10

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Data Approach

For this analysis, we investigated the potential refunding needs of financial and nonfinancial corporate debt rated by S&P Global Ratings.

For each region, we included the rated debt of all parent companies and their foreign subsidiaries. We counted the debt of all of these companies regardless of the currency or market in which the debt was issued. We converted any non-U.S.-dollar-denominated debt to U.S. dollars based on the end-of-day exchange rates on Jan. 1, 2020.

The issue types covered include loans, revolving credit facilities, bank notes, bonds, debentures, convertible bonds, covered bonds, intermediate notes, medium-term notes, index-linked notes, equipment pass-through certificates, and preferred stock. In the case of revolving credit facilities, the amount usually represents the original facility limit, not necessarily the amount that has been drawn. Debt amounts are tallied as the face value of outstanding rated debt instruments. We excluded individual issues that are not currently rated at the instrument level, as well as instruments from issuers currently rated 'D' (default) or 'SD' (selective default).

We aggregated the data by issue-level credit rating. We also aggregated sector-specific data according to the subsector of the issuer. The financial sector is defined as all banks, brokers, insurance companies, asset managers, mortgage companies, and other financial institutions. We aggregated debt issued by financial arms of nonfinancial companies with the sector of their corporate parent. We excluded government-sponsored agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, project finance, and public finance issuers.

Related Research

  • Global Financing Conditions: Bond Issuance Is Expected To Grow 3.8% In 2020, Jan. 30, 2020
  • U.S. Life Insurers Enter A New Decade With Balance-Sheet Strength, While Old Headwinds Still Loom, Jan. 14, 2020
  • Industry Top Trends 2020: Key Themes, Dec. 13, 2019
  • Global Banks 2020 Outlook: The Unrelenting Hunt For Returns, Nov. 18, 2019
  • Demystifying China's Domestic Debt Market, Feb. 19, 2019

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Ratings Research:Evan M Gunter, New York (1) 212-438-6412;
evan.gunter@spglobal.com
Sudeep K Kesh, New York (1) 212-438-7982;
sudeep.kesh@spglobal.com
Nick W Kraemer, FRM, New York (1) 212-438-1698;
nick.kraemer@spglobal.com
Research Contributor:Abhik Debnath, CRISIL Global Analytical Center, an S&P Global Ratings affiliate, Mumbai

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