Category: High Yield Weekly

29 May 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$5.3 billion and year to date flows stand at $16.6 billion.  New issuance for the week was $8.9 billion and year to date issuance is at $142.9 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • Wesco International Inc. is poised to round out a busy month for the high-yield market. Its $2.825b deal is slated to price Friday, which could make May the third busiest month on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Issuance month-to-date stands at $41b. Wesco’s issue would boost that to almost $44b
  • Junk bonds have had a strong month with spreads tightening amid billions of cash inflows. S. high yield funds reported an inflow of $5.3b for the week
  • High-yield spreads tightened 12bps to +631bps, the lowest since March 10. Yields fell below 7% for the first time since March to 6.97%
  • “Spreads have rallied meaningfully over the past two weeks in response to reopening optimism, supportive market technicals, and macro data that have been better than feared,” Barclays Plc credit strategist Brad Rogoff wrote in a note on Friday
  • While spreads may tighten more in the near term, longer-term risks remain, he said
  • Other would- be borrowers may stay on the sidelines Friday with stock futures slipping amid tensions between the US and China.
  • The junk bond rally continued with the index now gaining for eight straight sessions, the longest winning streak since January. It posted returns of 0.46% on Thursday
  • CCCs were the best performers with returns of 0.84%. Spreads declined the most in six weeks to close at +1,198, while yields closed at 12.87%
  • “Spreads for the lowest rated portion of the market have seemingly compressed toward the rest of high yield,” Barclays’ Rogoff wrote
  • The rally was partly driven by constituent changes such as defaults, rating actions, and new issue
  • “They do not look nearly as rich when accounting for these changes,” Rogoff wrote

 

(Bloomberg)  Williams Says Fed Thinking ‘Hard’ About Yield-Curve Control

  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said policy makers are “thinking very hard” about targeting specific yields on Treasury securities as a way of ensuring borrowing costs stay at rock-bottom levels beyond keeping the benchmark interest rate near zero.
  • “Yield-curve control, which has now been used in a few other countries, is I think a tool that can complement -– potentially complement –- forward guidance and our other policy actions,” he said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television with Michael McKee and Jonathan Ferro. “So this is something that obviously we’re thinking very hard about. We’re analyzing not only what’s happened in other countries but also how that may work in the United States.”
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams says the Fed will use all of its available tools to best achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.
  • Yield-curve control — where the central bank caps yields on government bonds of a chosen maturity through potentially unlimited purchases — has been used by Japan for years to stimulate economic activity and was recently adopted in Australia. Investors see the Fed embracing the tool in coming months as policy makers turn their attention toward fostering a strong rebound from the severe downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • While May or June might mark the low point, “even if we are starting to see perhaps a stabilization there in terms of the economy and maybe a little bit of a pickup, we’re still in a very difficult situation,” Williams said.

 

(Wall Street Journal)  U.S. Rebukes Beijing On Hong Kong — Pompeo says state isn’t autonomous, in move imperiling its special trade status

  • The U.S. no longer believes Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy from China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement likely to unsettle the global financial center and certain to aggravate Beijing.
  • The determination, announced Wednesday and required under federal law, amounted to a U.S. condemnation of China’s announcement of plans to impose greater control over Hong Kong, a move that triggered renewed protests against Beijing.
  • The State Department under a 1992 law must assess the extent of the former British territory’s autonomy from China. It certified to Congress on Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous.
  • The decision opens the way for President Trump to take a range of possible measures, from revoking special arrangements on trade to imposing sanctions on people involved in suppressing civil liberties in the city.
  • A Chinese spokeswoman in Washington accused the U.S. of meddling in its internal affairs and said pending national-security legislation that triggered the protests had no effect on Hong Kong’s autonomy or the rights of residents and foreign investors. “We will take necessary countermeasures in response,” she said.
22 May 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$5.2 billion and year to date flows stand at $11.3 billion.  New issuance for the week was $8.3 billion and year to date issuance is at $134.0 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bond issuance will likely slow ahead of the long weekend. More than $8 billion sold this week amid a rally that has seen spreads retreat to below 700 basis points for the first time since March.
  • Average high-yield spreads have rallied 76bps since last Friday to 681bps over Treasuries, the lowest level since March 11, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data
  • Investors are looking to past points of weakness as a possible guide to performance in coming months, according to Barclays Plc credit analysts led by Brad Rogoff
  • “With corporate fundamentals likely to remain under meaningful pressure, we have an up-in-quality bias in the high yield market and prefer BBs,” they wrote in a note Friday
  • Junk bond funds reported an inflow of $5.2 billion for week, the eighth straight week of inflows
  • High-yield issuance is nearing $32b this month, making it the busiest May in five years. Seven deals for over $3 billion sold Thursday as borrowers rushed to clear the market before the Memorial Day holiday
  • Junk bonds gained for the fourth consecutive session with returns of 0.4% on Thursday. Spreads fell 10bps to close at +681, still the lowest in 10 weeks. Yields dropped 14bps to 7.45%
  • CCCs were the best performers on Thursday with returns of 0.69%. Spreads dropped 16bps to +1,309bps, a new 10-week low. Yields fell 15bps to 13.80%

 

(CNBC)  Powell says GDP could shrink more than 30%

  • The U.S. economy could shrink by upwards of 30% in the second quarter but will avoid a Depression-like economic plunge over the longer term, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told “60 Minutes” in an interview aired Sunday.
  • The central bank chief also conceded that jobless numbers will look a lot like they did during the 1930s, when the rate peaked out at close to 25%,
  • However, he said the nature of the current distress coupled with the dynamism of the U.S. and the strength of its financial system should pave the way for a significant rebound.
  • Asked by host Scott Pelley whether unemployment would be 20% or 25%, Powell said, “I think there’re a range of perspectives. But those numbers sound about right for what the peak may be.”  Pressed on whether the U.S. is headed for a “second depression,” he replied, “I don’t think that’s a likely outcome at all. There’re some very fundamental differences.”
  • In a part of the interview that did not air, Powell said shrinkage of U.S. economic growth “could easily be in the 20s or 30s,” according to a CBS transcript.
  • “I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year,” Powell said. “I would say though we’re not going to get back to where we were quickly. We won’t get back to where we were by the end of the year. That’s unlikely to happen.”

 

(Bloomberg)  Yields Over 10% Keep on Coming in Deeply Split Junk Bond Market

  • The junk bond market has become no stranger to double-digit yields.
  • S. Steel Corp. is the latest to join the crowd, marketing a $1 billion secured offering at 12% that may also be discounted to entice investors. Northwest Fiber is sounding out interest for $250 million of unsecured bonds at 10.75%, also with a discount, to help finance an acquisition. Cooper-Standard’s secured deal of the same size sold at a 13.664% yield.
  • The junk bond market has rallied to an average yield of 7.6% from a peak 11.7% in March. But that number can be misleading. It’s so bifurcated that many companies actually borrow either substantially below that rate, or in these cases Thursday, much higher. On top of the big interest expense, several of the riskier companies, like U.S. Steel and Cooper-Standard, are also pledging valuable assets to turn over to creditors should they not be able to pay in cash.
  • The quality of that collateral has become increasingly important since creditors balked at the aging fleet put up by United Airlines Holdings Inc. in its recent attempt to borrow. United ended up pulling the deal, unwilling to borrow at the higher 11% yield investors demanded than what was initially offered.

 

(Reuters)  China move to impose security laws on Hong Kong

  • Beijing is moving to impose new national security legislation on Hong Kong following last year’s often violent anti-China unrest that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since it returned to Beijing rule in 1997.
  • The introduction of Hong Kong security laws are on the agenda of the Chinese parliament which begins its annual session on Friday.
  • The proposed legislation, which prompted concerns over freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, comes after large-scale and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations last year, which had already pushed some wealthy individuals to scout for investment options elsewhere.
  • “In some cases where clients had a bit of inertia and hoped things that happened last year will just go away, they will now step on the gas to reduce their wealth concentration risk here,” said a senior banker at a European private bank.
  • “In many cases last year, we saw our clients putting in place plan B and didn’t quite move the assets out of Hong Kong. I have already received some enquiries to activate that plan now,” said the banker, whose firm manages more than $200 billion in assets.
08 May 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

 Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$2.9 billion and year to date flows stand at $2.8 billion.  New issuance for the week was $8.1 billion and year to date issuance is at $113.8 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • Barclays credit strategists led by Brad Rogoff have increased their forecast for full-year supply to $290b to $310b, driven by an increase in refinancings and general corporate purpose funding. The previous estimate was $240b to $260b
  • “The midpoint of this estimate would represent the largest supply year since 2014. Several tailwinds should result in additional supply, including the need to fund negative free cash flow, as well as loan issuers’ turning to the bond market given a more supportive demand technical,” they wrote in a note Friday
  • Investors continue to pour cash into the asset class with an inflow of $2.9b into U.S. high yield funds for the week
  • This is the sixth straight week of inflows
  • Junk bonds returned 0.22% yesterday, the third straight session of gains
  • Heavy issuance hasn’t weighed on spreads which edged tighter again to +735bps, and are 10bp lower since last Friday. Yields fell 6bps to 7.93%

 

(Bloomberg)  New York Fed Says It Will Begin Buying ETFs in ‘Early May’

  • The Federal Reserve is close to starting up two corporate lending programs that could buy up to $750 billion in debt and exchange-traded funds under its emergency coronavirus actions.
  • The New York Fed announced on its website Monday that it expects to begin purchasing shares of eligible ETFs in early May through its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. Lending through the Fed’s Primary- and secondary-market corporate credit facilities via purchases of corporate bonds will begin soon thereafter, it said. ETFs are included in the secondary facility and the program’s announcement in March had a major impact on that market.
  • “Additional details on timing will be made available as those dates approach,” the New York Fed said.
  • The corporate facilities are among nine emergency lending programs announced by the Fed to help shelter the U.S. economy from the pandemic and keep credit flowing. The move was a dramatic escalation of the central bank’s intervention, stepping into the corporate debt markets for the first time since the 1950s and including some sub-investment grade debt in the ETF purchases.
  • The corporate programs are backed by the more than $2 trillion economic relief package passed by Congress. Businesses across the nation have shuttered to limit contagion and more than 30 million people have claimed unemployment benefits in the last six weeks. So far, only four programs are up and running.
  • “Many companies that would’ve had to come to the Fed have now been able to finance themselves privately since we announced the initial term sheet on these facilities,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said during an April 29 press conference. “The ultimate demand for the facilities is quite difficult to predict because there is this ‘announcement effect’ that really gets the market functioning again. Of course, we have to follow through, though. And we will follow through to validate that announcement effect.”

 

(Reuters) U.S. airlines burn through $10 billion a month as traffic plummets

  • S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight because of the coronavirus pandemic, industry trade group Airlines for America said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday.
  • Even after grounding more than 3,000 aircraft, or nearly 50% of the active U.S. fleet, the group said its member carriers, which include the four largest U.S. airlines, were averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight and 29 passengers per international flight.
  • “The U.S. airline industry will emerge from this crisis a mere shadow of what it was just three short months ago,” the group’s chief executive, Nicholas Calio, will say, according to his prepared testimony.
  • Net booked passengers have fallen by nearly 100% year-on-year, according to the testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee. The group warned that if air carriers were to refund all tickets, including those purchased as nonrefundable or those canceled by a passenger instead of the carrier, “this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.”

 

(Bloomberg)  Junkiest Junk Decays in Basement of Credit Rally 

  • Investment-grade credit has recouped March losses and junk bonds are halfway back despite foul fundamentals and a deluge of new issuance. CCC debt didn’t rise with the tide and looks set to plumb new depths as the distressed cycle grips.

01 May 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$1.6 billion and year to date flows stand at -$0.1 billion.  New issuance for the week was $7.0 billion and year to date issuance is at $105.6 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bonds are poised to start weaker after coming off the best month for returns since January 2019 with gains of 4.5%. Stock futures are lower on concern of lasting pain from the pandemic after weak corporate earnings and economic data.
  • Del Monte Foods is expected to kick off issuance in May. It’s mulling an increase in the size of its five-year offering to $700m from $500m after investors piled orders into the deal
  • Other potential issuers could stay on the sidelines if the market tone stays weak.
  • Issuance in April topped $37.3b to make it the busiest month of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Junk bond investors poured more cash into the asset class for the week. This was the fifth straight week of inflows, with confidence buoyed by a pledge by the Federal Reserve to buy some speculative-grade debt
  • Junk bond spreads declined 14bps to +744bps, while yields dropped 13bps to 8.05% on Thursday even as the S&P 500 fell
  • High yield gained for the third consecutive session with returns of 0.39% and 4.5% for the month
  • Single-B spreads and yields fell 11bps to +748bps and 8.09%, respectively, and posted gains of 0.4%. Single-Bs were the best performing across junk rating tiers Thursday
  • CAA yields fell 9bps to 14.84% and spreads were down 15bps to +1,437bps. The index ended an eight-day losing streak to post a gain of 0.36%

 

(Wall Street Journal)  U.S. Car Makers Pencil In May 18 As Manufacturing Restart Date 

  • Detroit’s car companies are targeting May 18 to resume some production at their U.S. factories after the companies shut down their plants in March amid the spread of the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the plans.
  • Executives from General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in recent days tentatively settled on the timeline after talks with United Auto Workers leaders and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office, the people said.
  • The UAW last week expressed concern that reopening factories early next month — as earlier target dates had called for — wouldn’t provide enough time to develop safety protocols to protect workers from the risk of infection.
  • The companies continue to work with the union on drawing up safety protocols for reducing exposure risk for workers and have made progress in recent days, although they haven’t completed those terms, the people said. A UAW spokesman declined to comment.
  • A Ford spokeswoman said the company hasn’t decided when it will restart North American factories. “We are continuing to assess public health conditions, government guidelines and supplier readiness to determine when the time is right to resume production,” she said.
  • Last week, Ms. Whitmer extended an executive order closing the state’s nonessential businesses through May 15 to combat the state’s outbreak.
  • The May 18 start date would apply to all of the Detroit companies’ U.S. factories, even in states where stay-at-home orders are lifting sooner, the people familiar with the discussions said.
  • The timing would allow the auto makers to complete safety protocols with the UAW and give parts suppliers more time to prepare shipments, the people said.

 

(Bloomberg)  Powell Says More Action Needed to Shield U.S. Economy From Virus

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged lawmakers to deliver more fiscal stimulus to shield the U.S. economy from the coronavirus as he warned of a weak recovery even once the pandemic passes.
  • “Economic activity will likely drop at an unprecedented rate in the second quarter,” Powell told a video press conference Wednesday. “It may well be the case that the economy will need more support from all of us, if the recovery is to be a robust one.”
  • The Federal Open Market Committee held interest rates near zero and said in a unanimous statement that it “will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.” Officials also cautioned the pandemic would weigh on the economy over the medium term. Data earlier on Wednesday showed the economy had already shrunk in the first quarter at the fastest pace since 2008.
  • “Both the depth and length of the economic downturn are extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on how quickly the virus is brought under control,” Powell told reporters, playing down the prospects for a quick, v-shaped recovery and noting the severe effects of the lock-down that has brought the economy to an “abrupt halt.”
  • The central bank’s Board of Governors has also announced nine lending programs, pledging to make funds available to banks, companies and municipalities in an unprecedented use of the Fed’s emergency powers. Only four of the facilities are up and running with no set time frame yet for those remaining to become operational — including those aimed at Main Street.
24 Apr 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$2.2 billion and year to date flows stand at -$1.7 billion.  New issuance for the week was $17.3 billion and year to date issuance is at $98.6 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • The junk bond market is likely to see more supply with stock futures rising and oil steadying. Titanium dioxide producer Tronox is set to price a $400 million deal Friday, while Delta Air Lines is seeking to raise about $3 billion from loans and bonds that may price early next week.
  • Issuers have been racing to the market, mostly to shore up liquidity. Over $17b of volume has priced this week and the month’s tally is now over $33 billion.
  • New issues have been well received
  • Streaming giant Netflix pulled in more than $5b of orders on its $500m offering and priced it at a yield of 3.625%, among the lowest ever seen in the U.S. high-yield bond market and in line with prices typically offered on investment-grade bonds.
  • Gap drew more than $8b of demand for a $2.25b deal that was increased from $2b. Demand was skewed to the five-and seven year tranches, according to people familiar with the matter
  • XPO Logistics increased the size of its offering by $100m to $850m and priced it at the lower end of talk. Orders had reached more than $4b by early afternoon
  • US Foods’ $1b deal was upsized from $800m as orders topped $3.2b
  • Investors poured more cash into junk bonds with retail funds reporting an inflow of $2.2b for week, after seeing a record weekly inflow last week. This was the fourth straight week of inflows.
  • Junk bond yields and spreads were a touch weaker Thursday. Spreads have widened 42bps since Monday to 762bps over Treasuries
  • Index returns have been negative in three of the last four sessions

 

(Bloomberg)  Oil Plunges Below Zero for First Time in Unprecedented Wipeout

  • Of all the wild, unprecedented swings in financial markets since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, none has been more jaw-dropping than Monday’s collapse in a key segment of U.S. oil trading.
  • The price on the futures contract for West Texas crude that was due to expire Tuesday fell into negative territory — minus $40.32 a barrel at the low. That’s right, sellers were actually paying buyers to take the stuff off their hands. The reason: with the pandemic bringing the economy to a standstill, there is so much unused oil sloshing around that American energy companies have run out of room to store it. And if there’s no place to put the oil, no one wants a crude contract that is about to come due.
  • Underscoring just how acute the concern is over the lack of immediate storage space, the price on the futures contract due a month later settled at $20.43 per barrel. That gap between the two contracts is by far the biggest ever.
  • “The May crude oil contract is going out not with a whimper, but a primal scream,” said Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning oil historian and vice chairman of IHS Markit Ltd.
  • “There is little to prevent the physical market from the further acute downside path over the near term,” said Michael Tran, managing director of global energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets. “Refiners are rejecting barrels at a historic pace and with U.S. storage levels sprinting to the brim, market forces will inflict further pain until either we hit rock bottom, or COVID clears, whichever comes first, but it looks like the former.”

 

(Bloomberg)  Distressed Energy Debt Jumped by $11 Billion Amid Oil Collapse

  • Distressed debt in the U.S. energy sector has jumped to $190 billion, up more than $11 billion in less than a week, as oil prices tumbled below zero.
  • The collapse of oil makes investors nervous about whether energy companies will be able to repay their debt. Energy sector distressed debt — bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points over Treasuries and loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar — totaled $190 billion on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up from $179 billion on April 15.
  • Distressed debt surged to the highest since 2008 last month as markets sold off on coronavirus fears and the oil price halved. The amount outstanding fell by nearly 50% after the Federal Reserve announced plans to buy investment grade and some high-yield debt, boosting credit markets. But after oil fell below zero, distressed debt in the energy sector could retest recent highs.
  • Oil giant Occidental Petroleum Corp. has more distressed debt than any other U.S. company, with its $21 billion tally nearly double that of the next highest on the list. Oil companies made up five of the top 10 issuers with the most distressed debt as of Tuesday.
14 Apr 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

(Bloomberg)  Fed to Buy Junk Bonds Among Other Support

  • The Fed said it will invest up to $2.3 trillion in loans to aid small and mid-sized businesses and state and local governments as well as fund the purchases of some types of high-yield bonds, collateralized loan obligations and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
  • The money comes on top of the massive stimulus that the Fed had already announced and it thrusts the institution into the sort of speculative lending activities it had shunned in the past — underscoring the risks that Chairman Jerome Powell is willing to take to shore up the economy.
  • “We will continue to use these powers forcefully, pro-actively, and aggressively until we are confident that we are solidly on the road to recovery,’ he said in a speech 90 minutes after the details of the measures were announced.
  • “Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis,” Powell said in a statement accompanying details of the new actions. “The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.”
  • Investors quickly bid up prices on corporate bonds and stocks after the announcement. High-yield debt was among the biggest gainers, with some of the largest ETFs tracking those bonds surging the most in a decade.
  • But the nature of the Fed’s actions pass the traditional boundaries of the central bank to purchase lower-rated debt and the credit of municipalities, raising questions about its future role.
  • “Many of the programs we are undertaking to support the flow of credit rely on emergency lending powers that are available only in very unusual circumstances,” he said in his speech. “I would stress that these are lending powers, not spending powers.”
  • The Fed has deployed nearly every tool in its toolbox since March to try and help keep lending flowing in the economy — as businesses shuttered to stem the spread of the virus. It’s unleashed programs used in the 2008-2009 financial crisis to improve liquidity in the Treasury and credit markets, and reached into unchartered territory to support American businesses, states and local governments.
  • In a move that surprised some investors, the central bank will also expand its bond-buying program to include debt that was investment-grade rated as of March 22 but was later downgraded to no lower than BB-, or three levels into high yield. It’ll also buy exchange-traded funds, the preponderance of which will track investment-grade debt along with some that track speculative-grade debt. Together, the programs will support as much as $850 billion in credit.
  • “The reason the Fed had to expand the pool of credit that they are willing to buy is that so many borrowers are slipping into these lower-rated categories,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. “This is aimed more at fallen angels rather that dastardly devils.”
  • The Fed also said it will continue to closely monitor conditions in the primary and secondary markets for municipal securities and will evaluate whether additional measures are needed to support the flow of credit and liquidity to state and local governments.

 

(Federal Reserve)  Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility

  • Eligible ETFs: The Facility also may purchase U.S.-listed ETFs whose investment objective is to provide broad exposure to the market for U.S. corporate bonds. The preponderance of ETF holdings will be of ETFs whose primary investment objective is exposure to U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds, and the remainder will be in ETFs whose primary investment objective is exposure to U.S. high-yield corporate bonds.
  • Eligible Individual Corporate Bonds will have a remaining maturity of 5 years or less. The issuer must have been rated at least BBB-/Baa3 as of March 22, 2020, by two or more major nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”).
  • Additionally, an issuer that was rated at least BBB-/Baa3 as of March 22, 2020, but was subsequently downgraded, must be rated at least BB-/Ba3 as of the date on which the Facility makes a purchase.
  • The Facility will cease purchasing eligible corporate bonds and eligible ETFs no later than September 30, 2020, unless the Facility is extended by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Treasury Department. The Reserve Bank will continue to fund the Facility after such date until the Facility’s holdings either mature or are sold.
10 Apr 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$2.9 billion and year to date flows stand at -$16.0 billion.  New issuance for the week was $4.3 billion and year to date issuance is at $76.5 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • The robust demand for new issuance, coupled with continued fund inflows, has pushed junk bond spreads to a three-week low.
  • Junk bonds have posted gains in seven of the last 10 sessions.
  • Investors have been pouring cash into high-yield retail funds for the last three weeks
  • Nordstrom increased the size of its debt offering by $100m to $600m after getting orders of more than $4b as junk investors sought higher- quality debt
  • Nordstrom priced at par to yield 8.75% after talk tightened from 10% area to 9%-9.25%
  • The retailer is still high grade, but fallen angels are expected to outperform high yield, according to Ashish Shah of Goldman Sachs Asset Management said
  • This was the second investment-grade borrower to tap high-yield investors to increase liquidity by offering attractive coupon, following Carnival
  • Elsewhere in primary, propane distributor Ferrellgas sold $575m 1st lien senior secured notes, rated B3/CAA, at par to yield 10%
  • Tightened talk from 10.5%-11%
  • Earlier in the week, Wynn raised $600m, up from $350m initially, through the sale of five-year notes and cut the coupon to 7.75% from around 8.5%
  • Junk bond yields dropped to a three-week low of 8.48% while spreads tightened to +785, also a three-week low
  • BA spreads narrowed to 535bps while yields dropped to 6.04%
  • Single B yields fell to 8.42% and spreads fell to 779 bps
  • CAA yields dropped to 16.82% and spreads tightened to 1,641bps

 

(Bloomberg)  Fertitta’s Record Rate Stokes Surge in Demand for Leveraged Loan

  • A record high interest rate on Tilman Fertitta’s loan sale seems to be doing to trick. Order books for the $250 million deal are at least double that just a day after it was launched, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The loan, which matures in October 2023, is being arranged by Jefferies Financial Group Inc. Based on initial discussions with investors, it’s being offered at a spread of 14 percentage points over the benchmark London interbank offered rate with a floor of 1% and at a discount of about 96 cents on the dollar.
  • That makes the all-in yield at least 16%, according to calculations by Bloomberg. The spread is the highest ever seen in the U.S. leveraged loan market excluding companies in bankruptcy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That all-in yield may fall due to strong demand for the debt, the people said.
  • The Texas billionaire is looking to raise the loan to keep his casino and restaurant empire afloat through year-end if the Covid-19 virus shutdown persists. The offering is ending a near one-month drought in the market for risky corporate loans, but the company will be saddled with excruciatingly high borrowing costs.
  • To put those costs into more perspective, Fertitta’s Golden Nugget sold a $200 million loan in January that financed a dividend at just 2.5 percentage points over Libor. That loan, which also matures in 2023, has since dropped and is trading at about 75.5 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That equates to a yield of almost 12%, and a premium of at least four percentage points for the new loan.

 

Update:

  • Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta has cut the interest rate on a $250 million leveraged loan sale to keep his restaurant and casino empire afloat and is considering boosting the size of the deal after being inundated with demand from investors.
  • Potential lenders have submitted about $1.4 billion of orders for the debt, which pays an all-in yield of at least 14%, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Fertitta is considering increasing the size of the loan to $300 million and will still contribute $50 million of his own cash into the company, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.
  • The loan is now being offered at a spread of 12 percentage points over the benchmark London interbank offered rate with a floor of 1% and at a discount of about 96 cents on the dollar, according to separate people familiar with the matter.

 

(Reuters)  Global oil output cuts held hostage to standoff

  • Oil producers in the OPEC+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, were expected to pressure Mexico on Friday to seal an accord for a collective cut in output of 10 million barrels per day, before asking other nations for a further 5 million bpd of cuts.
  • The United States has encouraged global cooperation to bolster an oil market that collapsed as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated in March and producers resorted to a price war after failing to agree on how to prop up prices.
  • Oil prices tumbled on Thursday despite OPEC+ nearing agreement as the lockdowns ordered across the world sucked life out of the global economy, and traders reckoned that even a combined reduction of 15 million bpd would be too little to stabilize the market.

  

(Bloomberg)  Fed to Buy Junk Bonds, CLOs and Lend to States in New Stimulus

  • The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced another series of sweeping steps to provide as much as $2.3 trillion in additional aid during the coronavirus pandemic, including starting programs to aid small and mid-sized businesses as well as state and local governments.
  • In an unprecedented move, the Fed also said Thursday it would move to shore up some of the hardest-hit parts of financial markets, pledging to start buying some debt recently downgraded to below investment grade as well as certain collateralized loan obligations and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
  • “Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting the further spread of the virus,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a statement. “The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.”
  • A Municipal Liquidity Facility will offer as much as $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities, by directly purchasing that amount of short-term notes from states as well as large counties and cities.
  • The Main Street Lending Program will “ensure credit flows to small and mid-sized businesses with the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans.”
  • Expanding the size and scope of the Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to support as much as $850 billion in credit.
  • Its Secondary Market facility may purchase U.S.-listed ETFs. While the preponderance of those holdings will be those primarily focused on U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds, the remainder will be in ETFs whose primary investment objective is exposure to U.S. high-yield corporate bonds.
  • Starting the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, “supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses.”
03 Apr 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$5.9 billion and year to date flows stand at -$18.9 billion.  New issuance for the week was $0.6 billion and year to date issuance is at $72.1 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • The U.S. junk bond market is springing back into action with more companies looking to issue debt. Investors poured cash into U.S. high-yield funds with an influx of $5.9 billion.
  • Borrowers have started testing risk appetite again with sales of senior secured bonds as the leveraged loan market remains on ice, according to one high-yield syndicate banker
  • Junk bonds may slip Friday as stock futures fall following disappointing economic data from Europe and ahead of March payrolls that are expected to decline for the first time since 2010
  • A jump in oil prices may lend some support with the OPEC+ coalition pushing for other major oil producers to join it in a deep reduction of global crude output
  • Junk-bond yields rose 4bps to 9.77% but have dropped by more than 190bps from 11.69% on March 23. Spreads widened 10bp to +919bps
  • Junk-bond returns were negative for the second day, with 0.37%
  • CAA yields fell 9bps to 18.04% and spreads tightened to +1,772. Posted losses of 0.6%

 

(Bloomberg)  Investors Clamor for Credit With New Deal Demand Off the Charts 

  • Investors are meeting a flood of corporate debt issuance with even greater demand, a strong sign for risk appetite as issuers continue to bring new deals.
  • YUM! Brands Inc., bringing the first U.S. high-yield offering in nearly a month, already boosted the size of its deal to $600 million from $500 million amid $3 billion of orders. Oracle Corp., which was downgraded by two credit raters after announcing a deal Monday, has amassed more than $50 billion in orders for what could now be at least a $15 billion offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
  • Credit markets are showing signs of thawing, as strong reception of record investment-grade issuance has trickled into the high-yield market. While market access was initially limited to only top-notch firms like Exxon Mobil Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. just two weeks ago, investors have since gotten more comfortable with riskier names, and massive demand has cut down borrowing costs.
  • Last week, U.S. companies borrowed a record $109 billion, met with $550 billion of demand, in what one dealer called a “food fight” for new bonds. It was a similar story in Europe, where investors placed more than 310 billion euros ($340 billion) of orders for about 75 billion euros of bonds.
  • “As corporates should remain keen on retaining liquidity to weather the growing pain of lockdowns, we expect issuance windows to continue to attract issuers,” Commerzbank strategists said in a note to clients this morning.
  • YUM! Brands is bringing the first junk bond sale since March 4, one of the most positive signs of the recovery in credit to date. The investment-grade market continues to be active, with 12 deals in the market as of 12:49 p.m. in New York on Monday.
  • Airlines worldwide raised more than $17 billion in bank loans in March to shore up finances as the coronavirus grounds flights, with U.S. carriers like Delta the most active.

 

This information is intended solely to report on investment strategies identified by Cincinnati Asset Management. Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument. Fixed income securities may be sensitive to prevailing interest rates. When rates rise the value generally declines. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Gross of advisory fee performance does not reflect the deduction of investment advisory fees. Our advisory fees are disclosed in Form ADV Part 2A. Accounts managed through brokerage firm programs usually will include additional fees. Returns are calculated monthly in U.S. dollars and include reinvestment of dividends and interest. The index is unmanaged and does not take into account fees, expenses, and transaction costs. It is shown for comparative purposes and is based on information generally available to the public from sources believed to be reliable. No representation is made to its accuracy or completeness.

27 Mar 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$2.0 billion and year to date flows stand at -$24.9 billion.  New issuance for the week was zero and year to date issuance is at $71.5 billion.

 (Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • U.S. junk bonds are off the lows after this week’s strong gains but may struggle as equity markets falter. Spreads have backed off from the 1,000 bps distressed level where they started the week, and robust ETF inflows help boost sentiment.
  • Investors pulled $2b from retail funds in the week. This was the sixth straight week of outflows from U.S. high-yield funds
  • Junk yields dropped below 11% to close at 10.33%, down 67bps, the biggest decline in percentage terms since June 2000
  • Spreads closed at 959bps after the biggest drop in nine months
  • Returns were up for three consecutive sessions
  • BB yields fell 44bps to close at 8.31% and spreads tightened 45bps at +746
  • Single-B yields fell 84bps to 10.01%, the biggest drop since 2008, and spreads tightened the most in nine months, to 937bps
  • Energy sector yields dropped 63bps to 22.38%, the third day of decline and the longest declining streak in 10 weeks
  • Spreads tightened for a foruth straight session closing at +2,161, down 54bps, the longest declining streak in 11 weeks


(Bloomberg)  What’s in Congress’s $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package

  • The bill provides direct help to citizens, businesses, hospitals and state and local governments.
  • Big Businesses: About $500 billion can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S. airlines, as well as state and local governments.
  • Small Businesses: More than $350 billion to aid small businesses.
  • Hospitals: A $150 billion boost for hospitals and other health-care providers for equipment and supplies.
  • Individuals: Direct payments to lower- and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult, as well as $500 for each child. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said checks would be cut April 6.
  • Unemployed: Unemployment insurance extension to four months, bolstered by $600 weekly. Eligibility would be expanded to cover more workers.
  • Restrictions on Business Aid: Any company receiving a government loan would be subject to a ban on stock buybacks through the term of the loan plus one additional year. They also would have to limit executive bonuses and take steps to protect workers.
  • Transparency: The Treasury Department would have to disclose the terms of loans or other aid to companies, and a new Treasury inspector general would oversee the lending program.


(Bloomberg)   Distressed Debt Balloons to Almost $1 Trillion, Nears 2008 Peak

  • The amount of distressed debt in the U.S. has quadrupled in less than a week to nearly $1 trillion, reaching levels not seen since 2008 as the collapse of oil prices and fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries across the globe.
  • In total, the tally has ballooned to $934 billion of U.S. corporate bonds that yield at least 10 percentage points above Treasuries and loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has caused the worst sell-off since the global financial crisis and deepened stress in credit markets. Driven by some of the lowest oil prices since the early 2000s, the amount of distressed bonds has surged to the highest level since April 2009.
  • Most of the distressed debt outstanding stems from U.S. energy companies battered by less travel demand and an all-out price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The capital-intensive industry, which financed its shale production largely through debt, suddenly faces the prospect of deeper losses after oil plunged below $20 a barrel. Last month, it traded above $50.
  • The amount of distressed debt tied to the oil and gas sector stands at over $161 billion, up from $128 billion a week ago. One of the biggest casualties has been Occidental Petroleum Corp., which has seen its funding costs skyrocket and its credit rating cut to make it the biggest fallen angel in the current downgrade cycle. Oxy’s bonds led the list of high-yield losers on Wednesday, with four of its issues among the top 10 decliners.
  • Energy isn’t alone. Every sector except utilities is under stress, with distressed ratios growing by double or triple digits. Telecommunications, retail, entertainment and healthcare industries make up the bulk of distressed debt. Retailers such as Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and theater chains such as AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. have been hit hard as companies are forced to close and customers are told to stay home.
  • S. junk bonds entered distressed territory for the first time since the global financial crisis after spreads on the securities topped 1,000 basis points at the end of last week. The index move marks a period of turmoil in the credit markets as investors flee funds that buy all types of corporate debt.


(Bloomberg)  Ford Becomes Largest Fallen Angel After S&P Downgrade to Junk

  • Ford Motor Co. was cut to junk by S&P Global Ratings as the coronavirus pandemic delivers a shock to the global auto industry and renders the carmaker the largest fallen angel to date.
  • S&P downgraded Ford’s credit rating one notch to BB+ and may cut it further, according to a statement. The move follows Moody’s Investors Service, which dropped its rating Ford for the second time in sixth months earlier Wednesday. Its two high-yield ratings will remove its $35.8 billion of debt from the Bloomberg Barclays investment-grade index at the end of the month.
  • Ford is one of many auto companies facing what Moody’s calls an unprecedented “credit shock,” with the coronavirus outbreak also posing a major threat to peers including General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. But Ford is particularly at risk because of the problems it’s been having with executing an $11billion restructuring that’s yet to improve performance.
  • “Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We plan to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company.”

 

This information is intended solely to report on investment strategies identified by Cincinnati Asset Management. Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument. Fixed income securities may be sensitive to prevailing interest rates. When rates rise the value generally declines. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Gross of advisory fee performance does not reflect the deduction of investment advisory fees. Our advisory fees are disclosed in Form ADV Part 2A. Accounts managed through brokerage firm programs usually will include additional fees. Returns are calculated monthly in U.S. dollars and include reinvestment of dividends and interest. The index is unmanaged and does not take into account fees, expenses, and transaction costs. It is shown for comparative purposes and is based on information generally available to the public from sources believed to be reliable. No representation is made to its accuracy or completeness.

20 Mar 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$5.3 billion and year to date flows stand at -$22.9 billion.  New issuance for the week was zero and year to date issuance is at $71.5 billion.

 (Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • U.S. junk bonds may pare losses Friday with stock futures higher and oil extending a recovery. But the asset class has lost the most in any month so far since 2008, and investors pulled billions of dollars of cash from funds.
  • Yet the junk-bond index has posted losses for 11 straight sessions, with 2.63% on Thursday alone. The asset class has lost 17.6% year-to-date and 16.46% in March, the biggest monthly loss since 2008
  • High-yield spreads widened 72bps Thursday to 976bps. Single-B spreads widened 78bps to 990bps. That’s very close to the 1,000bps that’s typically considered distressed
  • In less than two weeks, the amount of distressed debt in the U.S. has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.
  • Junk-bond yields jumped 63bps to close at 10.75%, the highest since September 2009
  • Energy-bond yields surged to a new 20-year high of 23.69%, with the index losing more than 37% this month
  • High-yield bonds with more than $1.37b outstanding are trading above upcoming call prices, making it attractive for issuers to redeem the securities in the next three months. But that’s down 70% from the prior week, and the primary market hasn’t seen a deal price since March 4


(Bloomberg) 
Junk Debt Market Freeze Risks $35 Billion Banker Headache

  • Banks that agreed to help private equity firms and highly leveraged companies fund recent acquisitions may have to come up with billions of dollars of their own cash
    to finance the deals if the market for risky debt remains shut.
  • Underwriters across Wall Street have committed to providing more than $30 billion to junk-rated companies by mid-year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because not authorized to speak publicly.
  • But with the markets for leveraged loans and high-yield bonds virtually shut since the Covid-19 pandemic triggered fears of a global recession, the banks now face the prospect that they might not be able to offload the risk before the takeovers are scheduled to close.
  • The exposure is a small fraction of the commitments they held heading into the 2008 financial crisis. Still, it could force banks to take losses or tie up capital for months just as
    dozens of companies are drawing credit lines or seeking fresh financing to cope with the coronavirus fallout.
  • The deals run the gamut of sectors and geographies, ranging from an $11 billion financing for the leveraged buyout of ThyssenKrupp’s elevator unit in Europe to a $500 million debt deal for Culligan’s acquisition of water-filtration company AquaVenture.
  • Representatives for lead arrangers including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc declined to comment.
  • For the vast majority of deals, the acquisitions themselves are not in doubt. If the banks are unable to syndicate the loans to institutional investors before closing, they are typically required to come up with the cash, and may try to offload the debt at a later date.