Senior Loan Talking Points - Trending Tighter
Voya Perspectives Series | Talking Points | July 27, 2017
- The U.S. loan market this week saw continued tightening, dovetailing off of generally consistent investor demand and relatively low overall volatility. The average bid for loans increased by 12 bps, to 98.25, and the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index (the “Index”) maintained its recent solid run, returning 0.22% on the week.
- Reverse-flexes in new issue spread pricing continue to be a notable indicator of healthy demand within the asset class, with 28% of transactions in July so far experiencing a move down (that percentage is approximately on par with last month). Alternatively, upward flexes accounted for a mere 3% of July deals, which is down from June’s 16%. Nonetheless, given the recent slowdown in repricing activity, all-in, new issue spreads seem to have stabilized across the primary ratings cohorts.
- The forward calendar continues to increase directionally consistent with demand: net of all anticipated repayments, the amount of net new supply anticipated to debut is about $19.33 billion, as compared to the previous week’s net new supply of $12.74 billion.
- In the CLO space, two transactions were issued this week. MTD and YTD issuance now stand at $5.4 billion and $57.9 billion, respectively. Flows into/out of retail loan funds in the Lipper FMI universe continue to vacillate, this week experiencing a $95 million aggregate outflow.
- Returns were in the black across the below-investment grade credit spectrum. Always idiosyncratic, recently weak CCCs picked up again with a gain of 0.71%. Nonetheless, their average bid fell by a basis point to end the week at 84.85. Single Bs returned 0.21%, and their average bid of 99.06 was 12 bps higher. BBs gained 0.18%, their average bid up by ten bps, to 100.10.
- There were no defaults in the Index this week. The default rate by amount outstanding currently stands at 1.36%.
Voya Senior Loan Strategy
The Voya Senior Loan Group is a part of Voya Investment Management. The team is comprised of 28 investment professionals and 27 dedicated support staff. There are five portfolio management teams in Scottsdale, each of which is responsible for particular industries, and a team located in London that is responsible for sourcing overseas loans.
The Voya Senior Loan Strategy is an actively managed, ultra-short duration floating rate income strategy that invests primarily in privately syndicated, below investment grade senior secured corporate loans. Senior loans are floating rate instruments that can provide a natural hedge against rising interest rates. They are typically secured by a first priority lien on a borrower’s assets, resulting in historically higher recoveries than unsecured corporate bonds.
General Risks for Floating Rate Senior Bank Loans: Floating rate senior bank loans involve certain risks. Below investment grade assets carry a higher than normal risk that borrowers may default in the timely payment of principal and interest on their loans, which would likely cause the value of the investment to decrease. Changes in short-term market interest rates will directly affect the yield on investments in floating rate senior bank loans.If such rates fall,the investment’s yield will also fall. If interest rate spreads on loans decline in general, the yield on such loans will fall and the value of such loans may decrease. When short-term market interest rates rise, because of the lag between changes in such short term rates and the resetting of the floating rates on senior loans, the impact of rising rates will be delayed to the extent of such lag. Because of the limited secondary market for floating rate senior bank loans, the ability to sell these loans in a timely fashion and/or at a favorable price may be limited. An increase or decrease in the demand for loans may adversely affect the loans.
Unless otherwise noted, the source for all data in this report is Standard & Poor’s/LCD. S&P/LCD does not make any representations or warranties as to the completeness, accuracy or sufficiency of the data in this report.
1 – Assumes 3 Year Maturity. Three year maturity assumption: (i) all loans pay off at par in 3 years, (ii) discount from par is amortized evenly over the 3 years as additional spread, and (iii) no other principal payments during the 3 years. Discounted spread is calculated based upon the current bid price, not on par. [Please note that Index yield data is only available on a lagging basis, thus the data demonstrated is as of July 21, 2017.]
2 – Excludes facilities that are currently in default.
3 – Comprises all loans, including those not tracked in the LSTA/LPC mark-to-market service. Vast majority are institutional tranches. Issuer default rate is calculated as the number of defaults over the last twelve months divided by the number of issuers in the Index at the beginning of the twelve-month period. Principal default rate is calculated as the amount defaulted over the last twelve months divided by the amount outstanding at the beginning of the twelve-month period.
This commentary has been prepared by Voya Investment Management for informational purposes. Nothing contained herein should be construed as (i) an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any security or (ii) a recommendation as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling any security. Any opinions expressed herein reflect our judgment and are subject to change. Certain of the statements contained herein are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, without limitation, (1) general economic conditions, (2) performance of financial markets, (3) interest rate levels, (4) increasing levels of loan defaults, (5) changes in laws and regulations and (6) changes in the policies of governments and/or regulatory authorities.
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