The Credit Edge reviews the top credit news of the week and looks at the week ahead, with in-depth research of the most important corporate sectors, trends and themes. Analysis of specific corporate bonds and credit default swaps is backed by Bloomberg Intelligence's robust data sets and indexes.
Fidelity Fears Creditor Violence Spread; Altice Focus
37:02US-style creditor-on-creditor violence spreading to Europe is a worry for loan investors, according to Camille McLeod-Salmon, portfolio manager at Fidelity International. “What we are focused on is this move that’s in the US towards creditor-on-creditor violence — and the shift that you’ve had there — and that translating into Europe,” she said. London-based McLeod-Salmon talks to Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie and Bloomberg Intelligence’s Aidan Cheslin in the latest Credit Edge podcast. There are opportunities for investors in the technology and chemical sectors, she adds, predicting high-single-digit returns in European leveraged loans. Also in this episode, BI’s Cheslin weighs the outlook for Altice, which is shedding assets in a bid to reduce debt. The company has had to pay up to extend maturities and there’s a risk of divesting crown jewels in pursuit of fresh cash, Cheslin says. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ares Sees ‘Fragile’ Debt Markets; Freight Costs Soar
37:41Geopolitics are a potential menace to public debt markets that could present opportunities for private lenders, according to Mike Dennis, co-head of European credit at Ares Management. “The capital markets in general are still pretty fragile,” Dennis tells Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie in the latest Credit Edge podcast. “It wouldn’t take much for that liquidity to reverse out of the system,” he said. Volatility may open the door for private credit firms to participate more in larger corporate loan deals, Dennis says, adding that there’s more demand for European transactions than supply. Also in this episode, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Stephane Kovatchev analyzes the shipping sector after a 300% increase in freight rates. Greater supply of ships coupled with fading demand are expected to relieve some of the price pressure, Kovatchev says.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Bain Sees Big CLO Opportunity; WeightWatchers' Survival
38:27Collateralized loan obligations are among the best debt investment opportunities for this year, according to John Wright, global head of credit at Bain Capital. Spreads on the structured investment vehicles, which repackage leveraged loans into bonds of varying risk, may tighten further, even as default rates rise, Wright tells Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie and Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mike Holland in the latest Credit Edge podcast. He also sees robust potential for growth in India and Australia, as well as in private credit, especially for buyouts. Slim recovery rates in the loan market are among the biggest worries. Also in this episode, BI’s Holland analyzes the outlook for WeightWatchers, whose bonds are dropping. The company faces a tough road ahead but there is a path to survival, Holland says. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Vanguard Sees Recession Risk; Dish Blowup Rattles Junk
45:31The US economy is at risk of tipping into recession in the second half of this year, putting pressure on corporate debt markets, says Chris Alwine, global head of credit at Vanguard. “What would precipitate that shallow recession is that corporations are just not hiring, with a modest increase in layoffs,” said Alwine. Vanguard, one of the biggest money managers in the world, with $8.6 trillion in assets, is cautious on junk-rated debt, Alwine tells Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie and Bloomberg Intelligence’s Stephen Flynn in the latest Credit Edge podcast. He meanwhile sees opportunity in the bonds of large financial institutions. Also in this episode, BI’s Flynn analyzes the debt troubles at Dish Network Corp. and what it means for the rest of the sector. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Goldman Demystifies Private Credit; BDCs Go Public
36:47Private debt needs to get better at explaining itself as the $1.6 trillion asset class goes mainstream, according to James Reynolds, global head of direct lending at Goldman Sachs. “We collectively need to just demystify what we do — which is in simple words, lending to corporates,” Reynolds tells Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie and Bloomberg Intelligence’s David Havens in the latest Credit Edge podcast. Goldman wants to double the size of its $110 billion private credit business. Reynolds sees growth opportunities in Asia, investment-grade loans and leveraged finance, as well as more secondary trade in private debt. Also in this episode, BI’s Havens analyzes the rush by business development companies (BCDs) to go public as valuations soar.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Hayfin Expects Private-Debt M&A; BI on Ozempic Risks
33:35Private-debt firms are set to consolidate as larger companies dominate deal flow, according to Marc Chowrimootoo, portfolio manager at Hayfin Capital Management. “We’re seeing a concentration within fewer hands,” Chowrimootoo tells Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lee and James Crombie and Bloomberg Intelligence’s Julie Hung in the latest Credit Edge podcast. “That trend is going to continue.” He identifies debt refinancing as the big opportunity for private lenders in 2024. Hayfin likes the health-care and software sectors, while avoiding smaller borrowers that are struggling with higher rates. In addition, BI’s Hung weighs the impact on food and drink companies of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Commercial Real Estate Time Bomb; Leisure Opportunity
31:07Commercial real estate faces a tough 2024 as trillions of dollars in debt comes due and refinancing gets harder, according to Neil Callanan, corporate finance czar at Bloomberg News. Offices in financial centers are especially under pressure after banks tightened lending standards, Callanan tells Bloomberg senior editor James Crombie in the latest episode of the BI Credit Edge Podcast. He’s watching for delayed and canceled new projects and short selling of real estate companies as signals of distress. In addition, Jody Lurie, Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst, weighs the outlook for leisure-sector bonds after a stellar year in 2023. Gains are expected at a slower pace, while some junk cruise operators are heading for investment grade, according to Lurie. Business travel will boost hotels, while car rental firms are more challenged, she adds.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Private Debt ‘Tourists’ May Do Bad Deals; Bank Outlook
51:56New entrants to the rapidly-growing private credit market, scrambling to deploy capital as demand exceeds supply, risk making loans that don’t perform well, according to Alan Schrager, senior partner and portfolio manager at Oak Hill Advisors. “You sort of love private credit tourists who potentially do bad deals, because bad deals that ultimately you don’t own make you look good on a relative basis,” Schrager says. “Even though we do think private credit is really cheap, we are trying to stay high quality,” Schrager tells Bloomberg News senior reporter Lisa Lee senior editor James Crombie in the latest episode of the Credit Edge podcast. Also in this episode, Bloomberg Intelligence senior credit analyst Arnold Kakuda weighs the outlook for banks heading into a tougher macro environment next year. Large financial institutions are well prepared for credit risk after withdrawing from some markets that private lenders stepped into fill, and they will be big bond issuers in January, according to Kakuda. Regional banks are more exposed to commercial real estate stress, he adds.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Private Credit 2024 Outlook; Asean Bank Resilience
33:18Private credit will hog the limelight in 2024, with ever-larger deals and continued expansion, even as high rates and a slowing economy add risks. To discuss the outlook for next year, Paula Seligson and Lisa Lee — senior reporters in Bloomberg’s global private credit news team — join senior editor James Crombie in the latest episode of the Credit Edge podcast. Private debt will likely attract more investors — and the attention of regulators seeking transparency. Also in this episode, Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Rena Kwok weighs the resilience of Asean banks amid a Chinese economic slowdown. She identifies relative value in Bangkok Bank bonds and sees risks across the board from elevated interest rates. Private credit activity has been muted in the region, but it’s something to watch for next year, Kwok says.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
KKR Sees Credit Stress, Not Armageddon; BI on India
39:38More companies will default on their debt next year because of higher rates and slower earnings, but there won’t be a widespread crisis, says Christopher Sheldon, co-head of credit and markets at KKR. “We don’t think it’s Armageddon,” he tells Bloomberg News senior reporter Lisa Lee and senior editor James Crombie in this episode of the Credit Edge podcast. He expects continued stress in the retail and health-care sectors — and also sees big opportunity in asset-based finance. In addition, Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Sharon Chen weighs the outlook for Indian utilities, including relative value in the bonds of Adani. Companies borrowing more cheaply in local markets reduced the need to raise debt abroad. Investors are meanwhile shifting into Indian credit and out of China, which is suffering real estate distress, Chen says.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.