The ever-growing mountain of assets under management at U.S. leveraged loan funds hit $178.7 billion in July, an increase of $2.7 billion from June, according to Lipper and LCD. While the latest increase is the smallest in five months, it is the eighth straight advance for the asset class, and yet another record.
The growth in loan fund AUM could help sustain buyside pressure in the now $1.1 trillion U.S. leveraged loan market, sources say, as funds look to put this cash to work. Over the past two years, credit structure and pricing have come under considerable pressure due to investor demand.
As was the case in June—and for much of recent memory—retail investors were the key factor in July, contributing a net $732 million, making for the seventh straight month of inflows, totaling some $9.5 billion year to date, according to Lipper and LCD. Amid the run of cash flowing into market, it’s worth noting that the July number was the smallest net gain since February, demonstrating that retail investors are downshifting somewhat where the leveraged loan asset class is concerned (for now, anyway).
Retail investors have been drawn to the floating rate asset class amid continued rate hikes by the Fed, which have helped buoy yields on leveraged loans, even as borrowing spreads on the debt remain low. – Staff reports
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