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Leveraged loan mart softens in December as demand deficit deepens

loan supply v demand

Loan market technical conditions weakened in December as capital formation faded more quickly than supply. In all, the amount of S&P/LSTA Index loans outstanding exceeded visible demand from CLO formation and retail flows by $5.8 billion: $7.9 billion to $2.1 billion. It was the deepest demand deficit in three months, edging November’s $5.5 billion figure. – Steve Miller

This analysis is part of a longer LCD News story, available to subscribers here, also details

  • US prime fund flows
  • US CLO issuance
  • Volume of leveraged loans breaking for trading
  • Loan outstandings
  • Secondary loan prices
  • Leveraged loan returns
  • Loan yields

 

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Leveraged loan fund outflows ease to $374M; little ETF influence

US leveraged loan fund flows

Cash outflows from bank loan funds diminished significantly in the first 2015 full-week reading, at $374 million for the week ended Jan. 7, according to Lipper. That’s down from $1 billion last week, $1.3 billion two weeks ago, and a whopping $1.8 billion in the week ended Dec. 17, 2014.

Just like last week, the influence from exchange-traded funds was essentially nil, at just 1% of the redemption, or $2.3 million over the past week. Recall that ETFs were heavy, at 18% of the big withdrawal three weeks ago, and that was anomalous to most every other reading during the year.

The latest outflow represents the 26th consecutive weekly withdrawal and the 37th outflow in 39 weeks, for a net redemption of $24.6 billion over that span.

The trailing four-week average moderates to negative $1.1 billion for the week, from negative $1.3 billion last week and negative $1.2 billion two weeks ago. Last week’s observation was the deepest in roughly 3.5 years, or since the week ended Aug. 31, 2011.

The outflow kicking off the New Year is in contrast to last year, which showed a net inflow of $1 billion during the first week of the year. For the full-year 2014, outflows were roughly $17.3 billion, with ETFs representing about 3% of that total, or $516 million.

In today’s report, the change due to market conditions was negative $272 million, for a 0.3% decline against total assets, which were $88.3 billion at the end of the observation period. The ETF segment comprises $6.8 billion of the total, or approximately 8%. – Matt Fuller

Follow Matthew on Twitter @mfuller2009 for leveraged debt deal-flow, fund-flow, trading news, and more.

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US CLO Issuance Hits Record $124.1B in 2014

US CLO issuance

The U.S. CLO market printed $124.1 billion of new issues from 234 deals in 2014, according to LCD. That’s up from $83 billion in 2013 and blows through the previous high of $97 billion in 2006.

CLO issuance in December totaled $7.75 billion from 16 deals. It was the third lightest month of the year, ahead of just January ($2.55 billion) and September ($7.73 billion) At $13.78 billion, June topped the issuance charts last year, according to LCD.

Looking to this year, the general sense is that CLO issuance will continue albeit at a reduced rate. Regulatory uncertainty (risk retention, Volcker) and rising rates are likely to be key focal points for market players, who will also be watching for risk retention consolidation/strategic partnership plays. – Sarah Husband

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2014 Leveraged Loan Investor Market: CLOs dominate as retail bid, banks fade

loan investor market

Over the final three months of 2014, the investor base for leveraged loans shifted further away from loan mutual funds, which were wracked by significant outflows. The continued strength of the new-issue CLO market only partially filled the void, forcing arrangers and issuers to sweeten challenging deals to attract relative-value investors in search of wide-margin paper. – Steve Miller

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Leveraged loan fund assets hit 15-month low as outflows persist

loan fund assets under management

The assets under management of loan mutual funds fell by $1.2 billion in November, to a 15-month low of $151.0 billion, according to Lipper FMI and fund filings. After reaching an all-time high of $175.1 billion in March, loan funds have suffered eight straight months of AUM erosion, during which they have contracted by $24.1 billion, or 13.8%. – Steve Miller

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Outflows from leveraged loan funds moderate in 16th consecutive withdrawal

LOAN10.29_750

Cash outflows from bank loan funds moderated to $428 million during the week ended Oct. 29, from a $1.7 billion outflow in the previous week, according to Lipper. The latest reading represents a 16th consecutive weekly withdrawal and the 27th outflow in the past 29 weeks, for a net redemption of $17.1 billion over that span.

The current reading reflects mutual fund outflows of $418 million, plus a $10 million outflow from exchange-traded funds. The influence of ETFs had been running a bit hotter, at 6% of the outflow last week and 8% the week prior.

The trailing-four-week average is negative $964 million, versus negative $1.2 billion last week. Recall that last week’s observation was the third largest outflow on record and the highest since $1.3 billion in the week ended Aug. 31, 2011.

The year-to-date fund-flow reading pushes deeper into negative territory, at roughly $10.1 billion, and it’s essentially all mutual funds, with ETFs technically positive $23 million for the year. In the comparable year-ago period, inflows totaled $47.3 billion, with 11% tied to ETFs, or $5.1 billion.

The change due to market conditions was positive $217 million, versus total assets of $96.7 billion at the end of the observation period, for roughly a 0.2% gain. The ETF segment comprises $7.4 billion of the total, or approximately 8%. – Matt Fuller

Follow Matthew on Twitter @mfuller2009 for leveraged debt deal-flow, fund-flow, trading news, and more.

 

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Leveraged loan funds see largest outflow since Aug. 2011, led by mutual funds

LoanFundFlow_10.22_750px

Cash outflows from bank loan funds swelled to $1.66 billion during the week ended Oct. 22, up from a $946 million outflow in the previous week, according to Lipper. The reading reflects mutual fund outflows of $1.56 billion, plus a $98 million outflow from the exchange-traded fund segment, and it represents the largest outflow since the $2.12 billion recorded for the week ended Aug. 17, 2011.

The latest reading represents the 26th outflow in the past 28 weeks, for a net redemption of $16.8 billion over that span.

The trailing four-week average deepens to negative $1.22 billion from negative $897 million last week and negative $807 million two weeks ago. The four-week average surpasses the previous high reading of negative $944 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 24, 2011.

The year-to-date fund-flow reading pushes deeper into negative territory, at roughly $9.68 billion, based on a net withdrawal of $9.71 billion from mutual funds against a net inflow of $32 million to ETFs. In the comparable year-ago period, inflows totaled $46.65 billion, with 11% tied to ETFs.

The change due to market conditions was positive $322 million, versus total assets of $96.9 billion at the end of the observation period. The ETF segment comprises $7.4 billion of the total, or approximately 8%. – Joy Ferguson

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Final US risk retention has CLOs retaining 5% skin; equity throttle out

The terms of the final U.S. risk retention rule have been released, with little material change to the regulation with respect to CLOs, according to the LSTA.

This means that once the regulation goes into effect two years after it has been published in the Federal Register, CLO managers will have two methods by which to comply with the regulation, the manager as sponsor option or the arranger option.

Manager retention means the manager can retain 5% of the entire size of the CLO, vertically or horizontally.

The one piece of good news from the final rule is that the ‘cash throttle’ has been removed. This would have restricted the equity retention from receiving any payments before the notes began to amortise, which would have rendered retention via a horizontal piece unfeasible.

Loan arranger retention is where provided that the CLO buys 100% of eligible loan collateral, the manager would not have to retain 5% risk in the structure. Eligible collateral is defined as a loan tranche whereby the arranging bank retains 5% for the life of the loan. This is widely considered a non-option by market players given that banks are unlikely to agree to retain a portion of loans they underwrite for the purpose of the regulation.

The explicit third-party equity option has not been accepted, says the LSTA. Neither has the Qualified CLO concept or the expansion of the Qualifying Loan definition.

The FDIC votes on the regulation today, while the Federal Reserve will vote tomorrow.

All CLOs issued prior to the effective date are expected to be grandfathered.

Bram Smith, the LSTA’s executive director, today issued a statement expressing its disappointment with the final terms, which will “negatively impact American credit markets and make financing for U.S. companies more expensive and scarce.”

The statement continues, “Ironically, while the risk retention rule revealed today does not cover the vast majority of residential mortgages – one of the major sources of the financial crisis – the agencies have decided to proceed with a one-size-fits-all approach that unfairly harms CLOs, a historically safe financial product that in no way contributed to the financial crisis this rule aims to safeguard against in the future. In fact, CLOs performed exceedingly well throughout the financial crisis, and no investor has ever lost money on a senior CLO note.” – Sarah Husband

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Leveraged Loans: US braces for risk retention as volatility hits – CLOs

CLO roundup 2014-10-20 chart 1

Broader market volatility gave the CLO market cause for concern last week with widening liability spreads threatening to disrupt the new-issue pipeline over the coming weeks. Still, for others, the sharp drop in loan prices created opportunity, with one of last week’s transactions widely rumoured to be a print and sprint. This week should again be eventful with two industry conferences and the anticipated release of the U.S. risk retention rules.

Against this backdrop, U.S. CLO new-issue volume in the year-to-date rose to $101.01 billion by the end of the week, from 187 deals, according to LCD. During the same period a year ago the market had issued $61.42 billion from 127 CLOs. – Staff Reports

For more news, analysis, and data on the leveraged loan market and CLO segment check out or Loan Market Primer.

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Shenkman Capital Management launches first institutional loan mutual fund

shenkman_logoShenkman Capital Management today announced the launch of the Shenkman Floating Rate High Income Fund (SFHIX).

Shenkman said its existing clients were the primary source of capital for the institutional loan mutual fund, which launched with about $160 million in assets.

This is Shenkman’s second branded U.S. mutual fund. The other is the Shenkman Short Duration High Income Fund, which invests in high-yield bonds.

In addition to the new loan mutual fund, Shenkman also manages loan assets in a combination of separate accounts, private funds, and CLOs.

In the CLO market, Shenkman has priced two deals this year: its $552.5 million Adams Mill CLO via Nomura in July, and its $520.6 million Washington Mill deal via Bank of America Merrill Lynch in April. – Kerry Kantin