European High Yield Market Struggles through Grim Month of May

europe high yield issuance

May was arguably the most difficult month for the high-yield market in over a year and half, with choppy secondary conditions and rising new-issue pricing resulting in three deal postponements and a drop in volume.

There haven’t been three pulled deals in a month in recent memory, and while a slew of opportunistic borrowers also decided not to launch, such issuance was still the backbone of supply. Nevertheless, while the Italy-induced volatility curtailed supply in May, and might continue to do so until it subsides, a sizable event-driven pipeline continues to build.

This backdrop has been set during a month that started with a flurry of opportunistic activity, but ultimately saw total volume drop to €4.4 billion, down from the bumper months of March and April, when 21 and 29 bonds priced, respectively, for a total of €9.7 billion and €10.5 billion. Encouragingly though, year-to-date volume and deal count are running roughly even with the same period last year. – Taron Wade/Luke Millar

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