Bonds/Corp Credit Worthiness
This seems to align with the financials- wonder if China will own both Treasury and Corporate- that's one way to become a US banker- or I guess that is 2 ways!
Date: 11/17/2005 2:23:03 PM ( 16 y ) ... viewed 1711 times
Foreigners Feasting on U.S. Corporate Bonds
Pace set to make 2005 the biggest ever for foreign purchases of U.S. corporate debt.
Stephen Taub, CFO.com
November 17, 2005
Want to know why medium-term and long-term interest rates haven’t risen as much as short-term rates? One reason is because foreigners have been feasting on American paper, most of which still throws off higher yields than comparable maturities overseas.
According to the latest data from the Treasury Department, total net foreign purchases of domestic securities was $1 trillion for the 12 months ended in September, up more than 17 percent from the comparable period a year ago.
One of the biggest beneficiaries has been corporate bonds. Net purchases from foreigners was $364 billion in the 12 months ended in September, way up from $292 billion a year ago. In September alone, net foreign purchases of corporate bonds was $51 billion, up from $40.2 billion in August and far exceeding the $24.7 billion in July. It was also just shy of June’s record $54 billion.
Bond purchases are on pace to make 2005 the biggest ever for foreign purchases of U.S. corporate debt, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper points out that this increased appetite among foreign investors for U.S. debt came at a time when most bond pundits were lukewarm on the asset class in general.
Indeed, corporations haven't exactly been making their paper appealing to investors. The Journal points out that the average spread on corporate bonds--or the amount of interest companies pay over comparable Treasury securities--is well below one percentage point, which is close to the lowest levels in history. "This is probably the peak of the credit cycle and it's starting to work against you going forward," Greg Peters, chief U.S. credit strategist at Morgan Stanley, told the paper.
Indeed, global credit quality is slowing beginning to deteriorate. Moody's Investor Service already reported that global speculative-grade corporate default rate climbed to 2 percent in the third quarter from 1.8 percent in the second quarter. "The pendulum is set to swing toward higher default rates, but in a manner that's consistent with where we are in the credit cycle," David T. Hamilton, Moody's director of corporate default research, said earlier this year. "There are no obvious signs of a sharp deterioration in credit quality coming in the next year."
Hamilton's assessment is consistent with a Moody's report released this summer in which analysts warned that North-American credit quality may see a slight deterioration in the next couple of quarters, referring to both investment-grade and speculative-grade debt.
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