In this issue of Spectrum we discuss the impressive growth of credit markets beyond the US and the compelling opportunities this presents for investors seeking greater diversification. We also explore the potential for generating alpha through active engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
The great European bond boom
The eurozone crisis and Brexit have dominated headlines in recent years, but – behind the scenes – something of a mini-economic miracle has been taking place in the European credit markets: the rise of the European corporate bond.
Before the launch of the euro in 1999, Europe’s corporate lending market was dominated by local banks operating at individual country level. However, in recent years, the powerful combination of the single currency’s growth, regulatory change and the development of a liquid corporate bond market has led to a boom in companies using the bond markets as a means of raising debt; the number of issuers coming to the high yield market has more than doubled in the last decade, from 139 in August 2008 to 283 as of August 2018. Source: ICE Data Indices LLC, Hermes Credit as at August 2018.