singaporeen
Global credit markets starting to look attractive after repricing

Global credit markets starting to look attractive after repricing

11-03-2020 | Insight
Spreads in the various segments of global credit markets have widened substantially over the year to date, resulting in valuations which are attractive compared to longer-term average valuations.
  • Victor  Verberk
    Victor
    Verberk
    Deputy Head of Investments, Robeco
  • Reinout Schapers
    Reinout
    Schapers
    Director Emerging & Global Credit

Speed read

  • Global credit spreads have widened substantially so far this year
  • Valuations now look attractive and could present buying opportunities
  • Monetary and fiscal measures will be supportive for global growth and credit markets

Support from policymakers

Substantial moves in credit markets so far this week have resulted in a dramatic 70-90% widening in global credit spreads over the year to date. While we are mindful of the fact that the virus will have serious implications for the global economy, markets are now pricing in a very weak environment – a scenario which may be too pessimistic in light of the policy steps being considered. Emergency monetary and fiscal measures being considered and – which in some cases are already being implemented – will be supportive for global economic growth and credit markets.

Furthermore, in an environment with zero or negative interest rates, fixed income investors will need to invest in credits to generate positive returns on. While it is always difficult to call the bottom in credit markets, we do think that at current valuations it is worth considering an increased allocation to credits.

Now also follow us on Instagram
Now also follow us on Instagram
Follow

With our liquid holdings, we are ready to take advantage of buying opportunities

Our global credit funds and mandates have maintained a quality bias with credit betas around neutral. Most funds and mandates hold a short position in the US high yield market via CDX North America High Yield as a hedge against market downturns.

Importantly, because of our liquid holdings, we are in a position to add risk to our portfolios without the need to sell corporate bonds and can fully benefit from opportunities as they arise: our portfolios hold sufficient cash and, in addition to our general cash holdings, we own large volumes of short-dated AAA-rated asset-backed securities as a buffer, which are highly liquid.

Severe downturn being priced into high yield credits

CDS markets – high yield – are pricing in a severe downturn. With the iTraxx Crossover at 500 basis points spread, the market is pricing in a default scenario with 26% defaults, and assuming a very low recovery rate of 20%. From a historical perspective, too, the spreads are wide.

The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Corporate Bond Index is trading at 140 basis points, as at Friday close. With cash markets around 15-20 basis points wider by mid-week this week, the index spread is likely to widen to around 160 basis points. This would be in line with levels seen in 2001 and 2016. During the 2008 and 2011 crises, which were more severe, spreads were wider.

The Bloomberg Barclays Global High Yield Index is trading at 610 basis points. Levels are historically at similar levels as investment grade.

The JP Morgan Corporate EMBI is trading at 346 basis points as at Friday’s close. The market was trading around 50 basis points wider by mid-week this week, implying an index level of around 400 basis points. This is still historically on the expensive side, as 2016 saw spread levels of 485 basis points.

Attractive valuations

Several parts of the market are now looking attractive after the repricing, as can be seen from the table, with current/median spread ratios now clearly above 1 for all segments of the global credit market.

  • Credit markets have repriced by 70-90% over the year to date, and valuations are starting to look attractive with current/median spread ratios clearly above 1
  • Investment grade and high yield spreads are comparable to previous spread peaks like January 2018 and February 2016
  • Emerging market credits are still historically on the expensive side, as 2016 saw spread levels of 485 basis points
Source: Bloomberg Barclays, Robeco. Current spreads as of 9 March 2020

Concerted policy response

The global spread of the coronavirus has forced policymakers as well as investors to reassess their outlook. To counter the fresh downside risks, central banks have started a new wave of easing.

After the emergency rate cut of 50 bps by the Fed last week, markets are pricing in a further 50 bps easing of the fed fund rate. In addition, other central banks have cut rates, too, including Australia, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Russia. In the Eurozone the ECB may be compelled to do more than offering indirect liquidity support to businesses. We believe a rate cut and a temporary increase in the pace of net QE is becoming more likely by the day.

More fiscal stimulus is also to be expected, to provide relief to people and companies that are most affected by the negative economic impact from the Corona virus outbreak. The Japanese government announced that they will provide interest and collateral-free loans to small and mid-size companies hit by the virus outbreak. France, Japan and Korea are providing wage subsidies to firms and individuals for leave taken to stay home to care for children during school closing. Italy is offering tax extensions to cash-strapped businesses.

These monetary and fiscal measures will be supportive for global economic growth and credit markets.

Important information

This information is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation.
The contents of this document have not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services license for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such license.
An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.

Logo

Important Information

Warning/Important note: This website contains information which is only available to qualified investors as defined below. If you are not a qualified investor, please click “I Disagree” to leave the website.

By clicking on "I agree", I declare that: 

  • I am a qualified investor as defined under 1
  • I have read and understood the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimers as described under 2

1 - This website may only be accessed directly or indirectly by the following persons in Singapore:

1) “institutional investor” under section 304 of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289)(“SFA”), which means:
(i) the Government; (ii) a statutory board as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (iii) an entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by a central government of a country and whose principal activity is (A) to manage its own funds; (B) to manage the funds of the central government of that country (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country); or (C) to manage the funds (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country) of another entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of that country; (iv) any entity (A) that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of a country; and (B) whose funds are managed by an entity mentioned in sub-paragraph (iii); (v) a central bank in a jurisdiction other than Singapore; (vi) a central government in a country other than Singapore; (vii) an agency (of a central government in a country other than Singapore) that is incorporated or established in a country other than Singapore; (viii) a multilateral agency, international organisation or supranational agency as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (ix) a bank that is licensed under the Banking Act (Cap.19); (x) a merchant bank that is approved as a financial institution under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap.186); (xi) a finance company that is licensed under the Finance Companies Act (Cap.108); (xii) a company or co-operative society that is licensed under the Insurance Act (Cap.142) to carry on insurance business in Singapore; (xiii) a company licensed under the Trust Companies Act (Cap.336); (xiv) a holder of a capital markets services licence; (xv) an approved exchange; (xvi) a recognised market operator; (xvii) an approved clearing house; (xviii) a recognised clearing house; (xix) a licensed trade repository; (xx) a licensed foreign trade repository; (xxi) an approved holding company; (xxii) a Depository as defined in section 81SF of the SFA; (xxiii) an entity or a trust formed or incorporated in a jurisdiction other than Singapore, which is regulated for the carrying on of any financial activity in that jurisdiction by a public authority of that jurisdiction that exercises a function that corresponds to a regulatory function of the Authority under this Act, the Banking Act (Cap.19), the Finance Companies Act (Cap.108), the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap.186), the Insurance Act (Cap.142), the Trust Companies Act (Cap.336) or such other Act as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (xxiv) a pension fund, or collective investment scheme, whether constituted in Singapore or elsewhere; (xxv) a person (other than an individual) who carries on the business of dealing in bonds with accredited investors or expert investors; (xxvi) the trustee of such trust as the Authority may prescribe, when acting in that capacity; or; (xxvii) such other person as the Authority may prescribe.

2) “relevant person” under section 305(1) of the SFA, which means:
(i) An accredited investor; (ii) a corporation the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; (iii) a trustee of a trust the sole purpose of which is to hold investments and each beneficiary of which is an individual who is an accredited investor; (iv) an officer or equivalent person of the person making the offer (such person being an entity) or a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of that officer or equivalent person; or (v) a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of the person making the offer (such person being an individual).

3) any person who acquires the units [in a collective investment scheme] as principal if the offer is on terms that the units may only be required at a consideration of not less than $200,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) for each transaction, whether such amount is to be paid for in cash or by exchange of units in a collective investment scheme, securities, securities-based derivatives contracts or other assets, and if the following condition is satisfied: (i) the offer is not accompanied by an advertisement making an offer or calling attention to the offer or intended offer; (ii) no selling or promotional expenses are paid or incurred in connection with the offer other than those incurred for administrative or professional services, or by way of commission or fee for services rendered by any of the persons specified in section 302B(1)(d)(i) to (vi) of the SFA; and (iii) no prospectus in respect of the offer has been registered by the Authority or, where a prospectus has been registered (A) the prospectus has eAccxpired pursuant to section 299 of the SFA; or (B) the person making the offer has before making the offer 1. informed the Authority by notice in writing of its intent to make the offer in reliance on the exemption under this subsection; and 2. taken reasonable steps to inform in writing the person to whom the offer is made that the offer is made in reliance on the exemption under this subsection.

4) Or otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA.

If you are not any of the types of persons described above, you are not authorized to enter this website and you should leave this website immediately.

2 Terms and Conditions
You acknowledge that you have read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) prior to accessing the website located at www.robeco.com/sg (“Website”) and you agree to be bound by the Terms.  If you do not agree to all of the Terms, you are not an authorised user and you should not use the Website. The Website is owned by Robeco Singapore Private Limited (company registration number: UEN. 201541306Z), which is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) pursuant to the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) (“SFA”) of Singapore, and is managed by Robeco Singapore Private Limited and/or its affiliates (collectively, as “Robeco”). The Website is intended for and should be accessed by institutional investors or accredited investors (as defined under Section 4A of the SFA) of Singapore.  The Website is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject the Robeco to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction.  It is your responsibility to observe all applicable laws, rules and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction. The content contained in the Website is owned by Robeco and/or its information providers and is protected by applicable copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and/or other intellectual property rights.  You may not copy, distribute, modify, post, frame or link the Website, including any text, graphics, video, audio, software code, user interface, design or logos.  You may not distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, repost, or use the content of the Website for public or commercial use, including all text, images, audio and/or video.  Robeco may terminate your access to the Website for any reason, without prior notice. Neither Robeco, nor any of its associates, nor any director, officer or employee accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the access of the Website.  You agree to indemnity and hold Robeco, its associates, directors, officers or employees harmless against any and all claims, losses, liability, costs and expenses arising from your use of the Website due to violation of the Terms. Robeco reserves the right to change, modify, add or remove any parts of the Terms at any time and for any reason.  The Terms shall deemed to be effective immediately upon posting. The Terms shall be governed by, and shall be construed in accordance with, the law of Singapore.

Disclaimers
The Website has not been reviewed by the MAS. Accordingly, the Website may not be accessed directly or indirectly to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 304 of the SFA, (ii) to a relevant person pursuant to Section 305(1), or any person pursuant to Section 305(2), and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 305, of the SFA, or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. 

Nothing in the Website constitutes tax, accounting, regulatory, legal or investment advice.  The Website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation or for the purpose of soliciting any action in relation to Robeco’s businesses, or solicitation by anyone in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is not authorised or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer and solicitation. Any reproduction or distribution of information from the Website, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Robeco, is prohibited.  By accessing to the Website, you agree to the foregoing.  

The funds referred to in the Website are for information only.  It is not a recommendation or investment advice, nor does it mean the funds is suitable for all investors.  The contents of the website is not reviewed by the MAS.  Any decision to participate in the funds should be made only after reviewing the sections regarding investment considerations, conflicts of interest, risk factors and the relevant Singapore selling restrictions.  You should consult your professional adviser if you are in doubt about the stringent restrictions applicable to the use of the Website, regulatory status of the funds, applicable regulatory protection, associated risks and suitability of the funds to your objectives.

Any decisions made based on the information contained in the Website are the sole responsibility of yours.  Any investments made or to be made shall be with your independent analyses based on your financial situation and objectives.  The investments and strategies contained in the Website may not be suitable for all investors and are not guaranteed by Robeco.  

Investment involves risks and may lose value.  Historical returns are provided for illustrative purposes only and do not necessarily reflect Robeco’s expectations for the future.  The value of your investments may fluctuate.  Past performance is no indication of current or future performance.  The Website may contain projections or other forward looking statements regarding future events or future financial performance of countries, markets or companies and such projection or forecast is not indicative of the future.  The information contained in the Website, including any data, projections and underlying assumptions are based upon certain assumptions, management forecasts and analysis of information available on an “as is” basis and without warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, and reflects prevailing conditions and Robeco’s views as of the date published or indicated, and maybe superseded by subsequent events or for other reasons.  The information contained in the Website are accordingly subject to change at any time without notice and Robeco are under no obligation to notify you of any of these changes.  Robeco expressly disclaims all liability for errors and omissions in the information presented in the Website and for the use or interpretation by others of information contained in the Website.

Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services licence for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such licence.  An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.

I Disagree