Investment Banking

Corporate Bond Market Booming

The flurry of deals came after issuance virtually halted for nearly two weeks.
Katie Kuehner-HebertSeptember 10, 2015
Corporate Bond Market Booming

The bond market is booming, as companies take advantage of historically low interest rates before the Federal Reserve starts raising them this fall.

Corporate issuance of nearly $14 billion in investment-grade bonds on Tuesday ended a summer dry spell in U.S. issuance, the longest since 2005, according to Bloomberg.

Another 17 deals and 32 tranches of debt were on the docket for Wednesday, when about $27 billion of high-grade debt was expected to price. Activity included a $10 billion offering by Gilead Sciences and Frontier Communications’s $6.6 billion offering — which would be the year’s second-largest speculative-grade debt issuance.

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The flurry of deals came after issuance froze for 13 consecutive days starting in August, according to Bloomberg, when concern about an economic slowdown in China slowed sales.

“It doesn’t take much for people to change from despair to all of a sudden feeling like they are missing out,” Timothy Doubek, who helps manage $26 billion in corporate debt at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, told Bloomberg.

Gilead is planning to use proceeds from its six-part deal to repay debt, finance working capital, pay dividends, and finance share buybacks, according to a regulatory filing by the drug maker. Frontier said it plans to sell debt to back its purchase of landline assets from Verizon Communications.

Deals that priced Wednesday included Tyco’s two-part sale of bonds that will go toward repaying debt and financing other capital spending, share repurchases, or acquisitions. In high yield, Targa Resources sold $400 million of notes to repay debt.