Spared in 2020, Debt-Heavy Companies Cede Control to Creditors
Comment of the Day

January 20 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Spared in 2020, Debt-Heavy Companies Cede Control to Creditors

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Many junk-rated companies will require urgent funding. They may struggle to find it at a time when investors’ demand for sky-high premiums has effectively shut public capital markets as a refinancing avenue for the most stressed firms.

While default rates are expected to increase, it may not immediately become a flood of failures. A large chunk of high-yielding debt has weak investor safeguards — loose covenants that mean highly indebted firms will be able to delay engaging with creditors until further down the line. 

Moody’s forecasts the global default rate for high-yield companies will increase to 4.9% by November, up from 2.9% a year earlier. In a “severely pessimistic scenario,” however, the rate could go up to 12.6%, it said in a report published last month. 

Eoin Treacy's view

It stands to reason that when the artificial support for failing companies is removed, they will go bust. Interest rates have surged over the last 12 months, the availability of credit is drying up as banks withdraw from lending and money supply growth is close to contraction on a year over year basis. That suggests many highly leveraged companies will have issues refinancing. 

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