Even in idyllic markets, investor relationships still key
French companies are enjoying funding conditions that are almost unprecedentedly favourable, with low interest rates, huge demand in the bond market and margin compression in the loan market. They are making the most of it, with many debut issues and more adventurous products like hybrid capital, 100 year bonds and green bonds. But is it all too good to be true – a result of markets inflated by central bank largesse? Leading French borrowers, banks and an investor met to discuss the market in Paris on March 14, in the midst of the takeover battle for Vivendi’s SFR mobile phone business. The sheer weight of savings looking for yield gives market participants confidence that the good times can continue. But corporate borrowers are sure of one thing: maintaining close relationships with investors – in both bond and bank markets – is essential to preserving a stable funding base.
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