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Corporate Bonds

Roundtable: Execution Strategies and Investor Engagement in a Post-Covid World

Shipping containers cover for SG RT Sept21 from Alamy 575x375

Cheap money, busy investors: how can companies optimise bond funding?

GlobalCapital held a roundtable discussion on the corporate bond new issue market in September, with leading market participants from Société Générale, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Amundi, Atlantia, Equinor, GM Financial and Wendel. You can read the discussion here.

Interest rates and inflation are dominating conversation in corporate bond markets — along with ESG. But whereas consciousness of environmental, social and governance issues is only going to rise, rates could go either way. They might be at the gates of a new upward road — or 2021 might just be a hiccup in the lower for longer era.

Companies and investors have to navigate these unpredictable seas. Our roundtable explored how treasurers can make the most of the present market, and what investors would like to see.

The speakers noted the curious correlation between spreads and rates, debated whether issuers should try to give investors well-performing deals, and tackled the pros and cons of cross-currency funding. On all sides of the market, participants are dissatisfied with the present pattern of spreads being tightened a long way from initial price thoughts, which can waste investors’ time, but issuers did not jump at one investor’s suggestion to just pay a 10bp new issue premium.

Virtual roadshows were hailed as an efficiency breakthrough, but investors still want physical meetings including site visits in selected cases. Two issuers discussed their thinking on future sustainable funding, in a market in which an issuer’s transition story is now central to all investor relations.

Click here to read the roundtable, or download it as a PDF.

Participants in the roundtable were:

Hervé Boiral, head of euro credit, Amundi

Ivan Giacoppo, head of finance, Atlantia

Rick Gokenbach, treasurer, General Motors Financial

Luke Hickmore, investment director, Aberdeen Standard Investments

Andrew Menzies, global head of corporate debt capital markets, Société Générale

Jérôme Michiels, chief financial officer, Wendel

Sverre Serck-Hanssen, head of capital markets, Equinor

Jon Hay, corporate finance and sustainability editor, GlobalCapital (moderator)