Eyeing downgrades, CLO issuers prep looser terms

A slowing economy is likely to weigh on US corporates, leading to rating downgrades that could induce CLO managers to sell loans on the basis of failed overcollateralization or weighted average ratings tests. A small but growing handful of new issue deals are already taking active bets on such downgrades and incorporating a bigger bucket for downgraded debt or accommodating a hybrid pool of bonds and loans.

  • By Alexander Saeedy
  • 26 Feb 2019

“The big concern among investors these days is the risk B3 loans getting downgraded to C and potentially triggering a sale from the CLO portfolio,” said one CLO issuer. “Equity investors are especially worried about a downgrade risk diverting cash straight to debt holders.”

Rating agencies also expect ...

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Rank Lead Manager/Arranger Total Volume $m No. of Deals Share % by Volume
1 Citi 4,347 16 16.63
2 BNP Paribas 2,866 11 10.96
3 Morgan Stanley 2,420 6 9.26
4 Goldman Sachs 2,276 6 8.71
5 Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) 2,086 9 7.98

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Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
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1 Citi 58,985.44 193 10.63%
2 JPMorgan 51,597.56 153 9.29%
3 Wells Fargo Securities 41,996.86 122 7.56%
4 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 41,491.72 136 7.47%
5 Credit Suisse 38,293.55 120 6.90%