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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Leveraged loan markets keep on rolling

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Authored by Jeremy Duffy, Eric Leicht, and Eugene Man from international law firm White & Case LLP.

Despite a spike in energy prices and persistent inflation, year-to-date leveraged loan activity showed substantial gains on 2020 levels.

Global leveraged loan activity sustained momentum built up through H1 2021 to post steady year-on-year growth over the first three quarters of the year.

In the US, year-to-date leveraged loan issuance through the end of September 2021 was up 66% over 2020 figures, at US$1.1 trillion. In Western and Southern Europe, although activity tailed off sharply in September, the European market still showed gains of 19% year-on-year with issuance coming in at US$254.1 billion.

Overall Issuance by value Q1 2019 - Q3 2021

Instrument type: Leveraged loans Use of proceeds: All

Location: Western and Southern Europe and USA Sectors: All Sectors

Loan activity in the Asia-Pacific region (excl. Japan) (APAC) was also healthy, with leveraged and non-leveraged loan issuance up 9% year-on-year over the first three quarters of 2021, from US$249.3 in 2020 to US$272.3 this year.

Markets resilient despite challenging backdrop

The gains in leveraged loan activity come despite wider macro-economic volatility. At the end of Q3, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its economic forecasts for 2021 downward, citing indebtedness, persistent inflation and low vaccination rates in some parts of the world. Surging energy p......................

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