According to Standard & Poor's (S&P), corporate issuance of new bonds this year is likely to exceed 2012 levels. Corporations around the world issued more than $3 trillion in bonds from January through November 2013.
Much of the growth in borrowing is being driven by companies that are below investment grade. S&P expects global corporate speculative-grade bond issuance—that is, issuance by companies rated BB+ or lower—to account for more than 15 percent of the total issuance this year. Not only that, but S&P projects that this year's corporate speculative-grade bond issuance will exceed $500 billion, which would be a record.