ECB Largesse Helps Bond Sales Eclipse 2016’s Total

Syndicated bond sales in Europe hit $1.3T.

Ultra-low interest rates and an expansionary European Central Bank have stoked a borrowing spree that’s already eclipsed activity in all of 2016, two months before the end of the year.

Syndicated bond sales in Europe are set to reach 1.13 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) Wednesday after retirement home company Housing & Care 21 completes a 250 million pounds ($332 million) issue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Treasurers from across the globe have flocked to the region’s markets, where the ECB has suppressed yields with an asset purchase program that’s even swept up debt issued by companies beyond its own borders. Notwithstanding a public holiday that’s closed several European markets on Wednesday, euro-denominated transactions account for 85% of 2017 issuance.

Speculative-grade borrowers raised almost 30 billion euros more than last year, the data show. Even so, they’re dwarfed by investment-grade issuers which drove around 90% of sales.

Bloomberg News

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