Financial Markets are Open for Business

Capital markets activity is picking up as the concern of higher interest rates in the future and slow sales growth is causing companies to accelerate any plans for merger and acquisition activity.  This was highlighted last week as Verizon completed the largest bond issue on record by selling $49 billion worth of debt in 1 day.  The deal was done to fund the purchase of Vodafone’s minority stake in Verizon Wireless.  The deal was larger than the previous 3 largest bond issues on record combined.  We expect other corporations to view this deal as an indication that credit markets are willing to fund corporate activities, especially if the use of proceeds is going towards growing their business and the bonds come with enough additional yield.  While the Verizon deal went well after initial pricing, spreads on the name are still much wider than before their acquisition was announced.  We expect corporate issuance to pick-up as we move through the back half of the year, and are cognizant of any planned activity from credits that we currently own for clients.