US primary market saw $19.9bn in new deals last week as compared to no new deals a week prior. The deal volumes were fully taken up by IG issuers led by UnitedHealth’s $6.5bn four-trancher and Medtronic’s $2bn two-trancher. In North America, there were a total of 32 upgrades and downgrades each across the three major rating agencies last week. US IG bond funds saw $865mn in outflows for the week ended March 22 after $3.89bn was withdrawn in the week prior to it. HY funds saw $902mn in outflows adding to the $1.43bn withdrawal the week before. As per EPFR, over $286bn in funds have gone into money market funds (MM Funds) this month, the biggest month of inflows since the depths of the Covid-19 crisis as noted by them. This move underscores the impact of the Credit Suisse induced volatility where investors would prefer low-risk assets like MM funds that are easy to liquidate and hold government T-bills.
EU Corporate G3 issuance stood at a mere $9bn vs. $4.9bn a week prior. Issuance volumes were led by Erste Group’s €3bn issuance and VW’s €1.75bn dual-trancher. Across the European region, there were 21 upgrades and 29 downgrades. The GCC dollar primary bond market saw $390mn in new deals vs. $119mn in the week before that, comprising mainly QNB Finance and United Arab Bank’s $200mn and $150mn private placements. Across the Middle East/Africa region, there were 27 upgrades and 4 downgrades across the major rating agencies. LatAm saw $1.8bn in new deals with Panama being the sole issuer, as compared to no new deals a week prior to it. The South American region saw 2 upgrades and 18 downgrades across the rating agencies.
The APAC ex-Japan G3 region saw just $350mn in new issuances vs. $978mn in the week before that, led by Shriram Finance’s $150mn FRN followed by ANZ and ICBC raising $100mn each. In the APAC region, there no upgrade and 3 downgrades combined across the three rating agencies last week.