Featured Articles

Banks Go on Offense to Defend Leverage

A JPMorgan analyst pointed to the rising level of leveraged loan syndication volumes at a handful of large-cap and regional banks – and warned of a parallel to the mortgage crisis that boiled over nearly seven years ago. All the banks, see, however, is just overheated rhetoric.

Numericable Deal Brings $16B in European HY

Numericable Group S.A.’s acquisition of SFR, the telecom subsidiary of Vivendi, could be a bellwether for Europe’s fast-growing junk bond market. It’s a sign of growing confidence European issues have in demand for their debt.

Just How Lite is Covenant-Lite?

There’s no question that the quality of loan covenants has been weakening as investors line up to lend money to below investment grade companies. But the requirement, or lack of a requirement, to maintain certain financial ratios, such as a maximum amount of debt as a percentage of assets, is just one measure of covenant quality.

Bankruptcy Exit Has Some Creditors Crying Foul

For Koosharem Corp., the 2008 financial crisis may finally be in its rear-view mirror, but its bankruptcy exit plan has some creditors crying foul.

Memo to Regulators: Restricting CLOs Could Stifle Economy

CLOs are a critical resource for many corporations. Unfortunately, proposed risk retention rules would result in a drastic rise in the cost of financing and a reduction in credit availability for many innovative American companies.

Refis Still Rule in First Quarter

Refinancing activity continued to drive issuance of leveraged loans and high yield corporate bonds in the first quarter of 2014, even if these markets got off to a slower start than they did in 2013.

Bonds.com Sees Buyers, ETFs Taking Lead

While most bonds are traded over-the-counter, electronic trading has gained continued momentum. Leveraged Finance News spoke with George O’Krepkie and Michael Kovach of Bonds.com and asked them about the future of electronic trading for high yield bonds.

A Year Later, Confusion Over Leverage Limit Remains

  More than a year after federal regulators sent out updated interagency guidance for banks on leveraged lending, most of the industry is still waiting on some clarity on what examiners will be expecting. What that clarity involves, apparently, is to figure out the disparate interpretations coming out of the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, say industry observers. …

Still No Volcker Relief for CLOs

Despite considerable pressure from Capitol Hill, it does not appear that regulators charged with implementing the Volcker Rule plan to make it easy for new collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) to hold bonds.

Energy Future Ch. 11 Will Mostly Boost Distressed

A bankruptcy filing by Energy Future Holdings could create a buying opportunity if, as some expect, there is a knee-jerk sell-off in the broader junk bond and leveraged loan markets. But the real action will be in the $38 billion of the company’s own debt, where the smart money has already lined up to fight over potential assets.

Inching Toward Finale on FACTA

Collateralized loan obligations appear to have escaped the worst of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA. The last substantial package of regulations necessary to implement the law lets most vintage CLOs off the hook.

Columbus Refinances Close to Wire

Columbus International Inc., a privately held Latin American telecom and cable provider that has borrowed heavily to finance an acquisition spree, is coming to market with a $1.25 billion bond offering intended to push out its maturities and finance another small acquisition.

House Vote Sends Message on Volcker-CLO Spat

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee passed a bill March 14 granting a two-year extension to divest in CLOs they are prohibited from holding by the Volcker Rule. Industry groups are hoping the bill adds pressure to regulators to reverse their stance and allow banks to maintain CLOs with bond assets.

Bankers Seek Added SBA Lending Authority

The U.S. Small Business Administration is one of the few government agencies that remains popular with community banks.

More Shareholder Activists Targeting Creditors

Activist shareholders have a reputation for pushing changes that benefit all of a company’s stakeholders, but they can also convince management to take action that is unfriendly to creditors.

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