Niente Credito - gz
By: GZ on Venerdì 26 Luglio 2002 15:25
si moltiplicano gli articoli e report che indicano che le banche da due mesi a questa parte in america (ma presumibilmente anche in europa) semplicemente non prestano più alle società che non abbiano il rating almeno "investment grade" cioè da AAA in su
Come si vede dal grafico in fondo è diventato molto difficile dopo le bancarotte e gli scandali di global crossing, enron, worldcom, adelphia vendere obbligazioni corporate
Una volta ^General Electric#^ pagava mezzo punto più dei treasury del governo e ora paga 1.3% in più
D'altra parte come mostra il fatto che Warren Buffett abbia comprato 100 mil. di debito "junk" di una telecom disastrata e come si vede dai prezzi sul mercato del debito più sotto stress (le telcom come ^Verizon#^, AT&T, ^T#^ ^SBC#^ e simili) qualche segno di stabilizzazione si vede proprio nel segmento del debito che più ha sofferto e che ha maggiore spread con le obbligazioni senza rischio governative
-------------- WSJ di oggi ----------------
Stocks soared Wednesday, but there is another problem for investors: serious troubles in the corporate-bond market.
While corporate bonds rallied along with stocks as investors returned to the market, at least for a day, concerns have been building in recent weeks, sparking worries about the impact on the economy. Analysts say if Wednesday's comeback peters out, and the market's erosion resumes, many companies will find it hard to raise cash, increasing the odds of a much-feared credit crunch.
This week, a number of companies were forced to postpone bond offerings due to lack of interest from investors, a sure sign of trouble. These companies include Dynegy Inc., Gristede's Foods Inc. and Mobile Storage Group Inc., according to Dealogic LLC, a New York-based data company. Overall, last week was the slowest of the year for new bond sales.
The difficulties come as the market for initial public offerings of stock all but closes, amid the recent stock-market swoon, and as banks step up scrutiny of new loans, adding to concerns about whether companies can get their hands on cash.
Despite Wednesday's rally, many large investors say they remain concerned about the health of the bond market, and say they aren't going to step up their buying until companies slash their debt and improve the health and transparency of their balance sheets.
"I'm still worried, this is still a form of a credit crunch" despite Wednesday's rally, said Greg Hahn, chief investment officer of Conseco Capital Management in Carmel, Indiana. "We've been sitting on the sidelines, we want to make absolutely sure about the risk profile of the securities before we buy them," he said.
In recent weeks investors have been shying away from many kinds of bonds with risk attached to them, even corporate bonds of highly rated companies that aren't facing any accounting or legal questions, such as bonds of Sears, Roebuck & Co. They have been shifting to Treasury securities in a classic flight to safe investments.
When the bond market hits trouble, the best barometer of investor nervousness usually is that premium investors are demanding to buy riskier bonds, such as corporate and junk bonds. Lately, that spread above Treasurys has been climbing, even for top-rated companies, suggesting increasing concern.
Bonds of General Electric Co., for example, now trade at a yield that is 1.32 percentage points higher than comparable Treasury rates, and in morning trading the spread reached more than 1.4 points. That's up from 1.23 points a week ago and just 1.02 points in early June. Yield spreads on other key bonds that serve as benchmarks for the bond market, such as Viacom Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AOL Time Warner Inc., also have been widening.
At the same time, it has been harder for trades to take place in the bond market, with buyers reluctant to open their wallets. This poor "liquidity" in the bond market is a classic sign of a sickly market.
Behind the problems is nervousness about the health and reliability of corporate balance sheets, the same worries plaguing the stock market. But bond traders also worry that the Federal Reserve won't be able to bail the market out with interest-rate cuts this time around, because rates already are so low and the problems so deep.
To be sure, the bond market hasn't shut down as it did in the fall of 1998, an event that sparked three interest-rate cuts by the Fed. Then it became impossible for companies to raise new money by selling bonds. In contrast, on Tuesday, Wells Fargo & Co. sold $500 million of bonds to investors, and Wednesday a unit of CIT Group Inc. sold $1 billion of commercial paper. Even though high-profile banks like Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. are beset with problems, banks continue to lend money to companies, though at higher rates and at a slower pace than just a few months ago.
Meanwhile, the shift out of riskier bonds is boosting interest in both Treasurys and mortgage-backed bonds, helping to push mortgage rates lower, giving the consumer a boost.
The worry that keeps bond pros up at night is that if conditions in the bond market worsen, and if banks run into more problems, companies may find it hard to raise new money. Many could lay off employees and cut back on spending to conserve cash, sending unemployment higher and helping to cripple the economy.
"There's risk of feedback effects from the bond market to the rest of the economy," said Steven Zamsky, a corporate-bond strategist at Morgan Stanley.
As investors have shifted into Treasurys, prices have been soaring, especially for the short-term securities that typically attract nervous investors in times of crisis. Wednesday, the two-year Treasury fell 3/32, or 93.7 cents for each $1,000 note, to yield 2.315%. But earlier in the day the yield -- which moves in the opposite direction of price -- fell as low as 2.155%, the lowest level in more than 26 years. The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 9/32. Its yield rose to 4.454% -- but that is down from above 5% in early June.
In another indication of sentiment in the bond market, so-called swap spreads -- the difference between Treasury rates and the rate at which top-rated companies can conduct interest-rate swaps -- have been climbing in recent days. Ten-year swap spreads are 0.59 percentage point, up from 0.51 as recently as two weeks ago, a big move in this market.
At the same time, companies that are rated "junk" are finding it harder, and more expensive, to raise capital.
"Banks just aren't lending to companies rated below investment grade," says Meredith Coffey, director of analytics at Loan Pricing Corp., which collects data on bank loans. "There's more difficulty though we're not in a credit crunch yet."
Corporate and Junk Bonds
Many junk bonds ended slightly firmer, rebounding from early losses as stocks rallied strongly.
Williams Cos. debt, which was cut to junk level Tuesday by Standard & Poor's, rose several points to about 36. S&P cut the company's senior unsecured debt to double-B from triple-B-minus.
After most trading concluded, Moody's Investors Service also downgraded Williams and put its ratings on review for possible further downgrade. It cut the company's senior unsecured rating to single-B1 from Baa3 and assigned a Ba3 senior implied rating. Moody's cut Williams' pipeline subsidiaries' senior unsecured debt ratings to Ba2 from Baa2.
Edited by - gz on 7/26/2002 14:5:12