An Update on Floating Rate Bank Loans Amid Recent Market Volatility
A Note about Risk: The value of an investment in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise. As interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities tend to fall. High-yield securities, sometimes called junk bonds, carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of default in the timely payment of interest and principal. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Lower-rated bonds carry greater risks than higher-rated bonds. The principal risks associated with bank loans are credit quality, market liquidity, default risk and price volatility. While bank loans are secured by collateral and considered senior in the capital structure, the issuing companies are often rated below investment grade and may carry higher risk of default. Moreover, the specific collateral used to secure a loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the loan’s value. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes; the longer maturity of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
Neither diversification nor asset allocation can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
There is no guarantee that the floating-rate loan market will perform in a similar manner under similar conditions in the future.
Forecasts and projections are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. Projections should not be considered a guarantee.
This commentary may contain assumptions that are “forward-looking statements,” which are based on certain assumptions of future events. Actual events are difficult to predict and may differ from those assumed. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize or that actual returns or results will not be materially different from those described above.
Treasuries are debt securities issued by the U.S. government and secured by its full faith and credit. Income from Treasury securities is exempt from state and local taxes.
The capital structure is the composition of a company’s debt and equity such as bank debt, bonds of all seniority rankings, preferred stock, and common equity. Various debt obligations can have different seniority rankings, which means different priority of payment. Most senior or highest-ranking debts have the first claim on the assets in the event of default.
Collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are a form of securitization where payments from multiple middle sized and large business loans are pooled together and passed on to different classes of owners in various tranches. A CLO is a type of collateralized debt obligation.
A covenant lite loan is a loan agreement that has fewer covenants to protect the lender and fewer restrictions on the borrower regarding payment terms, income requirements and collateral. Covenant lite loans are typically used for leveraged buyouts and other large, sophisticated loan transactions.
Second-lien debt refers to the ranking of debt in the event of a bankruptcy and liquidation. These debts have a lower priority of repayment than do other, senior, or higher-ranked debt. In other words, second-lien is second in line to be fully repaid in the case of the borrower's insolvency. Only after all senior debt, such as loans and bonds, have been satisfied can second-lien debt be paid.
A senior bank loan is a debt financing obligation issued to a company or an individual by a bank or similar financial institution that holds legal claim to the borrower's assets above all other debt obligations. Because it is considered senior to all other claims against the borrower, in the event of a bankruptcy it will be the first loan to be repaid before any other creditors, preferred stockholders, or common stockholders receive repayment. Senior bank loans are usually secured via a lien against the assets of the borrower.
The Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index is designed to mirror the investable universe of the U.S. dollar-denominated leveraged loan market.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
The credit quality of the securities are assigned by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), such as Standard & Poor's, Moody's, or Fitch, as an indication of an issuer's creditworthiness. Ratings range from 'AAA' (highest) to 'D' (lowest). Bonds rated 'BBB' or above are considered investment grade. Credit ratings 'BB' and below are lower-rated securities (junk bonds). High-yielding, non-investment-grade bonds (junk bonds) involve higher risks than investment-grade bonds. Adverse conditions may affect the issuer's ability to pay interest and principle on these securities.
The information provided is not directed at any investor or category of investors and is provided solely as general information about Lord Abbett’s products and services and to otherwise provide general investment education. None of the information provided should be regarded as a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action as neither Lord Abbett nor its affiliates are undertaking to provide impartial investment advice, act as an impartial adviser, or give advice in a fiduciary capacity. If you are an individual retirement investor, contact your financial advisor or other fiduciary about whether any given investment idea, strategy, product or service may be appropriate for your circumstances.
The opinions in this commentary are as of the date of publication, are subject to change based on subsequent developments, and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. The material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice, is not a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy, and is not intended to predict or depict the performance of any investment. Readers should not assume that investments in companies, securities, sectors, and/or markets described were or will be profitable. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. This document is prepared based on the information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.