2019 - The Year In Review
The EMEA leveraged finance market in 2019 showed a continuation of trends from prior years in terms of product mix. The Term Loan B remains a product of choice, although high yield bonds saw a resurgence, particularly in the BB corporate issuer space, with a number of high profile refinancings. The convergence of markets and products continued, and continued covenant easing was met with a proliferation of ‘review’ services providing more biting analysis of market developments and some coordination between investor groups. Direct lending also persisted in its upwards trajectory, as deal size increased and new participants entered the market.
Market participants kept close watch of shifting macro-economic factors, including geo-political events, Central Bank policy and commodity pricing. While in prior years this may have led to volatility, in 2019 the market was kept in check but open. Green bonds and sustainable energy financings received significant press attention as the markets continued to develop, particularly in emerging countries.